Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through January 30th

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

US stocks surged on the last day of the month on the surprise move to negative interest rates by the Bank of Japan, helping drive a positive week. The S&P 500 rose 1.6% and the Dow jumped 2.3% for the week. However, for the month the S&P 500 and Dow sank 5.1% and 5.5% respectively. Internationally, Europe rose 1.2% and Japan surged 3.3% for the week. For the month, however, Europe dropped 6.4% and Japan plunged 8.0%. The yield on the 10 year Treasury fell to 1.93% its lowest level since April. Oil plunged in January ending at $33.62 a barrel, down 9.2% after falling as low as $26.55 a barrel.  Article

The Fed policy statement after their January meeting showed concern for global economic growth and market volatility, raising questions on whether it would raise rates at its March meeting.

The Bank of Japan surprised markets by setting interest rates in negative territory for the first time ever. The move is in hopes of stimulating the economy and moving it away from the stagnation it has experienced for much of the past two decades.  Article

The US economy posted GDP growth of 0.7% in the fourth quarter, well down from the previous two quarters.  Article

Siemens, Fiat Chrysler, Facebook, Ford, Microsoft and McDonalds posted positive earnings reports, while Apple, Amazon, Chevron and Samsung reported earnings that disappointed.

Johnson Controls agreed to merge with Tyco in a $14 billion deal creating a giant provider of commercial building systems.

Xerox announced it would split into two companies, one focused on its office machines and one focusing on services, reversing its prior strategy.



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