Category: Weekly Updates

Weekly Updates

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through April 22nd

US stocks tread water over the week on generally positive economic and corporate earnings news.  The S&P 500 edged down 0.1% and the Dow rose 0.6% for the week.  Internationally, Japan climbed 1.5% and Europe rose 0.8% for the week. The yield on the 10-year Treasury was flat ending the week at 2.56%.

US manufacturing output was flat in March.

China’s first quarter GDP growth was steady at 6.4%, topping expectations.

US retail sales rose 1.6% in March topping expectations for the largest monthly gain since 2017.

Of the S&P 500 companies to report results to date, 77% have beaten analysts’ expectations.

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through April 15th

Strong earnings results drove stocks higher for the week.  The S&P 500 was up 0.5% and the Dow was flat for the week.  Internationally, Japan ticked up 0.3% and Europe edged down 0.2% for the week.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.56% as investors became more optimistic about the economy.

The Trump administration announced it is considering tariffs on $11 billion worth of European goods.

The IMF cut its global growth forecast for the year from 3.5% to 3.3%.

The EU gave the UK until October 31st to come up with a plan to leave the country bloc.

ECB president Draghi indicated the bank could take additional action if the economic picture for Europe worsens.

Minutes from the Fed’s March meeting showed greater conviction that the rate setting body would hold tight before taking further action.

The core CPI rose less than expected in March.

JP Morgan posted record profit for the first quarter topping expectations getting first quarter earnings season off to a strong start.

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through April 6th

US stocks rose over the weak on positive economic news and optimism over US/China trade negotiations.  The S&P 500 rose 2.1% and the Dow gained 1.9% for the week.  Abroad, Europe was up 2.4% and Japan surged 2.8% for the week.  The yield on the 10-Year Treasury ended the week at 2.50% up from the previous week.

The March jobs report topped expectations with 196,000 jobs added, a solid rebound from weak February numbers, and the unemployment rate remained at 3.8%.  Wages grew at 3.2%, up slightly from February, but falling short of expectations.

A gauge of Chinese manufacturing activity hit a six month high in March, well above expectations.

US manufacturing picked up its pace in March posting better than expected readings.  Manufacturing in Germany, Japan and South Korea however showed weakness.

Auto makers posted a 2% sales decline in the first quarter.

A reading of China’s service sector rose to a 14th month high.

Eurozone service sector activity in March rose at its strongest rate since November.

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through March 30th

US stocks posted their best quarter in nearly a decade aided by accommodative central banks. The S&P 500 was up 1.2% and the Dow gained 1.7% for the week. Internationally, Europe rose 0.8% and Japan dropped 1.1% for the week. Oil finished the quarter at $60 a barrel, up 32%, for their biggest quarterly gain since 2009. The 10-year Treasury yield finished the week at 2.42%, down from the previous week and well below 2.68% where it started the year.

The ECB signaled there are growing concerns about the adverse effects of negative interest rates that have been in place for nearly 5 years. They also could consider additional delays in interest rate increases.

US 4th quarter GDP rose 2.2%, slower than estimated.

Personal consumption expenditures, a measure of household spending increased 0.1% in January from December, less than expected.

Consumer sentiment picked up in March.

New home sales rose in February.

The Fed’s preferred inflation gauge fell for the first time in 22 months.

Parliament rejected Prime Minister May’s Brexit deal a third time on the day Britain was expected to leave the EU.

Earnings at S&P 500 companies is expected to fall 3.8% from a year earlier in the first quarter.

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through March 23rd

New global growth fears weighed on stocks and sent yield plunging. The S&P 500 fell 0.8% and the Dow dropped 1.3% for the week. Abroad, Japan gained 0.8% and Europe eased 1.3% for the week. The yield on 10-year Treasury fell below the yield of three months bills for the first time since 2007. It finished the week at 2.46%, its lowest level since early January 2018. The yield on the 10-year bond in Germany moved into negative territory for the first time since 2016.

At the conclusion of the Fed’s March meeting they announced they would not raise the Fed Funds rate and are unlikely to do so this year over concerns about slowing US growth. They may be near the end of the interest raising cycle that began over three years ago. They will begin slowing the reduction of their bond portfolio in May and end the runoff at the end of September. The Fed Funds rate is currently set at a range of 2.25% to 2.5%.

Factory output in the eurozone fell in March at the fastest pace in six years and manufacturing activity in the US moved to its lowest level in close to two years.

OPEC and its allies agreed to continue production cuts until the end of June.

Officials from the US and China are planning a new round of talks in hopes of having an agreement by the end of April.

The EU agreed to give the UK an extension until April 12th to work out an agreement for leaving the EU, far shorter than the 90 days UK lawmakers had sought.

Sales of previously owned homes jumped 11.8% in February.