Market Roundup: Markets Suffer Down Week on Declining Oil Prices and FOMC Meeting

The markets began the week in the red zone as investors likely proceeded with caution ahead of Tuesday’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting. Crude oil slipped for the third straight session, with West Texas Intermediate crude dipping 0.4%, settling at $48.88 a barrel. The slip continued the next day with Financial stocks leading declines for the S&P 500 Index. Stocks retreated on a downswing in crude oil, which settled at $48.49 a barrel. Meanwhile, Commerce Department data showed retail sales climbed by a stronger-than-expected 0.5 percent in May. Discounting sales of autos and gasoline, sales increased by 0.3 percent. Stocks traded lower on Wednesday in the wake of comments from the Federal Open Market Committee meeting. Interest rates will remain unchanged for the time being, but there may be as many as two rate increases by the end of the year. In economic news, the Producer Price Index edged up by 0.4% in May, versus consensus expectations of a 0.3% climb. The core measure jumped by 0.3%. Stocks recovered a little on Thursday in late-day trading, despite West Texas Intermediate crude oil slipping 3.8% settling at $46.21 a barrel. The Consumer Price Index rose by 0.2% in May, versus a 0.4% gain in April. The core measure, which discounts food and energy, edged up by 0.2%. Additionally, Labor Department figures showed new claims ramped up by 13,000 to 277,000. Indices closed in red territory on Friday, with Technology and Healthcare stocks leading the downswing; however, West Texas Intermediate crude increased 3.8% to settle at $47.98 a barrel.

Money Talks – June 11, 2016

This week on “Money Talks,” Managing Associate K.C. Smith, CFP®, joins Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA and Nick Antonucci to discuss the week’s market action, a cooling Services Index, increasing factory orders and an increase in the U.S. trade deficit. They also cover the surprise decline in employment announced last Friday. The experts also delve into a case study about an investor who can take advantage of a Roth IRA conversion to diversify the tax status of his retirement assets, but it would mean saving less to the children’s 529 Plans. K.C. discusses the pros and cons behind using Roth IRA funds as a dual retirement/college savings. The experts also answer listener questions on Hancock Fabric’s bankruptcy, how prolonged low interest rates may affect the future returns on equities, charitable IRA contributions and T-Mobile’s new loyalty program that includes shares of their company stock. 

Case Study: An “Exception” to Using “Retirement” Money for Education

Our experts also delve into a case study about an investor who can take advantage of a Roth IRA conversion to diversify the tax status of his retirement assets, but it would mean saving less to his children’s 529 Plans. Managing Associate K.C. Smith, CFP® discusses the pros and cons behind using Roth IRA funds as a dual retirement/college savings.

Market Roundup: Despite Mid-Week Gains, Markets End Week Down

The markets started the week with upward movements with Financial stocks rebounding to lead the S&P 500 Index higher. Stocks stepped up on words from the Federal Reserve. Speaking before the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen said the central bank may boost interest rates further before the economy reaches its growth targets and cautioned against relying on the disappointing data of a single jobs report. On Tuesday, the markets traded with mixed moves, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 closed with slight gains, while the NASDAQ shed some points. Momentum faded somewhat in the afternoon. Texas Intermediate crude increased 1.4 percent to settle at $50.36 a barrel, resulting in an increase in several Energy sector stocks. Federal Reserve figures showed consumer credit increased $13.4 billion in April, versus average economist estimates of $18 billion. Indices returned to green territory on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 closing near an all-time high. Raw-materials and Industrial stocks led the upswing; however, Energy stocks took a breather despite a ramp up in crude oil. Despite rebounding from session lows, the markets landed slightly down on Thursday. Labor Department data showed new claims fell in the last week by 4,000 to 264,000. Indices continued trading in the red zone on Friday. In a preliminary measure, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment index dipped by 0.4 point to 94.3 in June versus estimates for a reading of 94 and shy of May’s final reading of 94.7. Elsewhere, West Texas Intermediate crude slipped three percent to close the week at $49.07 a barrel. 

Money Talks – June 4, 2016

This week on “Money Talks” Managing Associate Shawna Theriault, CFP®, C.P.A., joins hosts Matt Hames, CTFA, and Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, to discuss the market’s moves, the second estimate of first-quarter GDP, consumer sentiment and personal income reports. In this week’s case study, Shawna and Matt discuss how important it is to establish credit and highlight some of the best ways to do so. The experts also answer listeners’ questions on three stocks that were high-flyers for the last 10 years: Dollar Tree, Under Armour and Alexion Pharmaceuticals. They also discuss how wage protests may affect McDonald’s Corp. and how Uber has affected car rental companies Avis Budget Group and Hertz Holdings, Inc.

Market Roundup: Holiday-Shortened Week Ends in Green Territory

After observing Memorial Day, market action was mixed on Tuesday. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Index shed some points, while the NASDAQ landed in green territory for the session. Consumer confidence decreased this month, as the Conference Board reported a downswing to 92.6 in May from 94.7 in April, noting a slight slowing in the labor market. On another note, Commerce Department figures showed consumer spending ticked up in April with a 1% jump versus expectations of 0.7%. The result marked the strongest increase in seven years. Substantial demand for new vehicles and higher fuel prices led the advance. U.S. trading volumes were low on Wednesday, with nearly 6.5 billion shares exchanging hands compared with the year-to-date average of 7.8 billion shares. Despite the low volume, the major indices closed with gains. Indices closed with slight gains on Thursday, while the S&P 500 traded up to a seven-month high. Initial jobless claims decreased, dipping by 1,000 to 267,000. Crude oil moved up on a downswing in inventory levels when reserves retreated by 1.4 million barrels in the past week. Stocks ended in the red zone on Friday despite rebounding from early low levels. Less-than-stellar employment numbers likely led the decline. Labor Department figures showed an addition of 38,000 non-farm payrolls for May, versus economist expectations of 164,000. Additionally, numbers for March and April were downwardly revised by a combined amount of 59,000. Services industry activity also retreated in May as ISM non-manufacturing index dipped to 52.9 from 55.7 in April.