Money Talks – February 17, 2018

This week on “Money Talks,” Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, is joined by Managing Associates, Shawna L. Theriault, C.P.A., CFP®, CDFA®, and K.C. Smith, CFP®, to cover the week’s market moves and sector performance. They also cover inflation indicators, the Consumer Price and Producer Price indices and discuss what inflation might mean for the market. Shawna and K.C. discuss how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changed the game for middle income taxpayers who may have been subject to alternative minimum tax in the past. With higher exemptions and phaseouts, far fewer people will pay AMT. The experts also answer listeners’ questions on Broadcom’s hostile takeover of Qualcomm, the difference between profit sharing plans and 401(k)s, retailer QVC and its parent company Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings, and Social Security statements.

Market Roundup: Markets Rebound After Last Week’s Decline

The major indices closed in green territory on Monday as commodity prices stabilized. Energy stocks moved ahead on an increase in crude oil prices. The following day, the indices closed with slight gains, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ending in the green zone, rebounding up off early low levels. Indices landed in the green zone on Wednesday, again with the Dow rebounding from early session lows on a variety of economic news. Inflation ticked up slightly more than expected in January as shown by The Consumer Price Index increasing 0.5% last month, versus economists’ forecasts of a 0.3% upswing. Core inflation edged up 0.3% in January. On another note, retail sales decreased in January, with sales slipping 0.3% versus expectations of a 0.2% gain. The Dow, S&P 500 Index, and NASDAQ Composite stepped up for the fifth straight session on Thursday. The Street heard from the Bureau of Labor Statistics again, this time, reporting that U.S. producer prices ticked up by 0.4% in January. The results were in line with forecasts. Core PPI rose 0.4%, which exceeded estimates of 0.2% growth. Additionally, the Department of Labor showed initial jobless claims increased last week, as first-time claims climbed by 7,000 to 230,000. After a positive week, the markets closed with mixed moves on Friday. The Dow and S&P 500 posted slight gains while the NASDAQ shed some points. Trading was mixed on a variety of economic news. Consumer confidence ticked up in February, according to a preliminary measure from the University of Michigan. The Consumer Sentiment Index ramped up to 99.9 from 95.7 in January. The reading marked the second-highest level in 14 years.

Money Talks – February 10, 2018

This week on “Money Talks,” Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, is joined by Principal Jennifer J. Thomas, CFP®, and Senior Associate Jarrett McKenzie, CFP®, CWS®, to discuss the volatility in the market, the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index, International trade and interest rates. They also take a look at how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changed the deductibility of casualty losses, and how taxpayers need to understand what their insurance covers. The experts also answer listeners’ questions on GE and how much inflation to factor in retirement savings.

Market Roundup: Roller Coaster Week For the Markets

Indices closed well into red territory on Monday with both the S&P 500 Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average declining more than 4%. Oil also slipped 1.9% to settle at $64.24 a barrel. Meanwhile, services industry activity increased in January as the ISM non-manufacturing index jumped to 59.9 from 56 in December. Despite a rocky start that pushed the Dow into correction territory, the major indices reversed their early losses and landed in green territory on Tuesday. The powerful comeback may reflect a realization by investors that the economy is still strong. In economic releases, investors learned the U.S. trade deficit increased to $53.1 billion in December from a revised $50.4 billion in November. Volatility was back midweek as the trading day swung from green to close in the red. The likely cause of the market’s recent volatility could be fears of a rapid rise in inflation based on last Friday’s better-than-expected jobs report and news of the fastest annual wage growth in some time. Indices closed considerably lower on Thursday with Industrials, Financials and Technology sector stocks leading the decliners. The Dow and S&P 500 entered correction territory as concerns of rising interest rates and volatility impacted markets. For the roller coaster week, indices closed with gains on Friday. The Dow added 330 points in a late afternoon rally while the broader S&P 500 Index was ahead by 39, and the tech-heavy NASDAQ had advanced 97 points. The sector breakdown was dominated by advancers, including Technology and Utility stocks gaining 1.6% and 1.2%, respectively. Although impressive, the late rally was not nearly enough to erase the week’s losses, with equities down more than 5% over the last five sessions.