Weekly Economic Update 3/25/2019 In this week’s recap: the “yield curve” inverts for the first time this decade, the Federal Reserve adjusts its stance on interest rates, and the price of oil climbs. Provided by: Paul Lewis, CFP®,CWS® THE WEEK ON WALL STREET Friday, the yield of the 3-month Treasury bill exceeded the yield of the 10-year Treasury note for the first time in 12 years. For some analysts, this “inverted yield curve” may imply a short-term lessening of confidence. (Treasury yields move inversely to Treasury prices.)1 As a result, the S&P 500 ended the week 0.94% lower. The Nasdaq

Weekly Economic Update 1/21/2019 In this week’s recap: consumer sentiment declines, new ideas surface in U.S.-China trade talks, oil advances again, and the major indices post weekly gains. CONSUMER SENTIMENT HITS A 2-YEAR LOW Analysts surveyed by MarketWatch thought the University of Michigan’s preliminary January consumer sentiment index would display a reading of 97.5. Instead, it came in at just 90.7, dropping 7.6 points from its final December mark to its lowest level since October 2016. Richard Curtin, the economist who has long overseen the university’s survey, attributed the slip not only to households reacting to the partial federal government

Weekly Economic Update 1/14/2019 In this week’s recap: the CPI decreases, a service sector activity index takes a fall, oil’s rebound continues, and equities advance. Presented by: Paul Lewis, CFP®,CWS® FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE MARCH, INFLATION RETREATS December brought a 0.1% decline in the Consumer Price Index, the first in nine months. As in November, cheaper gasoline was a factor: gas prices took a 7.5% monthly fall. The CPI advanced 1.9% across 2018. The core CPI, which excludes food and energy costs, rose 0.2% in December for a third consecutive month and gained 2.2% for the year. In short,

Weekly Economic Update 1/7/2019 In this week’s recap: an impressive jobs report, a disappointing factory activity index, a slight recovery for oil, and some tailwinds on Wall Street. 2018 Ended with a hiring surge The latest Department of Labor jobs report suggests an economy with plenty of forward momentum. Employers added 312,000 net new jobs in December, the most in ten months. The main jobless rate rose 0.2% to 3.9% as more Americans entered the labor force; the U-6 rate, measuring underemployment, held at 7.6%. Last month, wages were improving at a rate of 3.2% per year, an increase of

Weekly Economic Update 12/17/2018 In this week’s recap: inflation moderates, oil prices head south, and equities have a tough week. As FUEL GROWS CHEAPER, INFLATION BECOMES TAMER Last week, the latest Consumer Price Index arrived, showing no move for headline inflation in November and a 0.2% core inflation increase. That precisely matched the consensus forecast of economists polled by Reuters. What held the headline CPI in check last month? You can credit a sudden drop in gas prices, which fell 4.2%. Annualized inflation declined to 2.2%. Overall producer prices only rose 0.1% last month, compared to an October ascent of

Weekly Economic Update 11/26/2018 In this week’s recap: a gain in existing home sales, a dip for consumer sentiment, more pain for the oil sector, and more losses for the big three. SUDDENLY, MORE HOMES SELL Existing home sales improved in October for the first time in seven months. The National Association of Realtors announced a 1.4% monthly increase, while also noting that the annualized sales pace was 5.1% slower than it had been 12 months earlier. Across the year ending in October, the median sales price for an existing home rose 3.8%. There were 4.3 months of housing inventory

10-YEAR TREASURY YIELD HITS A 7-YEAR PEAK Friday, the yield on the 10-year note reached 3.23%, its highest level since 2011. Its yield rose dramatically last week, influenced by hawkish comments from Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell and reports showing minimal unemployment and a swiftly expanding business sector. All this strengthened investor perception that the U.S. economy has hit its stride. It also suggested a near future with recurring interest rate hikes, costlier borrowing, and subdued spending. That possibility weighed on equities. For the week, the Nasdaq Composite fell 3.21% to 7,788.45, and the S&P 500, 0.97% to 2,885.57; the

Weekly Economic Update 9/24/2018 BLUE CHIPS HIT A 2018 HIGH On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average saw its best close since January. Friday took the index even higher, to another record settlement of 26,743.50. That capped a 2.25% weekly advance. The Dow was not the only major benchmark shattering records last week. The S&P 500 also settled at a historic peak Thursday before drifting slightly lower to 2,929.67 a day later; in five days, it rose 0.85%. For the Nasdaq Composite, the story was different: it declined 0.29% last week to 7,986.96.1,2 AUGUST WAS A FLAT MONTH FOR HOME

Weekly Economic Update 9/10/2018 LATEST JOBS REPORT CONFIRMS WAGE GROWTH IS ACCELERATING According to the Department of Labor’s newest employment report, average pay for U.S. private sector workers improved 2.9% in the 12 months ending in August. That is the best annualized wage boost since the end of the Great Recession in 2009 and an improvement from 2.7% in July. The economy added 201,000 net new jobs last month. The headline jobless rate remained at 3.9%; the U-6 rate, which includes both unemployed and underemployed Americans, declined 0.1% to 7.4%, a 17-year low.1 STRONG AUGUST SHOWINGS FOR THE ISM INDICES

Weekly Economic Update 8/27/2018 BULL MARKET MAKES HISTORY At the close on August 22, the current bull marked its 3,453th day, a record by S&P Dow Jones standards. Between March 9, 2009 and last Wednesday, the S&P 500 advanced 323%, with an annualized return of about 19%. Besides optimism, four other factors drove the market higher in the last nine-and-a-half years: easing by the Federal Reserve, earnings growth (corporate profits have improved in 30 of the past 35 quarters, with the only slump happening in 2015-16), share repurchases, and dip-buying on the assumption that stocks would recover from declines.1 HOME

Weekly Economic Update 8/13/2018 Facebook Google+ Twitter LinkedIn Email INFLATION AT 2.9%, CORE INFLATION AT 2.4% Friday, the Department of Labor reported these annualized gains through July of this year for the Consumer Price Index. Both the headline and core CPIs rose 0.2% last month, matching the consensus forecast of economists polled by Reuters. The yearly core inflation increase is the largest on record since September 2008. (The core inflation reading leaves out food and energy costs.) The Producer Price Index was flat in July, with the yearly advance declining slightly to 3.4%; the core PPI rose 0.3%, resulting in