Category: Weekly Updates

Weekly Updates

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through February 16th

Optimism over a US/China trade deal and an agreement to fund the government propelled stocks over the week.  The S&P 500 gained 2.5% and the Dow rose 3.1% for the week.  Internationally, Japan was up 2.8% and Europe climbed 3.0% for the week.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury edged up slightly to finish at 2.66%.

The CPI was flat in January compared to December, but core prices rose 0.2%.

An agreement was reached to fund the government through September and avoid another shutdown.

US retail sales sank 1.2% in December from November, falling well short of expectations and surprised many after relatively positive economic and corporate reporting.

The Fed is nearing a plan that would end the wind down of its $4 trillion Treasury portfolio potentially this year.

Amazon abandoned its plan to have a second headquarters in New York City.

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through February 11th

US stocks were relatively flat as concerns over international growth and trade weighed on stocks.  The S&P 500 was flat, while the Dow rose 0.2% for the week.  Internationally, Europe fell 0.5% and Japan slumped 2.2% for the week.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell from the previous week to finish at 2.63%.

The nonmanufacturing purchasing managers index fell in January compared to December.

German factory orders fell in December unexpectedly and Industrial production in Germany and Spain fell, missing expectations.

The European Commission cut its forecast for eurozone growth in 2019 to 1.3% down from the projected 1.9% in November.

The Bank of England held interest rates steady.

A White House economic advisor said the US and China were still far apart from a trade deal.

Famous bond fund manager Bill Gross announced he was retiring from fund management.

With 47% of S&P 500 companies reporting, profits are on pace to rise 12%.

BB&T and SunTrust agreed to merge to create the 6th largest US bank.

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through February 2nd

US stocks posted another week of gains on a dovish Fed meeting, strong earnings results and positive jobs report.  The S&P 500 climbed 1.6%, while the Dow rose 1.3% for the week.  Abroad, Japan edged up 0.1% and Europe gained 0.5% for the week.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell from the previous week to finish at 2.69%.

The January jobs report blew away expectations with 304,000 new hires added compared to the 170,000 expected.  It was the 100th straight month of job gains, more than double the longest previous streak.  However, there were revisions to November and December lowering hiring numbers by 70,000.  The unemployment rate rose to 4% from 3.9%, its highest level since June, but that reading was impacted by the government shutdown. Wage growth remained muted rising 0.1% over December, but is up 3% from a year earlier.

As expected the Fed left the Fed Funds rate unchanged at its January meeting, and said they planned to be flexible with policy moving forward.  They also announced they would be keeping more bonds on the balance sheet than they had expected to when they started unwinding the portfolio. 1/31

France’s economy grew 1.5% in 2018 down from 2.3% the previous year and Germany cut its growth outlook from 1.8% to 1% for 2019.

With nearly half of S&P 500 companies reporting earnings, 70% have topped profit estimates and companies are on track to post a 12% increase in profit.

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through January 26th

US stocks were relatively flat over the week as growth concerns mixed with solid earnings.  The S&P 500 fell 0.2%, while the Dow rose 0.1% for the week.  Internationally, Europe edged up 0.2% and Japan gained 0.5% for the week.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell over the week to 2.75%.

China’s GDP growth rate for the fourth quarter was 6.4%, making the growth for the year 6.6%.  It’s the slowest pace of growth since 1990.  The major drivers include manufacturing, slowing large investments by the government and businesses, weakening property sales and consumer spending.

The IMF lowered its global growth forecast for 2019 from 3.7% to 3.5%.

Existing home sales fell 6.4% in December to the lowest level in over three years.

China’s central bank added roughly $38 billion to the country’s large and mid size banks to boost lending.

The ECB president acknowledged that Europe’s outlook has weakened since December.  The bank left rates and guidance unchanged, but said it could consider additional stimulus measures if needed.

Congress and the President reached a deal to reopen the government for three weeks as talks continue.

Fed officials are close to deciding that they will hold a larger bond portfolio than they expected when they began shrinking those holdings two years ago – a move that would provide support for the economy.

Comcast, United Technologies, P&G, IBM, Starbucks and Ford all posted strong earnings results, while UBS and J&J disappointed.

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through January 19th

Stocks posted their fourth straight week of gains on fourth quarter earnings, dovish statements by the fed and optimism an agreement will eb worked out between the US and china.  US stocks are up 13% since Christmas Eve.  The S&P 500 rose 2.9% and the Dow was up 3.0% for the week.  Internationally, Japan climbed 1.5% and Europe gained 2.2% for the week.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury settled at 2.79%, up over the week.  Oil has also rallied, up 27% from its December low.

Chinese exports fell unexpectedly in December adding to worries about the country’s economy.

Parliament overwhelmingly voted against the latest Brexit deal proposed by PM May, but she survived a no confidence vote.

Germany’s GDP grew 1.5% in 2018 down from 2.2% in 2017 and the slowest pace since 2013.

ECB head Draghi said the eurozone economy had weakened driven primarily by China.

Officials from the Bank of China said they would step up efforts to stimulate the economy.

Tesla announced it’s cutting its staff by 7%.

Corporate earnings are expected to increase 11% in the fourth quarter over the prior year and to date they are topping expectations.