Money Talks – December 30, 2017

This week on “Money Talks,” Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, is joined by his Research Team including Analysts Nick Antonucci, CVA, and Jacob Keen, to discuss how the market shaped up the last week of the year. The research analysts also discuss their “Dogs of the Year,” the stocks they found painful to watch or those that just made bad decisions all around. Then the guys take a look at what 2018 has to offer the markets. They provide their outlook and opinions on what the year ahead holds, including interest rates, the yield curve, and sectors they like for 2018.

Market Roundup: Last Week of Trading Sees Dow Hit Another High

The last trading week of 2017 saw both red and green zones for the week between the Christmas and New Year holidays. Tuesday started with sluggish performance, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 index, and NASDAQ all closing down for the day. Economic news was limited; however, the S&P Case-Shiller Index showed home prices rose nicely during the month of October, suggesting that the housing market remains in good shape. Indices closed in green territory on Wednesday, as stocks stepped up in late afternoon trading. Healthcare and Technology sectors led advancers while Energy brands dipped on a decline in the price of crude oil. Looking elsewhere, U.S. home sales ticked up in November, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. The report showed a 0.2% jump in sales. The Dow hit an all-time record level for the 71st time this year on Thursday. Both the S&P and NASDAQ also closed in positive territory. Commodities, including gold and copper, and crude oil moved up. For the session, West Texas Intermediate crude tacked on 0.5% to settle at $59.91 a barrel. Wall Street began the final trading day of 2017 on an up note, seemingly celebrating a stellar and record-breaking year for the stock market; however, a late selloff caused indices to close in the red zone on Friday.

Money Talks – December 16, 2017

This week on “Money Talks,” Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, is joined by Principal Jennifer J. Thomas, CFP®, and Managing Associate K.C. Smith, CFP®, to discuss the week’s economic releases, including the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey, the Producer and Consumer Price indices, the Fed’s monetary policy, and Retail Sales. K.C. and Jennifer take a look at a case study about a couple who were told to try to reduce their modified adjusted gross income to avoid paying more for Medicare. The hosts round out the show with questions on NetEase, tax reform and an employer who filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Market Roundup: Markets Rise as Fed Increases Interest Rates

The markets kicked off the week with gains as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Index hit new record levels. Technology and Energy stocks led advancers as U.S. prices jumped 1.1% to settle at $57.99 a barrel. Trading was mixed on Tuesday, but both the Dow and S&P 500 closed at new record highs for the third straight session while the NASDAQ dipped into the red zone. In economic news, U.S. producer prices ticked up in November. The Bureau of Labor Statistics showed producer prices climbed 0.4% last month. Core prices, which discount food, energy, and trade, also rose 0.4%. Mixed moves continued mid-week. The Dow and NASDAQ posted gains on monetary policy commentary from the Federal Reserve meeting while the S&P 500 lost some ground. As anticipated, the Federal Open Market Committee lifted the target range for the fed funds rate by 25 basis points to 1.25% to 1.5%. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released their second report for the week, showing consumer prices edged up in November. The headline reading of the Consumer Price Index increased 0.4% last month, as expected. The core measure, which discounts food and energy, rose 0.1%, just shy of consensus expectations. The major indices closed in the red zone on Thursday with early market momentum fading as the session progressed. The Department of Labor reported initial jobless claims decreased last week, falling by 11,000 to 225,000 versus consensus forecasts of 235,000. On another note, retail sales ticked up in November. Sales rose 0.8% last month, exceeding expectations of 0.3% growth. Major indices closed trading at all-time record levels on Friday with Technology and Financial stocks leading the advance.