Stocks End the Week Lower

The Weekly Update

Week of January 27th, 2020
By Christopher T. Much, CFP®, AIF®

The Week on Wall Street
Stock prices fell last week as investors considered the potential health and economic risks of the flu-like coronavirus.

Foreign stock markets, as tracked by the broad MSCI EAFE index, fell 1.03% for the week. Coincidentally, the S&P 500 lost exactly that much across a 4-day Wall Street trading week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 1.22%, the Nasdaq Composite 0.79%.

Futures Markets Eye Coronavirus Outbreak
By Friday’s closing bell, two cases of coronavirus had been confirmed in the U.S. by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sixty-three other potential cases were being monitored. Twenty-six people had died from the virus in China, where more than 30 million people faced travel restrictions.

This news exerted a drag on stocks in multiple industries. Oil prices also slipped: West Texas Intermediate crude lost 7.4% for the week to settle at $54.19 Friday. Stock and commodity traders wondered if the virus would mimic the SARS scare of 2002-03, which kept Chinese workers and shoppers at home and hurt corporate earnings worldwide.

Fewest Homes for Sale in 20 Years
Existing home sales improved 3.6% in December, according to the National Association of Realtors. This happened even as the number of listed properties hit a 20-year low. The NAR says that the rate of total U.S. home sales (existing and new) increased 10.8% in 2019.

What’s Ahead
Traders will watch not only earnings and economic indicators this week, but also the Federal Reserve, which meets Tuesday and Wednesday. Will the central bank’s latest monetary policy statement reveal any subtle change of outlook?

THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Monday: The Census Bureau’s report on December new home sales.
Tuesday: The latest consumer confidence index from the Conference Board.
Wednesday: A monetary policy announcement from the Federal Reserve, followed by a press conference with Fed chair Jerome Powell.
Thursday: The first estimate of fourth-quarter gross domestic product from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Friday: December consumer spending figures from the Department of Commerce, plus the final January University of Michigan consumer sentiment index (a gauge of consumer confidence levels).

Source: MarketWatch, January 24, 2020
The MarketWatch economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.

THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Monday: D.R. Horton (DHI), Sprint (S)
Tuesday: Apple (AAPL), Pfizer (PFE), SAP (SAP), United Technologies (UTX)
Wednesday: AT&T (T), Facebook (FB), Mastercard (MA), Microsoft (MSFT)
Thursday: Amazon (AMZN), Coca-Cola (KO), Verizon (VZ), Visa (V)
Friday: Chevron (CVX), ExxonMobil (XOM), Honeywell International (HON)

Source: Zacks, January 24, 2020
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Data collected from Investors FastTrack software.
https://www.wsj.com/market-data
https://quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/MSCI%20GLOBAL/990300/historical-prices
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/24/cdc-confirms-second-us-case-of-coronavirus-chicago-resident-diagnosed.html
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/24/coronavirus-fear-hits-oil-prices-drop-most-since-may.html
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/existing-home-sales-rebounded-in-december-but-extraordinarily-lean-inventories-are-a-growing-concern-2020-01-22
Stocks End the Week Lower2020-01-27T13:55:20-05:00

Fresh Record Highs

The Weekly Update

Week of January 20th, 2020
By Christopher T. Much, CFP®, AIF®

The Week on Wall Street
Traders were in an upbeat mood last week, reacting to news out of Washington: the signing of the phase-one trade deal between the U.S. and China as well as the Senate passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). In addition, a new earnings season started. Risk appetite grew and spurred all three of the major Wall Street averages to record settlements on Friday.

For the week, the Nasdaq Composite rose 2.29%; the S&P 500, 1.97%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 1.82%. International stocks improved 0.40%, according to MSCI’s EAFE index.

Progress on the Trade Front
President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He signed off on a new, partial U.S.-China trade pact Wednesday. In this deal, China agrees to buy at least $200 billion more of American products, crops, and energy futures over a 2-year period, and it must submit an “action plan” by mid-February, detailing how it will better protect American intellectual property and cut counterfeiting of American goods. The U.S. agrees to halve 15% tariffs on $120 billion of Chinese imports (other tariffs slated for last December were scrapped earlier as part of this agreement).

As for the USMCA, President Trump is expected to sign it into law this week. It was passed 89-10 in the Senate on Thursday and by a wide margin in the House of Representatives in December. Mexico’s government has also approved the USMCA; Canada’s government has yet to do so.

Homebuilding Picks Up
The Census Bureau reported a 16.9% surge in housing starts in December. This surpassed expectations; housing market analysts, surveyed by Refinitiv, had expected no increase.

What’s Ahead
U.S. stock markets are closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Post offices and Social Security offices will also be closed Monday, as well as most banks.

THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Wednesday: December existing home sales figures from the National Association of Realtors.

Source: MarketWatch, January 17, 2020
The MarketWatch economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.

THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Tuesday: Capital One (COF), Netflix (NLFX), TD Ameritrade (AMTD), United Airlines (UAL)
Wednesday: Abbott Labs (ABT), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Texas Instruments (TXN)
Thursday: Comcast (CMCSA), Intel (INTC), Procter & Gamble (PG), Union Pacific (UNP)
Friday: American Express (AXP), Nextera Energy (NEE)

Source: Zacks, January 17, 2020
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Data collected from Investors FastTrack software.
https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/us-stocks-jan-17-2020
https://www.wsj.com/market-data
https://quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/MSCI%20GLOBAL/990300/historical-prices
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/15/trump-and-china-sign-phase-one-trade-agreement.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2020/01/16/senate-approves-new-usmca-trade-deal-with-canada-mexico/
https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/us-stocks-jan-17-2020
Fresh Record Highs2020-01-21T13:04:43-05:00

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Insurance: Just Starting Out2020-01-17T09:27:36-05:00

Further Gains for Stocks

The Weekly Update

Week of January 13th, 2020
By Christopher T. Much, CFP®, AIF®

The Week on Wall Street
The market had a choppy five days, with traders reacting to geopolitical developments and weaker-than-expected jobs data. Even so, the three major U.S. equity indices posted weekly gains and continued their strong start to the new year. During Friday’s trading session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average topped 29,000 for the first time.

Rising 1.75% for the week, the Nasdaq Composite outgained both the Dow (up 0.66%) and the S&P 500 (up 0.94%). The story for foreign stocks was different: the MSCI EAFE index declined 0.30%.

Holiday Hiring Numbers
Wall Street was unimpressed by the latest jobs report from the Department of Labor. Employers added 145,000 net new workers in December; economists surveyed by Dow Jones had forecast a gain of 160,000. Wages grew less than 3% year-over-year for the first time in 17 months.

Unemployment remained at a 50-year low of 3.5%, however. The broader U-6 jobless rate, which also includes the underemployed, declined to 6.7%, the lowest in 26 years of recordkeeping.

Oil Prices Decline
The rally in crude oil spurred by strained U.S.-Iran relations ebbed this past week. At Friday’s closing bell, WTI crude was worth $59.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 6.36% for the week and 3.31% year-to-date.

What’s Ahead
A new earnings season starts Tuesday, with big banks leading off and reporting fourth-quarter results. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will be in Washington, D.C., through Wednesday, and during his visit, he and President Trump are expected to sign the phase-one trade deal between the U.S. and China.

THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Tuesday: The December Consumer Price Index, providing a look at inflation last month and for all of 2019.
Thursday: December retail sales figures from the Department of Commerce.
Friday: The University of Michigan’s preliminary January Consumer Sentiment Index, assessing consumer confidence levels from multiple angles.

Source: MarketWatch, January 10, 2020
The MarketWatch economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.

THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Tuesday: Citigroup (C), Delta Air Lines (DAL), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC)
Wednesday: Bank of America (BAC), Goldman Sachs (GS), United Health (UNH), US Bancorp (USB)
Thursday: Morgan Stanley (MS)
Friday: Schlumberger (SLB)

Source: Zacks, January 10, 2020
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Data collected from Investors FastTrack software.
https://www.wsj.com/market-data
https://quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/MSCI%20GLOBAL/990300/historical-prices
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/10/us-nonfarm-payrolls-december-2019.html
https://www.marketwatch.com/investing/future/crude%20oil%20-%20electronic
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/09/chinas-vice-premier-liu-to-sign-us-trade-deal-in-washington-next-week.html
Further Gains for Stocks2020-01-13T12:25:45-05:00

Concerns About Oil

The Weekly Update

Week of January 6th, 2020
By Christopher T. Much, CFP®, AIF®

The Week on Wall Street
Stocks descended from record highs Friday, as traders reacted to a U.S. drone strike that killed Iran’s top military officer. Oil prices rose more than 3% following the breaking news.

Wall Street benchmarks ended up having a sideways week, shortened by the New Year’s Day holiday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.04% across four trading sessions; the S&P 500, 0.16%. In contrast, the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.16%. The MSCI EAFE index, benchmarking developed overseas stock markets, added 0.30%.

Oil Takes Center Stage
WTI crude oil settled at $63.07 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Friday, down from an intraday peak of $64.09 (which was its highest price since April).

The commodity rallied Friday, as energy traders considered the possibility of supply disruptions in the Middle East in retaliation for last week’s U.S. air strike.

Manufacturing Activity Declines
At the start of each month, economists watch the Institute for Supply Management’s Purchasing Managers Index for the factory sector, which is considered a key barometer of U.S. manufacturing health.

Last week, ISM announced a December reading of 47.2 for this index, the poorest in more than ten years. A reading below 50 indicates manufacturing activity is contracting rather than expanding.

THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Tuesday: The Institute for Supply Management presents its December Non-Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index, gauging the pace of activity in the U.S. service sector.
Wednesday: Payroll processor ADP releases its December national private-sector employment report.
Friday: The December jobs report from the Department of Labor.

Source: MarketWatch, January 3, 2020
The MarketWatch economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.

THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Wednesday: Constellation Brands (STZ), Lennar (LEN), Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA)
Friday: Infosys (INFY)

Source: Zacks, January 3, 2020
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Data collected from Investors FastTrack software.
https://www.investors.com/market-trend/stock-market-today/dow-jones-dives-us-airstrike-gold-prices-oil-prices-jump-tesla-stock/
https://www.wsj.com/market-data
https://www.wsj.com/market-data/quotes/index/XX/990300
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-markets/oil-safe-havens-surge-after-u-s-strikes-kill-iran-commander-idUSKBN1Z2042
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-manufacturing-slumps-worsens-in-december-as-ism-index-falls-to-10-year-low-2020-01-03
Concerns About Oil2020-01-06T12:29:58-05:00