Category: Weekly Updates

Weekly Updates

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through February 22nd

Stocks were slightly down for the week as a sudden jump in interest rates made equities, and particularly growth stocks, less compelling.  The S&P 500 declined 0.7%, while the Dow was up 0.2% for the week.  Abroad, the FTSE All World Ex US edged up 0.2% for the week.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury yield finished the week at its highest level since February 2020, 1.34%, up from 1.20% to start the week.  Bitcoin rose above $50,000, doubling in less than two months.

In January, retail spending rose 5.3%, the most in seven months.

Meeting minutes from the Fed’s January meeting showed officials agreed to continue to hold the Fed Funds Rate near zero and to maintain their bond buying purchases.  While they thought that there may be an increase inflation, they didn’t believe it would be long lasting.

Initial jobless claims rose unexpectedly over the past week with 861,000 people filing for unemployment insurance and the previous week was revised upward by 55,000.

US business activity picked up pace with service sector and manufacturing output accelerating.

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through February 13th

Stocks continued their recent climb on optimism over stimulus, corporate earnings, and the vaccine rollout.  The S&P 500 rose 1.2% and the Dow was up 1.0% for the week.  Abroad, the FTSE All World Ex US climbed 2.2% for the week.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.20% from 1.17%, ending at its highest level since February 2020.  Oil has surged recently ending the week at $59.47 a barrel its highest level since January 2020.

Newly reported COVID-19 cases have dropped 56% in the past month.

US January inflation was flat when an increase was expected.

Initial jobless claims dropped to 793,000, showing improvement.

Fed Chair Powell said the Fed is unlikely to consider raising interest rates or reducing bond purchase for the foreseeable future.

With 72% of companies reporting earnings to date 80% have reported that have topped expectations.

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through February 6th

Stocks posted their best week since November to close at new record highs.  Gains were driven by optimism over the potential for additional government stimulus measures.  The S&P 500 surged 4.6% and the Dow jumped 3.9% for the week.  Abroad, the FTSE All World Ex US climbed 4.1% for the week.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury climbed to 1.17% from 1.11%, ending at its highest level since March.

US employers added 49,000 jobs in January, returning to gains after job losses in December.  The unemployment rate fell to 6.3% from 6.7%, partially reflecting fewer people looking for jobs.

Official readings of industrial and services activities in China eased more than expected in January.

US manufacturing continued to expand in January through below expectations and at a slower rate than in December.

ISM’s service sector index grew more than expected in January.

Weekly unemployment claims improved with 779,000 people applying for aid.  The third straight week of declining numbers.

Jeff Bezos announced he was stepping down from his CEO role and would move to become executive chairman.

Of the 189 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings to date, 81% have beaten estimates.

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through January 30th

Global stocks posted their worst week since October on concerns over new developments with the coronavirus. The S&P 500 and Dow sank 3.3% for the week.  Abroad, the FTSE All World Ex US dropped 3.7% for the week.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury was flat for the week ending at 1.11%.

Several individual stocks surged over the week aided by individual investors.  GameStop gained 400% and AMC jumped 278%.

US consumer confidence rose in January.

The Fed concluded its January meeting keeping all its supportive policies in place, saying the economy has cooled off more recently as a result of the upswing in COVID-19 cases.

Weekly jobless claims declined to 847,000.

Fourth quarter GDP grew 4%, slightly below expectations.

US household income rose in December for the first time in three months.

US consumer spending fell 0.2% for the second straight month, but topped expectations.

With nearly a third of S&P 500 firms reporting earnings to date, 81% have topped expectations.

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through January 23rd

US stocks climbed on strong corporate earnings. The S&P 500 rose 1.9% and the Dow was up 0.6% for the week both hitting new record highs.  Abroad, the FTSE All World Ex US gained 1.4% for the week.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury was flat for the week ending at 1.10%.

China posted GDP growth of 6.5% in the fourth quarter.  For the year the economy grew 2.3% despite the pandemic.  It was the only major world economy to see growth in 2020.

Initial jobless claims eased slightly to 900,000 for the past week.

Business activity in the US picked up pace to start 2021, while Europe showed an increasing risk of a second recession.

To date 88% of companies that have reported earnings have beaten earnings estimates.