Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through December 29th

After an extremely volatile week for stocks the market ended up.  The S&P 500 gained 2.9% and the Dow dropped 2.7% for the week.  Internationally, Japan fell 0.8% and Europe ticked down 0.1% for the week.  Oil ended the week down slightly to $45.33 a barrel, but is off 41% from its October high.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.74%.

At the Fed’s December meeting they elected to raise the Fed Funds rate a quarter percentage point to a rage of 2.2% to 2.5%.  They also lowered their growth outlook for 2019 from 2.5% to 2.3%. In comments after the meeting Chairmen Powell suggested the Fed would target two interest rate increases in 2019.  The rate increase was expected but some investors are now concerned the economy might be cooling more quickly than anticipated.

The US government was shut down at midnight on 12/21 after officials failed to reach a spending deal.

The personal consumption expenditures index increased 0.4% in November for the 9th straight monthly increase.

US durable goods orders fell an adjusted 0.3% in November the third decline in a row.

US retailers posted one of the best holidays shopping seasons in years with sales rising 5.1% over last year, the best performance in six years.

White House advisers commented that the President does not have the authority to remove the Fed Chairmen after concerns arose that the President might try.

The Case Shiller home price index showed that home prices rose 5.5% over the past year ending in October, flat from September, as home prices have cooled.

Consumer confidence fell in December for a second straight month.


There is no guarantee that any investment strategy, including those described here, will be successful. Any investment or investment strategy can lose money. Past performance does not guarantee or predict future results. You should not assume that any discussion or information contained herein serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Raffa Wealth Management, LLC. This information was gathered from reliable sources, but we cannot guarantee accuracy. Indexes do not reflect the fees associated with actual investments and such fees would reduce the performance illustrated. Source: FMG Suite, LLC.
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