Weekly Economic Update 3/14/2016

STOCKS SETTLE AT 2016 HIGHS

A 5-day gain of 1.10% left the S&P 500 at 2,022.19 at the closing bell Friday. Settling at 17,213.31 Friday afternoon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.20% for the week while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.67% to end the week at 4,748.47. On March 11, the S&P settled above its moving average for the first time since December 30, and both the S&P and DJIA had their highest closes of the year, reaching peaks unseen since intraday trading on January 4. (1)

OIL RALLIES, GOLD RETREATS
Light sweet crude closed at $38.50 a barrel Friday on the NYMEX, going +7.2% in five trading days. It was the highest settlement for a most-active contract since December. Gold went -0.9% for the week as appetite for risk grew, settling Friday at $1,259.40 an ounce in COMEX trading. (2,3)

WALL STREET WATCHES ECB, WAITS ON FED
Economists polled by Reuters widely believe the Federal Reserve will leave interest rates alone next week, but in their consensus estimate, they put the chance of a rate hike by mid-year at 60%. The European Central Bank went in for more easing last week, unexpectedly expanding the scope of its economic stimulus measures and reducing all three of its interest rates. (4)

BULL MARKET TURNS SEVEN
At 84 months, this bull market is now the third-longest in history, and it could soon surpass the 1949-56 bull, which ended after 85½ months. The current bull market rose an astonishing 68.6% in its first year. It advanced more than 10% in five of its first six years. It has lost ground over the past 12 months, but it has been rebounding. (5)

THIS WEEK: On Monday, Wall Street considers Q1 earnings from Cintas and Lennar. February’s PPI, February retail sales numbers and earnings from Oracle arrive Tuesday. Wednesday, the Federal Reserve releases its latest policy statement; investors will also evaluate the February CPI, data on February housing starts and industrial output, and earnings announcements from FedEx, Guess?, Jabil Circuit, and Williams-Sonoma. Thursday brings a new initial jobless claims report, plus earnings from Adobe Systems, Aeropostale, Lands’ End, and Michaels Companies. The University of Michigan’s preliminary March consumer sentiment index appears Friday, along with Q4 results from Tiffany.

WEEKLY QUOTE
“Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.”
– Andre Gide

WEEKLY TIP
If your student will graduate from college with multiple, large student loans with different lenders, consolidating those loans may leave just one payment to one lender at one low interest rate. If your student has multiple but relatively small student loans, just paying them off as quickly as possible is often a better choice than consolidation.

WEEKLY RIDDLE
What mathematical symbol can be put between 5 and 9 to get a number bigger than 5 and smaller than 9?

Last week’s riddle:
You drop a coin into a bottle through its opening. Then, you push a cork into that same bottle opening to seal the opening. How do you get the coin out of the bottle without breaking the bottle or taking out the cork?

Last week’s answer:
Push the cork into the bottle.

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This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. Market indices discussed are unmanaged. Investors cannot invest in unmanaged indices. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.
Citations.
1 – cnbc.com/2016/03/11/us-markets.html [3/11/16]
2 – marketwatch.com/story/crude-zigzags-back-above-38-a-barrel-amid-production-freeze-questions-2016-03-11 [3/11/16]
3 – marketwatch.com/story/gold-prices-dull-as-dollar-stocks-oil-gain-2016-03-11/ [3/11/16]
4 – nytimes.com/reuters/2016/03/10/business/10reuters-usa-economy-poll.html [3/10/16]
5 – usatoday.com/story/money/markets/2016/03/08/wall-street-bull-market-turns-7/81438562/ [3/8/16]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=3%2F9%2F09&x=0&y=0 [3/11/16]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=3%2F9%2F16&x=0&y=0 [3/11/16]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=3%2F11%2F15&x=0&y=0 [3/11/16]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=3%2F11%2F15&x=0&y=0 [3/11/16]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=3%2F11%2F15&x=0&y=0 [3/11/16]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=3%2F11%2F11&x=0&y=0 [3/11/16]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=3%2F11%2F11&x=0&y=0 [3/11/16]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=3%2F11%2F11&x=0&y=0 [3/11/16]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=3%2F10%2F06&x=0&y=0 [3/11/16]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=3%2F10%2F06&x=0&y=0 [3/11/16]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=3%2F10%2F06&x=0&y=0 [3/11/16]
7 – markets.wsj.com/us [3/11/16]
8 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [3/11/16]
9 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [3/11/16]

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