Category: Weekly Updates

Weekly Updates

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through September 19th

US stocks fell for a third straight week led by tech firms. The S&P 500 fell 0.6% and the Dow was flat for the week.  Abroad, the FTSE All World Ex US gained 1.0% for the week.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury edged up over the week to settle at 0.69%.

China’s retail sales recovered to prepandemic levels.  In addition, factory production, investment and property activity all gained pace.

US retail sales rose 0.6% in August, but at a slower pace than earlier in the summer.

The Fed left interest rates unchanged after its meeting and said it planned to keep interest rates near zero through 2023.  It would keep rates near zero until the economy is close to full employment and inflation “is on track to moderately exceed 2% for some time.”  They also increased their GDP estimate for the year expecting a 3.7% decline up from the 6.5% decline forecasted in June.

Initial jobless claims held nearly steady from a week before with 860,000 new filers.

US consumer sentiment rose more than expected in early September.

Analysts estimate that third quarter earnings will fall 22% from the third quarter last year.

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through September 12th

US stocks posted another down week again led by declines in tech stocks.  The Nasdaq has fallen 10% from its high hit on 9/2.  The S&P 500 fell 2.5% and the Dow sank 1.7% for the week.  Abroad, the FTSE All World Ex US was flat for the week.  Oil ended the week near its lowest level in two months.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury ticked down over the week to settle at 0.67% as investors moved to safe havens.

Tesla was not picked to be added to the S&P 500 sending its shares falling.

First time unemployment claims stayed at the same level as the prior week, 884,000. Continuing unemployment claims increased to 13.4 million.

The UK grew 6.6% in July from June, but grew at an 8.7% rate in June from May.  Economists don’t project the British economy to regain its pre-pandemic size until 2022.

The Atlanta Fed projects the US will post 7% growth in the third quarter and not recover to pre-pandemic levels until early 2022.

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through September 5th

US stocks broke a five week winning streak driven by a sudden decline in tech stocks.  The S&P 500 fell 2.3% and the Dow dropped 1.8% for the week.  Abroad, the FTSE All World Ex US was down 0.5% for the week.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell over the week to settle at 0.69% as investors moved to safe havens.

Employers hired 1.4 million individuals in August and the unemployment rate dropped to 8.4% from 10.2% in July, topping expectations.

Weekly initial unemployment claims fell to 881,000 for the past week the lowest level since mid-March.  The number of people receiving unemployment benefits dropped to 13.3 million.

US factory output grew in August at the fastest pace since November 2018.  China and Germany also posted an acceleration of growth in manufacturing in August.

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through August 29th

US stocks continued to climb to reach new all-time highs aided by changes from the Fed and economic news.  Stocks have gained on all but four trading days this month.  The S&P 500 gained 3.3% and the Dow was up 2.6% for the week.  Abroad, the FTSE All World Ex US rose 2.0% for the week.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury climbed over the week to end at 0.73%, its highest level in two months.

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell slightly from the previous week in line with estimates.

The Fed approved a significant change in how it manages inflation.  It will no longer proactively raise Fed Funds rate to head off higher inflation and instead allow it to remain higher than its target 2% if inflation runs below 2% for a period of time.  It will seek to target an average inflation rate of 2%.  The move likely means interest rates will remain lower for longer.

US consumer spending rose 1.9% in July from June, but the pace eased from earlier months.

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through August 22nd

US stocks ended the week at an all-time high.  The S&P 500 gained 0.7% and the Dow was flat for the week.  Abroad, the FTSE All World Ex US was declined 0.7% for the week.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury eased over the week to end at 0.64%, down from 0.71% last week.

In the Fed’s July meeting minutes officials expressed concern over the economy and its continued recovery.  They believed additional support was needed for the economy from both the government and the Fed.  However, they didn’t come to any conclusions on what support they would provide or when that would occur.

Weekly initial jobless claims rose to 1.1 million after declining for three straight weeks.  However, the total number of people receive unemployment benefits dropped to 14.8 million the lowest level since April.

IHS Markit’s purchasing managers index, measuring manufacturing and services activity, rose solidly into expansion territory in the US in July, but the Eurozone saw slowing growth and Japan posted a contraction.

Sales of previously owned homes rose 24.7% in July over June.  It was the strongest monthly gain ever recorded and the highest monthly sales pace since December 2006.

Apple became the first public company ever with a market cap of $2 trillion and Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Amazon now make up 25% of the S&P 500.