Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through February 5th

US stocks ended the week higher, boosted by a better than expected jobs report and positive corporate earnings. The S&P 500 gained 1.5% while the Dow was up 1.0% for the week. International stocks were up for the week as well with the FTSE All World Ex US up 2.2%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury increased to end the week at 1.93% up from 1.78% the week before.

U.S. employers continued to hire at a rapid pace in January, despite the Omicron wave and continued staffing shortages. There were 467,000 jobs added in January which was much more than expected. The unemployment rate slightly increased to 4.0% from 3.9% in December.

US manufacturing activity slowed in January due to the spread of the Omicron variant and continued supply-chain disruptions.

The inflation rate in the eurozone rose to a record high in January with the annual rate up to 5.1%. The ECB kept its key interest rates unchanged but, signaled growing concern over soaring inflation and left the door open for rate hikes this year. This was a major change from its view a few weeks prior where it said it wouldn’t raise rates this year.

The Bank of England raised its key interest rate to 0.5%. Its first back-to-back increase in rates since 2004. They also indicated they would begin slowly reducing their bond holdings.

Oil prices rose on heightened concerns over supply disruptions due to the possible Russian invasion of Ukraine. WTI ended the week over $90 a barrel for the first time since 2014.

The US is ready to deploy more than 3,000 troops to aid its European allies in Russia’s military standoff with Ukraine.

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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