Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through January 5th

US Stocks posted another volatile week, but ended with gains after positive economic numbers reduced near term recession fears.  The S&P 500 gained 1.9% and the Dow rose 1.6% for the week.  Internationally, Japan dropped 2.3% and Europe jumped 2.1% for the week.  Oil rallied as well ending the week up 5.8% at $47.96 a barrel.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury, after hitting its lowest point since last January, ended the week lower at 2.66%.

The December jobs reported well outpaced expectations with 312,000 new hires.  The unemployment rate rose to 3.9% from 3.7% as the labor participation rate increased.  Wage growth was up 0.4% in December over November, more than expected and is up 3.2% from a year earlier.  It’s the fastest pace of wage growth since 2008.  October and November were also revised higher by a combined 58,000.

A gauge of Chinese manufacturing showed the sector contracted for the first time since May 2017.

Apple shocked investors cutting its quarterly revenue forecast for the first time in over 15 years for its fiscal first quarter driven by weakness from iPhone sales in China.  The surprise revenue cut was another sign of potential weakness from China.

December manufacturing numbers from the euro zone were the weakest in more than a year and US manufacturing in December posted its largest one month drop in growth since 2008

US auto sales eased in December, but held steady for the full year with 17.3 million sales countering predictions the market would cool.

Fed Chairmen Powell said in a speech the Fed will be “patient as we watch to see how the economy evolves,” and they are “prepared to adjust policy quickly and flexibly” If needed.  Half of investors believe the Fed will actually cut rates in 2019.

Bristol-Myers Squibb agreed to purchase Celgene for $74 billion combing two major pharmaceutical companies focused on cancer drugs.

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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