Category: Weekly Updates

Weekly Updates

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through January 11th

Global stocks gained over the week as tensions in the middle east appeared to ease.  The S&P 500 climbed 0.9%, while the Dow rose 0.7%.  Abroad, the FTSE All-World Ex-US rose 0.5% for the week.  The 10-year Treasury yield rose over the week to end at 1.86% as investors moved away from safe-haven investments.  Oil fell 6.4% over the week to finish at $59.04, after the easing of tensions.

US employers added jobs for a 10th straight year.  December payrolls increased 145,000, slightly below estimates, but the unemployment rate remained at 3.5%.  Wages gained only 2.9% from a year earlier their lowest annual gain since July 2018.

 

 

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through December 13th

Global stocks posted strong gains on an initial trade agreement reached between the US and China, comments after the Fed’s December meeting and more clarity on the direction of the UK after Prime Minister Johnson’s decisive win.  The S&P 500 was up 0.8%, a record high, while the Dow gained 0.5% for the week.  Abroad, the FTSE All-World Ex-US rose 2.2% for the week.  The 10-year Treasury yield ticked down slightly to end the week at 1.82%.

The US and China agreed to a limited trade deal that will reduce existing tariffs on Chinese goods and cancel new tariffs that would have taken effect on the 15th, while China will increase purchases of US farm goods by $32 billion, increase intellectual property protection, open the Chinese financial services market and prevent currency manipulation.  The US will cut the tariff rate on roughly $120 billion of Chinese goods from 15% to 7.5%.

The President and Congress agreed on a trade deal between the US, Canada, and Mexico setting up passage early next year.

Inflation remained subdued in November as the CPI rose at a 2.1% annual rate up from 1.8% in October.

The Fed announced, at the conclusion to their last meeting of the year, that they were holding rates steady for the time being.  The rate-setting body currently expects to leave the Fed Funds rate unchanged in 2020.

The ECB held rates steady in new chief Lagarde’s first meeting as she detected “some initial signs of stabilization” in eurozone growth.

 

 

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through December 7th

US stocks closed the week relatively flat after strong economic news to end the week helped the market recover from concerns over negative trade news.  The S&P 500 was up 0.2%, while the Dow ticked down 0.1% for the week.  Abroad, the FTSE All-World Ex-US rose 0.5% for the week.  The 10-year Treasury yield rose over the week to end at 1.84%.  Oil rose over 7% to finish the week at $59.20.

Trump announced the US would levy tariffs against Argentina and Brazil’s steel, at 25%, and aluminum, at 10%, accusing them of purposely devaluing their currencies.  Tariffs were also proposed against $2.4 billion of French goods of up to $100% over a digital-services tax aimed at US tech companies.

US manufacturing fell further into contraction territory in November surprising analysts.

Two surveys in China pointed to improving confidence and demand from manufacturers.  Manufacturing in the Eurozone contracted less than expected.

Trump made comments saying trade negotiations with China could last well into next year.

The November Jobs reports blew past expectations with 266,000 jobs added topping the 187,000 expected.  Previous months were also revised up 41,000.  The unemployment rate declined to 3.5% and wage growth edged up to 3.1%.

Japan approved a $120 billion stimulus plan, its most significant stimulus measure in over three years.

OPEC agreed to cut crude oil output by roughly 40% next year as it pushed for higher prices.

US consumer sentiment rose in early December.

 

 

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through November 30th

US stocks rose over the week on optimism on the direction of US/China trade talks, hitting new record highs.  The S&P 500 rose 1.0% and Dow gained 0.8% for the week.  Abroad, the FTSE All-World Ex-US was up 0.2% for the week.  The 10-year Treasury yield was flat over the week finishing at 1.78%.

China’s Commerce Ministry issued a statement saying the US and China “reached a consensus on properly solving related issues,” upbeat language that progress was being made in trade talks.

Third-quarter US GDP was revised up to 2.1% from 1.9%.

October US durable goods orders rose more than expected.

Consumer spending rose 0.3% in the US in October from September.

A measure of Chinese factory activity unexpectedly expanded in November after six months of contraction.

LVMH is acquiring Tiffany & Co. for $16 billion.

Schwab has agreed to buy TD Ameritrade for $26 billion.

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through November 23rd

US stocks declined for the week on concerns about the direction of US/China trade talks.  The S&P 500 declined 0.3% and Dow fell 0.4% for the week.  Internationally, the FTSE All-World Ex-US eased 0.4% for the week.  The 10-year Treasury yield eased over the week to finish at 1.77%.

In minutes from the Fed’s October meeting, they offered few clues about their next move focusing more on a wait and see approach as they evaluated global growth and trade and their impact on the US.

Business activity in the US posted a reading at a four-month high in November, while Europe showed declining growth.

US consumer sentiment rose surprisingly in November.