Market Commentary: July 24, 2017

 
 

The Markets (as of market close July 21, 2017)

Except for the Dow, each of the indexes listed here posted modest gains by the close of last week. Favorable corporate earnings reports helped boost the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, which performed the best. The Russell 2000 gained almost 0.50% and the Global Dow inched ahead a little over 0.1%. Year-to-date, the tech-heavy Nasdaq leads the way as it surges toward a 20.0% gain, followed by the Global Dow, the S&P 500, the Dow, and the Russell 2000. Low inflation may be influencing investors to move away from Treasuries, as yields fell sharply last week. A midweek push in oil prices wasn’t enough to keep them from closing the week below $46 per barrel.

The price of crude oil (WTI) closed at $45.60 per barrel, down from the prior week’s closing price of $46.68 per barrel. The price of gold (COMEX) closed last week at $1,261.10 by late Friday afternoon, $33.10 ahead of the prior week’s price of $1,228.00. The national average retail regular gasoline price decreased to $2.278 per gallon on July 17, 2017, $0.019 lower than the previous week’s price, but $0.048 higher than a year ago.

Market/Index 2016 Close Prior Week As of 7/21 Weekly Change YTD Change
DJIA 19762.60 21637.74 21580.07 -0.27% 9.20%
Nasdaq 5383.12 6312.47 6387.75 1.19% 18.66%
S&P 500 2238.83 2459.27 2472.54 0.54% 10.44%
Russell 2000 1357.13 1428.82 1435.84 0.49% 5.80%
Global Dow 2528.21 2829.44 2833.20 0.13% 12.06%
Fed. Funds target rate 0.50%-0.75% 1.00%-1.25% 1.00%-1.25% 0 bps 50 bps
10-year Treasuries 2.44% 2.33% 2.23% -10 bps -21 bps

Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.

Last Week’s Economic Headlines

·         Fluctuations in import and export prices provide a useful gauge of inflationary trends both domestically and abroad. In June, import and export prices declined 0.2%, respectively. Over the last 12 months, import prices have risen 1.5%, while export prices have increased 0.6% over the same period. This report is in line with other inflationary indicators, which show that price growth has stagnated during the second quarter of the year.

·         The beginning of summer has seen new residential construction gain momentum following a lackluster spring. For June, the number of housing starts (residential construction that’s begun) jumped 8.3% over May, the number of building permits issued increased by 7.4%, and housing completions advanced 5.2%.

·         In the week ended July 15, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 233,000, a decrease of 15,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 from 247,000 to 248,000. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate remained 1.4%, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate. During the week ended July 8, there were 1,977,000 receiving unemployment insurance benefits, an increase of 28,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 4,000 from 1,945,000 to 1,949,000.

Eye on the Week Ahead

The FOMC meets this week; however it is not expected that the Committee will increase interest rates at this meeting. The FOMC next meets at the end of September. The latest economic information on the second-quarter GDP is released at the end of this week. According to the first report for the second quarter, the economy slowed compared to the first quarter — advancing at a rate of 1.4%. Reports for new and existing home sales for June are also available this week. Existing home sales climbed 1.1% in May, while new home sales advanced 2.9%.

Data sources: News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e. wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations. Market data: Based on data reported in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/Bloomberg.com Market Data (oil spot price, WTI Cushing, OK); www.goldprice.org (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates). All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighted index composed of 2,000 U.S. small-cap common stocks. The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide. Market indices listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.

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IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES

Content has been provided by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc.  Broadridge does not provide Investment, tax or legal advice.  The information presented here is not specific to any individual’s personal circumstances.

This publication is provided as a service to clients and associates of PFA solely for their own use and information.  The material is derived from sources believed to be reliable but its accuracy and the opinions based thereon are not guaranteed and have not been verified.  The content in this publication is for general information and education purposes only and not intended to serve as individual investment advice.  You should seek independent advice from a professional based on your individual circumstances.  The information in these materials may change at any time without notice.  To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law.  Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.

This communication is strictly intended for individuals residing in the state(s) of CA, FL, IL, MO and TX. No offers may be made or accepted from any resident outside the specific states referenced.

Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2017.

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The Markets: (As of Close July 14, 2017)

Both the Dow and S&P 500 reached record highs last week, and each of the indexes listed here posted gains. While the large-cap indexes reached new highs, the tech-heavy Nasdaq had the best week, climbing over 2.50% by last week’s end, followed by the Global Dow, which gained a little over 2.0%. With consumer prices holding steady inflation appears to be stagnant, which bodes well for the Fed holding interest rates at their current level. This may have prompted investors to sell long-term bonds as prices dropped, hiking yields higher.

The price of crude oil (WTI) closed at $46.68 per barrel, up from the prior week’s closing price of $44.30 per barrel. The price of gold (COMEX) closed last week at $1,228.00 by late Friday afternoon, $16.00 ahead of the prior week’s price of $1,212.00. The national average retail regular gasoline price increased to $2.297 per gallon on July 10, 2017, $0.037 higher than the previous week’s price and $0.044 higher than a year ago.

Market/Index 2016 Close Prior Week As of 7/14 Weekly Change YTD Change
DJIA 19762.60 21414.34 21637.74 1.04% 9.49%
Nasdaq 5383.12 6153.08 6312.47 2.59% 17.26%
S&P 500 2238.83 2425.18 2459.27 1.41% 9.85%
Russell 2000 1357.13 1415.84 1428.82 0.92% 5.28%
Global Dow 2528.21 2772.66 2829.44 2.05% 11.91%
Fed. Funds target rate 0.50%-0.75% 1.00%-1.25% 1.00%-1.25% 0 bps 50 bps
10-year Treasuries 2.44% 2.38% 2.33% -5 bps -11 bps

Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.

Last Week’s Economic Headlines

  • In a sign that inflation is weakening, the prices consumers pay for goods and services, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, were unchanged in June compared to May. Over the last 12 months, consumer prices have increased 1.6%. The core CPI, less volatile food and energy prices, managed a subtle 0.1% bump for the month, while increasing 1.7% since June 2016. If expanding inflation is one of the key justifications used by the Fed in raising interest rates, this report makes it likely that rates will not be increased when the FOMC next meets at the end of July.
  • The prices producers received for their goods and services (as measured by the Producer Price Index) increased by 0.1% in June. Producer prices were unchanged in May and rose 0.5% in April. Over the 12 months ended in June, producer prices have advanced 2.0%. Almost 80% of the June rise in prices was attributable to a 0.2% increase in prices for services. Food prices rose 0.6%, while energy prices dipped 0.5%. Producer prices less the volatile food, energy, and trade services components increased 0.2% for the month, and 2.0% for the 12 months ended in June. Since increases in prices at the producer level are usually passed on to consumers, investors may seek to monitor the Producer Price Index to get a potential read on inflationary trends. Theoretically, with no real increase in prices, more money should be available for investment.
  • Retail sales fell 0.2% in June following a 0.1% decline in May, indicating consumers have apparently curtailed their spending. Sales at food and beverage stores fell 0.4%, restaurant sales dropped 0.6%, department store sales were down 0.7%, and gasoline sales plummeted 1.3% — a reflection of weakening prices at the pumps.
  • The federal deficit expanded in June to $90.23 billion compared to May’s monthly deficit of $88.42 billion. For the fiscal year, which began in October, the deficit sits at $523.08 billion. Over the same nine months last fiscal year, the deficit was $399.16 billion. An expanding deficit has a direct impact on the yields on government securities, which the government sells to provide necessary funds to meet its expenses. The more government notes and bonds that are issued, the lower the price and higher the yield. The yield on government securities can impact other interest bearing securities as well.
  • According to the Federal Reserve’s monthly report, industrial production rose 0.4% in June for its fifth consecutive monthly increase. Manufacturing output moved up 0.2%. The index for mining posted a gain of 1.6% in June, just slightly below its pace in May. The index for utilities, however, remained unchanged. For the second quarter as a whole, industrial production advanced at an annual rate of 4.7%, primarily as a result of strong increases for mining and utilities. Manufacturing output rose at an annual rate of 1.4%, a slightly slower increase than in the first quarter.
  • According to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of job openings decreased to 5.7 million (-301,000) on the last business day of May. Over the month, hires increased to 5.5 million (+429,000) and separations increased to 5.3 million (+251,000). Within separations, the quits rate increased 0.1 percentage point to 2.2% and the layoffs and discharges rate was unchanged at 1.1%. Over the 12 months ended in May, hires totaled 63.2 million and separations totaled 60.9 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.4 million. The JOLTS report differs from the more current employment situation report by providing specific information on job openings, hires, and separations.
  • In the week ended July 8, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 247,000, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 2,000 from 248,000 to 250,000. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate remained 1.4% for the week ended July 1, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate. During the week ended July 1, there were 1,945,000 receiving unemployment insurance benefits, a decrease of 20,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 9,000 from 1,956,000 to 1,965,000.

Eye on the Week Ahead

There isn’t much available in terms of economic indicators this week. One report worth noting focuses on import and export prices in June. An indicator of inflation in products traded globally, the Import and Export Price Indexes impacts bond prices and equity markets, particularly when importing inflation rises, which often leads to bond and stock prices decreasing.

Data sources: News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e. wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations. Market data: Based on data reported in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/Bloomberg.com Market Data (oil spot price, WTI Cushing, OK); www.goldprice.org (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates). All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighted index composed of 2,000 U.S. small-cap common stocks. The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide. Market indices listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES

Content has been provided by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc.  Broadridge does not provide Investment, tax or legal advice.  The information presented here is not specific to any individual’s personal circumstances.

This publication is provided as a service to clients and associates of PFA solely for their own use and information.  The material is derived from sources believed to be reliable but its accuracy and the opinions based thereon are not guaranteed and have not been verified.  The content in this publication is for general information and education purposes only and not intended to serve as individual investment advice.  You should seek independent advice from a professional based on your individual circumstances.  The information in these materials may change at any time without notice.  To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law.  Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.

This communication is strictly intended for individuals residing in the state(s) of CA, FL, IL, MO and TX. No offers may be made or accepted from any resident outside the specific states referenced.

Market Commentary: July 10, 2017

The Markets (as of market close July 7, 2017)

Stocks ended last week higher, despite falling energy shares. The Dow and S&P 500 rose last Friday on the heels of June’s strong labor report. Of the indexes listed here, the Dow led the way followed by the Nasdaq and the Global Dow. The yield on 10-year Treasuries climbed closer to its 2016 closing value as long-term bond prices fell, sending yields higher.

The price of crude oil (WTI) closed at $44.30 per barrel, down from the prior week’s closing price of $46.33 per barrel. The price of gold (COMEX) decreased last week, closing at $1,212.00 by late Friday afternoon, down from the prior week’s price of $1,241.40. The national average retail regular gasoline price decreased for the fourth week in a row to $2.260 per gallon on July 3, 2017, $0.028 lower than the previous week’s price and $0.031 less than a year ago.

Market/Index 2016 Close Prior Week As of 7/7 Weekly Change YTD Change
DJIA 19762.60 21349.63 21414.34 0.30% 8.36%
Nasdaq 5383.12 6140.42 6153.08 0.21% 14.30%
S&P 500 2238.83 2423.41 2425.18 0.07% 8.32%
Russell 2000 1357.13 1415.36 1415.84 0.03% 4.33%
Global Dow 2528.21 2769.39 2772.66 0.12% 9.67%
Fed. Funds target rate 0.50%-0.75% 1.00%-1.25% 1.00%-1.25% 0 bps 50 bps
10-year Treasuries 2.44% 2.30% 2.38% 8 bps -6 bps
10-year Treasuries 2.44% 2.30% 2.38% 8 bps -6 bps

Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.

Continue reading

MARKET COMMENTARY: THE MARKETS: (AS OF CLOSE JUNE 30, 2017)

Last week was not a positive one for equity investors. In a week of heavy trading, the Dow and S&P 500 each lost value while the Nasdaq dropped nearly 2.0%. Of the indexes listed here, only the Russell 2000 and the Global Dow didn’t lose ground, eking out minuscule gains. News that the Bank of England is considering an interest rate hike, coupled with word that the European Central Bank may be scaling back its long run of quantitative easing, may have prompted investor activity. Long-term bond yields also shot up, with the 10-year Treasuries climbing 16 basis points as bond prices fell. A small increase in oil prices helped lift energy stocks higher.

The price of crude oil (WTI) closed at $46.33 per barrel, up from the prior week’s closing price of $43.15 per barrel. The price of gold (COMEX) decreased last week, closing at $1,241.40 by late Friday afternoon, down from the prior week’s price of $1,257.40. The national average retail regular gasoline price decreased to $2.288 per gallon on June 26, 2017, $0.030 lower than the prior week’s price and $0.041 less than a year ago.

Market/Index 2016 Close Prior Week As of 6/30 Weekly Change YTD Change
DJIA 19762.60 21394.76 21349.63 -0.21% 8.03%
Nasdaq 5383.12 6265.25 6140.42 -1.99% 14.07%
S&P 500 2238.83 2438.30 2423.41 -0.61% 8.24%
Russell 2000 1357.13 1414.78 1415.36 0.04% 4.29%
Global Dow 2528.21 2769.05 2769.39 0.01% 9.54%
Fed. Funds target rate 0.50%-0.75% 1.00%-1.25% 1.00%-1.25% 0 bps 50 bps
10-year Treasuries 2.44% 2.14% 2.30% 16 bps -14 bps

Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.

Last Week’s Headlines

·         The final report on the first-quarter gross domestic product showed growth improved marginally, but it is still relatively weak compared to the fourth quarter. The GDP increased at an annual rate of 1.4% in the first quarter of 2017, according to the third and final estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The second estimate released in May estimated the GDP growing at a rate of 1.2%. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the GDP increased 2.1%. The deceleration in the GDP in the first quarter reflected a downturn in private inventory investment, a deceleration in personal consumption expenditures (consumer spending), and a downturn in state and local government spending that were partly offset by an upturn in exports, an acceleration in nonresidential (business) fixed investment, and a deceleration in imports. Gross domestic income grew 1.0% in the first quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 1.4% in the fourth quarter.

·         Consumers did more saving than spending in May, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal income increased $67.1 billion, or 0.4%, in May, while disposable (after-tax) income jumped $71.7 billion, or 0.5%. However, personal consumption expenditures (consumer spending) rose a scant $7.3 billion, or 0.1%. The increase wasn’t attributable to wages and salaries (+0.1%), but reflected increases in dividend income, personal income transfers (generally to savings, which rose 0.4%), and proprietors’ income. Core prices, less food and energy, increased 0.1% and are up a marginal 1.4% year-on-year. While this report is not necessarily negative, it is in line with other economic indicators, which show inflation in particular, and the economy in general, slowed in May.

·         The manufacturing sector may be weakening after new orders for long-lasting goods fell for the second consecutive month. New orders for durable goods fell $2.5 billion, or 1.1%, in May, following a 0.9% decrease in April. The drop in new orders is the largest monthly decrease in 6 months. Excluding transportation, new orders increased a marginal 0.1% for the month. Shipments of manufactured durable goods in May, up following two consecutive monthly decreases, increased $1.8 billion, or 0.8%, to $234.9 billion. Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in May, down following two consecutive monthly increases, decreased $2.3 billion, or 0.2%, to $1,120.1 billion. Inventories of manufactured durable goods in May, up 10 of the last 11 months, increased $0.7 billion, or 0.2%, to $395.4 billion.

·         An uptick in consumer exports helped narrow the trade deficit in May, according to the Census Bureau. The international trade deficit was $65.9 billion in May, down $1.2 billion from $67.1 billion in April. Exports of goods for May were $127.1 billion, $0.5 billion more than April exports. Imports of goods for May were $193.0 billion, $0.8 billion less than April imports.

·         The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had fallen in May, increased somewhat in June. The index rose to 118.9 for June, up from May’s 117.6 reading. Consumers remained upbeat about current economic conditions, but were less enthusiastic about the short-term outlook, as the Expectations Index declined from 102.3 in May to 100.6 in June.

·         Respondents in the University of Michigan’s Surveys of Consumers seemed to follow consumers’ sentiments from The Conference Board’s report. The Index of Consumer Sentiment dropped in June to 95.1 from 97.1 in May. Consumers viewed current economic conditions favorably, as that index increased from 111.7 to 112.5. However, the Index of Consumer Expectations decreased from 87.7 to 83.9 — an indication that consumers aren’t too sure about the future of the economy.

·         In the week ended June 24, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 244,000, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 from 241,000 to 242,000. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate remained 1.4% for the week ended June 17, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate. During the week ended June 17, there were 1,948,000 receiving unemployment insurance, an increase of 6,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 2,000 from 1,944,000 to 1,942,000.

Eye on the Week Ahead

Trading should be slower during the holiday-shortened week. The June employment report is released at week’s end. The unemployment rate has fallen over the past few months, but so has the number of new hires. Wage inflation has been moderate at best and isn’t expected to pick up steam any time soon.

Data sources: News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e. wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations. Market data: Based on data reported in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/Bloomberg.com Market Data (oil spot price, WTI Cushing, OK); www.goldprice.org (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates). All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighted index composed of 2,000 U.S. small-cap common stocks. The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide. Market indices listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.

Market Commentary: The Markets: (As of Close June 23, 2017)

Market Week: June 26, 2017

A drop in energy shares is keeping the large cap indexes of the S&P 500 and Dow in check, although both benchmarks posted moderate weekly gains. Last week’s big mover was the Nasdaq, which advanced close to 2.0% and is up over 16.0% year-to-date. The yield on 10-year Treasuries slipped 2 basis points last week and is down 30 basis points since the end of last year. Energy stocks declined again last week as the price of oil continues to fall into bear market territory.

The price of crude oil (WTI) closed at $43.15 per barrel, down from the prior week’s closing price of $44.67 per barrel. The price of gold (COMEX) increased last week, closing at $1,257.40 by late Friday afternoon, up from the prior week’s price of $1,255.20. The national average retail regular gasoline price decreased to $2.318 per gallon on June 19, 2017, $0.048 lower than the prior week’s price and $0.035 less than a year ago.

Market/Index 2016 Close Prior Week As of 6/23 Weekly Change YTD Change
DJIA 19762.60 21384.28 21394.76 0.05% 8.26%
Nasdaq 5383.12 6151.76 6265.25 1.84% 16.39%
S&P 500 2238.83 2433.15 2438.30 0.21% 8.91%
Russell 2000 1357.13 1406.73 1414.78 0.57% 4.25%
Global Dow 2528.21 2764.97 2769.05 0.15% 9.53%
Fed. Funds target rate 0.50%-

0.75%

1.00%-

1.25%

1.00%-

1.25%

0 bps 50 bps
10-year Treasuries 2.44% 2.16% 2.14% -2 bps -30 bps

Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.

 

Last Week’s Headlines

·         The housing sector may have shown signs of improvement in May, as existing home sales climbed 1.1% for the month — 2.7% above a year ago. Total housing inventory rose 2.1%, which helped increase the number of sales. However, inventories remain low, which is driving up prices. The median existing-home price in May was $252,800, which is the highest median price on record and is up 5.8% from a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.7 months this time last year.

·         At an annual rate of 610,000, sales of new single-family homes in May were 2.9% above their revised April rate, and 8.9% above the May 2016 estimate. The median sales price of new houses sold in May 2017 was $345,800. The average sales price was $406,400. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of May was 268,000. This represents a supply of 5.3 months at the current sales rate — unchanged from April.

·         In the week ended June 17, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 241,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 from 237,000 to 238,000. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.4% for the week ended June 10, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ended June 10 was 1,944,000, an increase of 8,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up 1,000 from 1,935,000 to 1,936,000.

Eye on the Week Ahead

The final week of the month and second quarter offers a last look at the rate of economic growth with the release of the final report for the first-quarter GDP. Inflation is slowing, a trend that is expected to carry over to consumer income and spending as detailed in this week’s May report on personal income and outlays.

Data sources: News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e. wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations. Market data: Based on data reported in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/Bloomberg.com Market Data (oil spot price, WTI Cushing, OK); www.goldprice.org (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates). All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighted index composed of 2,000 U.S. small-cap common stocks. The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide. Market indices listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.

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Market Commentary: The Markets as of Close June 16, 2017

The benchmark indexes listed here seemed to follow last week’s mixed economic news. While the Fed raised interest rates based on what it perceived as favorable labor and economic reports, inflation is definitely receding and the housing market has stalled. Equities were mixed as the small caps of the Russell 2000 and the tech stocks of the Nasdaq fell back, while the large caps of the S&P 500 and Dow posted marginal gains. Rising interest rates were offset by lower inflationary trends, which may account for the lack of movement in the 10-year Treasuries. Continue reading

Market Commentary: The Markets: (As of Close June 9, 2017)

The benchmark indexes listed here produced mixed results last week. The large-cap Dow gained a little more than 0.25%, while the small-cap Russell 2000 jumped over 1.0% by last week’s end. On the other hand, tech stocks took a hit as the Nasdaq fell over 1.5%. Long-term bond prices fell last week as evidenced by the 4-basis-point jump in the yield of 10-year Treasuries. It’s hard to tell what impact, if any, the domestic (Comey testimony) and foreign (UK election) political developments may have had on the market.

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Market Commentary: The Markets: (As of Close June 2, 2017)

New highs were reached by the S&P 500, the Dow, and Nasdaq as stocks rose for the second week in a row. The small-cap Russell 2000, which had been lagging, scored the highest weekly gains, closing up 1.67%. While the lackluster jobs report apparently didn’t have much of an impact on equities, it may be the reason long-term bond prices climbed as the yield on 10-year Treasuries fell to their lowest level since November of last year.

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Market Commentary: The Markets (as of close May 26, 2017)

Following two weeks of losses, equities rebounded last week, with each of the benchmark indexes listed here posting week-over-week gains, led by the Nasdaq, which climbed over 2.0% for the week and is up 15% since the beginning of the year. The S&P reached another record high last Friday, posting its largest weekly gain since the end of April. The Global Dow advanced less than 1.0%, but is firmly in the black for the year, up almost 10.0% since December 31, 2016. Continue reading

Market Commentary: The Markets (as of close May 19, 2017)

A rally late last week pulled equities higher, but not enough to overcome a midweek tumble. Only the Global Dow posted a slight gain by last week’s end, as each of the other indexes listed here lost value. Possibly shaken by continuing controversy between Russia and the White House, investors appeared to move from equities to bonds, with the yield on 10-year Treasuries falling 9 basis points from the previous week while dropping over 20 points year-to-date.

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