Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through February 20th

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

World stocks posted their best week of the year as investors gained confidence that the global growth picture was not as dire. The S&P 500 gained 2.8% and Dow rose 2.6% for the best week since November. Internationally, Japan jumped 6.8%, while the Europe surged 4.5% for the week. The yield on the 10 year Treasury was flat for the week at 1.75%.   Article

Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela, Kuwait and Qatar announced they would agree to limit supply to January levels if other nations followed suit, but Iran said it would not reduce its production.

In minutes released from the Fed’s January meeting officials had difficulty determining what recent economic numbers mean for the future direction of growth and appeared increasingly uncertain about raising rates in the near term.

Industrial production surged 0.9% in January on strong car sales for its biggest jump in nearly 6 years.

The US CPI was flat in January compared to December, but was up 1.4% from a year earlier despite declines in energy prices. Factoring out the more volatile food and energy sectors, core prices rose 0.3% in January, the largest monthly increase in over 4 years. Core prices rose 2.2% from a year earlier, the highest since June 2012.  Article

Private equity firm Apollo agreed to buy home security company ADT for $7 billion, making it one of the biggest leveraged buyouts in years.

Japanese corporate profits fell roughly 10% in the 4th quarter as the strengthening Yen ate into earnings.

Wal-Mart lowered its sales forecast made just four months ago surprising investors. Sales for their current fiscal year are expected to be flat.



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