Weekly Economic Update 5/31/2016

Economic Update

TWO HOUSING INDICATORS HIT MULTIYEAR HIGHS While monthly real estate indicators are often later revised, the latest numbers for new home buying and pending home sales are impressive, indeed. The Census Bureau reported a 16.6% jump in new home sales in April, putting them at an 8-year peak. Housing contract activity surged 5.1% last month, … Read more

Weekly Market Commentary 5/31/2016

Weekly Market Commentary 5/31/2016

The Markets Everyone makes mistakes. Some people learn from them. In GMO’s March 2016 white paper, James Montier and Philip Pilkington continued to explore the Federal Reserve’s influence on the stock market. It was a process they’d begun in 2015 as they sought “…to understand why our forecast for the S&P 500 had been too … Read more

Explaining New DOL Fiduciary Rules – Impact on 401k Plan Participants

If your company sponsors a 401(k) plan, you must read this. The Labor Department has issued new rules for tax-advantaged retirement accounts. Potentially, they affect every 401(k) plan participant. They also impact IRA rollovers originating from 401(k) plans, and investment recommendations that may be made pertaining to any distributions from 401(k)s. Under the new rules, … Read more

Weekly Economic Update 5/16/2016

Economic Update

A MAJOR JUMP FOR RETAIL SALES Friday, the Department of Commerce reported a 1.3% April gain in U.S. retail purchases. The core retail sales advance was also impressive at 0.9%. Minus car and truck buying, retail sales were still up 0.8% last month.1 IMPROVEMENT IN CONSUMER SENTIMENT The University of Michigan’s much-watched household sentiment index … Read more

Weekly Market Commentary 5/9/2016

The Markets Reading economic portents can be tricky. For example, do signs that economic growth is slowing – like last week’s employment report, which was anemic relative to consensus forecasts, and first quarter’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth – mean the economy is headed for trouble? Or, does it mean the economy is going to … Read more

Weekly Economic Update 5/9/2016

Economic Update

APRIL JOBS REPORT RAISES QUESTIONS Employers hired 160,000 more workers than they let go last month, and that net job gain was the smallest since September. Does this suggest a job market losing steam, or does it hint at an economy nearing full employment? The hiring number may make the Federal Reserve reconsider the possibility … Read more

Monthly Economic Update May 2016

Monthly Economic Update May 2016

THE MONTH IN BRIEF The S&P 500 managed to advance 0.27% in April as many companies beat earnings and revenue forecasts. Some important commodities posted remarkable monthly gains. Existing home sales rebounded, and manufacturing seemed to have recovered from its winter slump. Hiring continued to impress, but consumer spending figures and consumer confidence indices did … Read more

Weekly Economic Update 5/2/2016

Economic Update

INCOME OUTDISTANCES SPENDING Personal income rose 0.4% in March, yet the Commerce Department reported personal spending up just 0.1%. That mild uptick contributed to a poor first quarter for GDP; last week, the Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated Q1 growth at 0.5%.1 CONSUMER OPTIMISM DECLINES The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index dipped 1.9 points in … Read more