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Financial News for the Week Ending July 19th

All the news you need to stay informed about what’s currently driving the market – courtesy of Raffa Wealth Management, LLC.

US stocks posted gains for the week despite rising geopolitical tensions on earnings and merger and acquisition activity.  The S&P 500 gained 0.5% and the Dow rose 0.9%.  Abroad, Japan edged up 0.3% and Europe rose 0.8%.  Bonds ended the week with a gain after posting the largest one day jump do to market jitters from the events in Ukraine and Gaza.  The 10 year Treasury ended the week at 2.485%.  Article

US retail sales rose just 0.2% as consumers remain cautious spenders.  Article

China’s growth picked up in the second quarter to a 7.5% annual rate slightly topping economists’ expectations.

In testimony before congress Yellen reiterated her view that the economy still needed the Fed’s help, but said if job growth continued to outpace estimates interest rate increases could arrive sooner.

Housing starts sank 9.3% in June driven by wet weather in the south.  Analysts expect the drop to be temporary.

Citigroup agreed to settle with the US government for $7 billion over allegations it knowingly sold shoddy mortgages to investors.  The bank also announced second quarter earnings that plummeted 96% due to a charge related to the settlement.  However, the numbers beat analyst estimates.

Apple and IBM announced a partnership to create easy to use business apps and sell iPhone and iPads to IBM’s corporate customers.

Reynolds agreed to purchase Lorillard for $25 billion in a merger of the number two and three cigarette makers.

Time Warner rejected an $80 billion bid by 21st Century Fox.

US drug maker AbbVie purchased Irish drug maker Shire for $54 billion in order to cut its taxes by moving its base of operations to a more tax friendly country.  Article

JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Blackrock, Morgan Stanely, Google, BNY Mellon and GE also posted 2nd quarter earnings that topped expectations, while Yahoo and IBM posted disappointing revenue numbers.

Microsoft announced it would be cutting 18,000 jobs or 14% of its employees.  Most of the cuts are coming from its tablet and phone business.



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