Category: Weekly Updates

Weekly Updates

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through March 7th

Global stocks had a volatile week driven by the coronavirus and global leaders’ responses. The S&P 500 gained 0.7% and the Dow rose 1.8% over the week. Abroad, the FTSE All World Ex US edged up 0.3% for the week. Oil sank after Saudi Arabia and Russia couldn’t reach an agreement on production cuts. Oil fell 7.8% to finish at $41.28 a barrel. Investors continued to move to safe haven assets with the 10-year Treasury yield ending the week at an all-time low of 0.71%.

The OECD lowered its projection for global growth from 2.9% to 2.4% for 2020.

ISM said its US manufacturing index declined, but remained in expansion terror in February.

Manufacturing activity in China showed its largest slump on record in February and the country’s Purchasing Managers index fell to its lowest level since April 2004.

ECB Chief Lagarde said the central bank was ready to act to support the eurozone against the impact of the coronavirus.

The Fed announced an emergency 0.50% cut to the Fed Funds rate. They now target a range of 1.00% to 1.25%. It’s the first between meeting change to the Fed Funds rate since 2008 financial crisis.

US lawmakers reached an agreement on $8 billion in funds to help contain the coronavirus.

US service sector activity rose in February to the highest reading in over a year.

Mortgage rates hit their lowest level ever with the 30 year mortgage falling to 3.29%.

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through February 29th

Global stocks plummeted over the week on concerns over the quick global spread of the coronavirus and the potential impact on the global economy. The S&P 500 plunged 11.4% and the Dow sank 12.6% over the week. It took just six days for the S&P 500 to fall more than 10%, the fastest decline from a record high since 1980. Abroad, the FTSE All World Ex US dropped 8.9% for the week. Oil plunged 16.1% to finish the week at $44.76 a barrel. Investors moved to safe haven assets with the 10-year Treasury yield ending the week at 1.13%, its lowest level ever.

Fed Chairmen Powell announced the Fed was ready to cut the Fed Funds Rate to help support the US economy.

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through February 22nd

Global stocks declined over the week on concerns over the continued spread of the coronavirus. The S&P 500 dropped 1.2% and the Dow fell 1.4% over the week. Abroad, the FTSE All World Ex US was down 1.4% for the week. Investors moved to safe haven assets with the 10-year Treasury yield ending the week at 1.47%, its lowest level since September. Gold reached a seven year high of $1,650.

Japan’s GDP growth contracted 6.3% in the fourth quarter, much worse than the 3.9% contraction projected.

China launched fresh stimulus measures to support its economy. The government is planning to step in to help businesses adjust their supply chains given the work stoppages that have occurred in the country.

In minutes from the Fed’s January meeting, officials were becoming more optimistic about the US economy before the coronavirus hit. The uncertain impact from the virus made their outlook more cautious.

Sales of previously owned homes fell 1.3% in January.

IHS Markit’s flash reading for manufacturing and services business activity fell to its lowest level in over six years.

Apple announced it wouldn’t meet its quarterly revenue projections because of the coronavirus.

HSBC said it would cut 35,000 jobs and reduce business lines across the US and Europe and focus on Asia.

Morgan Stanley is buying discount broker E*Trade for $13 billion.

Wells Fargo reached a settlement with the Justice Department and SEC agreeing to pay $3 billion over their fake accounts scandal.

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through February 15th

US stocks ended the week at a new record high shaking off concerns over the coronavirus. The S&P 500 gained 1.7% and the Dow climbed 1.2% over the week. Abroad, the FTSE All World Ex US rose 0.4% for the week. The 10-year Treasury yield was relatively flat, ending at 1.59%.

In testimony before congress Fed chief Powell said they were watching the impacts of the coronavirus carefully, but the Fed planned to continue its wait and see approach to policy changes in the Fed’s benchmark rate.

Industrial production fell 0.3% in January.

Consumer sentiment climbed in February.

Retail sales rose 0.3% in January, the strongest pace since October.

The merger of T-Mobile and Sprint was approved by the US government.

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through February 8th

Global stocks surged over the week on easing fears over the coronavirus.  The S&P 500 rose 3.2% hitting a new record high during the week and the Dow climbed 3.1% over the week.  Abroad, the FTSE All-World Ex-US surged 2.1% for the week.  The 10-year Treasury yield edged up to finish at 1.58% to 1.55%.  Oil prices continued to fall entering bear market territory ending the week at $50.32 a barrel.

Manufacturing unexpectedly improved in the US in January with the ISM manufacturing index moving back into expansion territory for the first time since July.

January factory surveys showed slower declines in output in Asia and Europe, however, the surveys were completed before coronavirus grew to impact global supply chains.

As part of its pledge to deliver on the purchase of US goods, China said it would cut tariffs on $75 billion worth of US goods in half from 10% to 5% and for other goods from 5% to 2.5%.

US hiring remained strong in January with 225,000 new hires.  Unemployment rose to 3.6% from 3.5%, but that was a result of more people entering the job market.  Wages also rose 3.1%, a slight increase from December.

Over half of S&P 500 firms have reported earnings to date and analysts project there will be modest earnings growth after multiple quarters of decline earnings.