Weekly Market Commentary 2/1/2016

The Markets How low can you go? The Bank of Japan (BOJ) dove into the negative interest rate rabbit hole last week when it dropped its benchmark interest rate to minus 0.1 percent. If you’ve been following Japan’s story, then you know the country has been struggling with deflation for almost two decades. The BOJ’s goal is to push inflation up to 2 percent. MarketWatch explained the idea behind negative interest rates: “Central banks use their deposit to influence how banks handle their reserves. In the case of negative rates, central banks want to dissuade lenders from parking cash with

Economic Update

February 1, 2016 ONE CONFIDENCE POLL RISES, ANOTHER FALLS The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose in January to 98.1, beating the Briefing.com forecast of 96.3. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index lost 0.6 points on the month, ending January at 92.0. (1,2) NEW HOME SALES LEAP 10.8% Census Bureau data showed new home buying at its hottest pace in 10 months in December – a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 544,000 sales. New home sales were up 14.5% for 2015. In other housing news, the National Association of Realtors said pending home sales rose 0.1% in December after