Category: Weekly Updates

Weekly Updates

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through May 21st

US stocks ended another week lower with the Dow down for its seventh straight week as fears of a recession pushed markets lower. The S&P 500 fell 3.0% for the week and the Dow ended the week 2.9% lower. Foreign markets rebounded from weeks of decline with the FTSE All World Ex US up 1.9% for the week. US crude ended the week at $110.69 per barrel slightly up from $110.35 the week prior. The 10-year Treasury yield declined to 2.79% down from 2.94% the week prior.

CPI increased by 8.3% in April v. the expected 8.1% but was a decline from March’s 8.5% increase, a sign inflation may be peaking. On a monthly basis, seasonally adjusted CPI increased by 0.3% compared to a 1.2% increase in March.

China’s CPI increased by 2.1% in April from a year earlier, slightly above the expected 2% increase. The increase was the biggest jump in five months, accelerating from March’s 1.5% increase.

US seasonally adjusted retail sales rose for a fourth consecutive month, up 0.9% in April compared to March. Industrial production increased by 1.1% in April for a fourth straight month of gains.

US housing sales declined for a third straight month as record home prices and rapidly rising mortgage rates cool down the housing market.

Chinese retail sales declined by 11% in April from a year earlier, it was the second straight month of declines and the largest contraction since March 2020.

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through May 7th

US stocks ended a volatile week, which saw both the largest daily gain and daily decline of the year, slightly lower. The S&P 500 and Dow both ended the week 0.2% lower. Foreign markets sharply declined with the FTSE All World Ex US down 3.0% for the week. Markets focused on the actions central banks are taking to get inflation under control and their comments on how aggressive they will be in the future. US crude ended the week at $109.77 per barrel up from $104.69 the week prior. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 3.03% up from 2.94% the week prior. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose above 3% for the first time since November 2018.

The Fed approved a half percent rate increase, the largest in over two decades, and plans to reduce its asset portfolio. Fed officials broadly agree that additional half percentage point increases may be warranted in upcoming meetings. Officials are not actively discussing a larger three quarter of a percent increase. The Fed plans on shrinking its asset holding passively by allowing bonds to mature without reinvesting the proceeds into new securities rather than by selling them in the open market.

The U.S. economy added 428,000 jobs in April above the consensus estimate of 395,000. The unemployment rate remained at 3.6%.

The Bank of England raised its key rate to 1% from 0.75%, the fourth time its raised rates in as many meetings. The BOE signaled it is likely to move cautiously as worries grow over the possibility of a recession.

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through April 30th

Global markets were lower for the last week of April. The S&P 500 declined 3.3% and the Dow fell 2.5% for the week. The FTSE All World Ex US was down 1.54% for the week. Concerns over slowing global growth added additional pressure to a market already dealing with high Inflation and supply chain disruptions. US crude ended the week at $104.69 per barrel up from $102.07 the week prior. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.94% from 2.90% the week prior.

US real GDP (inflation-adjusted) unexpectedly fell short of economist estimates and shrank by 1.4% in the first quarter, down from 6.9% of growth in the previous quarter. Consumer spending continued to be strong, rising at an annual rate of 2.7% in the first quarter from 2.5% in the prior quarter.

Without adjusting for seasonality, employers spent 4.5% more on worker compensations in the first quarter compared with the same period a year earlier. The fastest increase in over two decades. Seasonally adjusted compensation increased 1.4% in the first quarter compared with a 1.0% increase in the fourth quarter.

Fidelity will be the first major retirement plan provider to allow investors to hold cryptocurrencies in their IRA accounts.

Concerns over the economic impacts of strict policies to combat Covid caused the worst sell off in Chinese stocks in over two years. The Yuan hit its lowest level since 2020.

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through April 23rd

U.S. stocks posted another week of declines. The S&P 500 fell 2.7% and the Dow was down 1.9% for the week. Foreign stocks also declined with the FTSE All World Ex US down 0.8% for the week. Negative effects from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, high inflation, and Covid lockdowns in China continued to push global markets lower. US crude ended the week at $102.07 per barrel down from $106.95 the week prior. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.90% from 2.83% the week prior.

Fed chief Powell indicated the central bank was likely to raise interest rates by a half percentage point at its next meeting.

US home prices hit a record in March up 15% versus the year prior, despite rapidly rising mortgage rates.

Corporate earnings continue to be strong with about 80% of S&P 500 companies that have reported beating expectations.

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through April 16th

U.S. stocks declined for the week as surging inflation pushed equities lower, the S&P 500 declined 2.1% and the Dow was down 0.8% for the week. Foreign stocks fell as the war and Covid lockdowns continue to constrain supply chains, the FTSE All World Ex US was down 0.8% for the week. US crude ended the week at $106.95 per barrel up from $98.26 the week prior. The 10-year Treasury yield increased to 2.83% from 2.70% the week prior.

Skyrocketing energy and food costs as well as strong consumer demand pushed US inflation to 8.5% in March, another four decade high. Core inflation increased 0.3% in March, Below expectations.

The rate on a thirty fixed mortgage hit 5% for the first time in more than a decade.

More factories in China are halting production due to Covid lockdowns putting additional pressure on supply chains.

ECB president Lagarde said the ECB will continue to lag behind the Federal Reserve in tightening monetary policy.