Monthly Update

Monthly Economic Update July, 2019

Presented by Beacon Financial Group

In this month’s recap: Stocks, gold, and oil all surge, a door opens for U.S.-China trade talks to resume, and the Federal Reserve suddenly sounds dovish.

THE MONTH IN BRIEF

You could say June was a month of highs. The S&P 500 hit another record peak, oil prices reached year-to-date highs, and gold became more valuable than it had been in six years. (There was also a notable low during the month: the yield of the 10-year Treasury fell below 2%.) Also, a door opened to further trade talks with China, and the latest monetary policy statement from the Federal Reserve hinted at the possibility of easing. For most investors, there was much to appreciate. 1  

DOMESTIC ECONOMIC HEALTH

On June 29, President Trump told reporters, gathered at the latest Group of 20 summit, that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping were planning a resumption of formal trade negotiations between their respective nations. Additionally, President Trump said that the U.S. would refrain from imposing tariffs on an additional $300 billion of Chinese goods for the “time being.” A six-week stalemate in trade talks had weighed on U.S. and foreign stock, bond, and commodities markets in May and June. 2

The Federal Reserve left the benchmark interest rate alone at its June meeting, but its newest policy statement and dot-plot forecast drew considerable attention. Among seventeen Fed officials, eight felt rate cuts would occur by the end of the year, eight saw no rate moves for the rest of the year, and just one saw a 2019 hike. The policy statement also removed reference to the Fed being “patient” about its stance on interest rates, and it mentioned economic and political “uncertainties” that may affect its near-term outlook. Stocks climbed after the announcement, and futures traders saw increased chances of a rate adjustment in either the third or fourth quarter. 3

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell also moved the market on two other occasions during June. On June 4, stocks had their best day since January after he noted that the Fed was keeping a close eye on trade and tariff issues and would “act as appropriate to sustain the expansion” of the economy. Stocks had their poorest day of the month on June 25 after Powell commented that there was no need to “overreact” to a “short-term swing in sentiment” or incoming data. 4,5

Some of the latest data seemed to hint at economic deceleration. The much-watched Institute for Supply Management Purchasing Managers Index for the factory sector fell to a 19-month low of 52.1 in May. The latest Consumer Price Index showed less inflationary pressure; it had advanced 1.8% in the 12 months ending in May, falling short of the Fed’s 2% target. The annualized pace of wholesale inflation dropped from 2.2% in April to 1.8% in May. Perhaps, most importantly, the economy added only 90,000 net new jobs in May, down from 205,000 a month before. (The main unemployment rate stayed at 3.6%; the U-6 rate, a broader measure which includes the underemployed and those who have dropped out of the job market, descended 0.2% to 7.1%.) 6,7

Additionally, consumer confidence slipped. The Conference Board’s monthly index went from 131.3 in May to 121.5 in June (admittedly, the index had climbed higher for three consecutive months). The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index treaded water, ending June 0.3 points above its previous reading. 8,9

There were also encouraging signs, however. Retail sales rose 0.5% in May, according to the Census Bureau, and the Department of Commerce recorded a healthy 0.4% May advance for personal spending. The ISM’s nonmanufacturing PMI rose 1.4 points to 56.9 in May. 7,9

Early in the month, it seemed that trade negotiations between China and the U.S. were stalled. At the start of the month, President Trump proposed assessing tariffs on $300 billion more of Chinese imports (and he also talked of imposing a 10% tariff on all imported goods from Mexico, though this did not happen in June). Some optimism returned for investors when a meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping was scheduled for the month-ending Group of 20 summit in Japan. 8

 

GLOBAL ECONOMIC HEALTH

Away from America, concerns about an economic slowdown grew. The central banks of Australia, Chile, India, and Russia all cut interest rates in June, in an effort to stimulate the economies of their respective nations. This was the widest wave of easing seen since the first half of 2016. Word came that IHS Markit’s Global Purchasing Managers Index, a respected barometer of worldwide factory activity, fell to 49.8 in May – an indication that global manufacturing was contracting. It was the weakest reading for the index in seven years. Markit factory PMIs for China, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and Germany were all soft enough to indicate less activity in May. 6,10

Markets in Europe benefited from comments by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, who said that he was prepared to loosen monetary reins in order to stimulate lethargic economies of member nations within the European Union. Economists polled by Bloomberg believe that the ECB will cut its deposit rate to -0.5% during the third quarter. 11

This month, the United Kingdom will elect a new parliamentary leader. Former U.K. foreign secretary Boris Johnson and current U.K. foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt will face off, with the winner announced on July 23. Johnson is currently seen as the favorite, and he has pledged that the U.K. will make its Brexit from the European Union by Halloween, even without a deal. Analysts think his vow could lead to a fall impasse in Parliament, if the E.U. fails to agree to whatever new deal the U.K. proposes. 12

 

WORLD MARKETS

Several benchmarks recorded June gains of 3% or better. Argentina’s often-volatile Merval jumped 18.72%, the MSCI World index surged 6.46%, Russia’s Micex rose 5.98%, and the MSCI Emerging Markets index gained 5.70%. Next in line, Singapore’s STI rose 4.94%. Brazil’s Bovespa added 4.75%; Taiwan’s TWSE, 4.34%; France’s CAC 40, 4.26%; Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, 4.21%. South Korea’s Kospi advanced 3.99%, while Germany’s DAX rose 3.09%. June also brought a 2.37% gain for China’s Shanghai Composite. 13,14

India's Nifty 50 and BSE Sensex were notable June outliers. The Nifty lost 1.17%, and the Sensex declined 0.89%. 13

 

COMMODITIES MARKETS

Oil and gold certainly grew more valuable in June. As tensions heightened between the U.S. and Iran, West Texas Intermediate crude oil surged 9.07%, finishing June at $58.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold gained 8.20% in June, rising to a June 28 settlement of $1,412.50 per ounce on the NYMEX. 15

Four other important commodities gained at least 5% last month. Unleaded gasoline advanced 5.61%; platinum, 5.50%; heating oil, 5.32%;  silver, 5.02%. Silver finished June at a NYMEX price of $15.27. 15

Other June gains: wheat, 4.41%; sugar, 3.55%; copper, 2.69%; coffee, 2.52%; soybeans, 2.50%; cocoa, 1.83%. June retreats: corn, 1.11%; U.S. Dollar Index, 1.45%; cotton, 3.07%; natural gas, 6.01%. 15,16

 

REAL ESTATE

Mortgage rates fell in June. By the June 27 edition of the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the average interest on a 30-year, fixed-rate home loan was 3.73%, compared with 3.99% on May 31. Rates for 15-year, fixed loans also descended in this timeframe, from 3.46% to 3.16%. 17

30-year and 15-year fixed rate mortgages are conventional home loans generally featuring a limit of $484,350 ($726,525 in high-cost areas) that meet the lending requirements of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but they are not mortgages guaranteed or insured by any government agency. Private mortgage insurance, or PMI, is required for any conventional loan with less than a 20% down payment.

The latest data on home buying came from May. Existing home sales rose 2.5%, according to the National Association of Realtors – a nice change from the 0.4% decline in April. New home sales, unfortunately, slid 7.8% during May, and that followed a 3.7% April retreat. 7

Home prices flattened in April, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index. (Data for May arrives in July.) In year-over-year terms, prices were up 2.5%. 7

Lastly, housing starts weakened 0.9% in May, according to the Census Bureau, but the pace of building permits issued increased 0.3%. 7

TIP OF THE MONTH

If you can reduce some of your fixed, monthly expenses in retirement, you may end up withdrawing thousands of dollars less from your retirement savings per year than you would have otherwise.

LOOKING BACK, LOOKING FORWARD

On June 21, the S&P 500 reached a new all-time peak of 2,964.03 in intraday trading. That was a high note in a strong month for the index. 1

The S&P surged 6.89% in June. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 7.19%; the Nasdaq Composite, 7.42%. As the closing bell rang on the last market day of the month (June 28), the S&P settled at 2,941.76; the Nasdaq, at 8,006.24; the Dow, at 26,599.96. 18,19,20

Prices of longer-term Treasuries rose in June, and correspondingly, their yields fell. On the first market day of the month (June 3), the yield on the 10-year note dipped under 2%; that had not happened since November 2016. 21

All this greatly improved the year-to-date performance for these benchmarks. At the June 28 close, the S&P 500 was at +17.35% on the year; the Dow, +14.03%; the Nasdaq, +20.66%. 18,19,20

This month, the current U.S. economic expansion became the longest on record. The economy grew 3.1% in the first quarter, by the assessment of the Bureau of Economic Analysis; the BEA’s initial estimate of Q2 economic growth is scheduled to appear July 26. The Federal Reserve’s next monetary policy meeting concludes on July 31. 5,9

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

OSCAR WILDE

UPCOMING RELEASES

Here is the July schedule of news releases pertaining to fundamental economic and housing indicators: the June ADP employment change report and the June Institute for Supply Management nonmanufacturing index (7/3), the latest monthly employment snapshot from the Department of Labor (7/5), the latest Consumer Price Index (7/11), June retail sales (7/16), June construction activity (7/17), July’s initial University of Michigan consumer sentiment index (7/19), June existing home sales (7/23), June new home sales (7/24), the first estimate of Q1 economic expansion from the federal government (7/26), June consumer spending, the July Consumer Confidence Index from the Conference Board, and June pending home sales (7/30), and last, but certainly not least, a new Federal Reserve monetary policy statement (7/31). (The final July University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index is slated for release on 8/2.)

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This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs and expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results.  Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. MarketingPro, Inc. is not affiliated with any person or firm that may be providing this information to you. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.

 

CITATIONS:

1 - cnbc.com/2019/06/21/it-was-a-monumental-week-for-markets-with-major-milestones-in-stocks-bonds-gold-and-oil.html [6/21/19]

2 - bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-29/xi-trump-agree-to-restart-trade-talks-china-says [6/29/19]

3 - bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-19/fed-scraps-patient-rate-approach-in-prelude-to-potential-cut [6/19/19]

4 - foxbusiness.com/markets/us-stocks-wall-street-june-4-2019 [6/4/19]  

5 - apnews.com/36e95b56e88e444bb67d997b47b046d6 [5/29/19]

6 - bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-03/asia-factories-feel-trade-war-pain-led-by-south-korea-and-japan [6/3/19]

7 - investing.com/economic-calendar [6/28/19]

8 - thehill.com/policy/finance/450322-consumer-confidence-fell-in-june-amid-trump-tariff-threats-report [5/28/19]

9 - marketwatch.com/tools/calendars/economic [6/28/19]

10 - global-rates.com/interest-rates/central-banks/central-banks.aspx [6/25/19]

11 - bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-27/ecb-seen-cutting-rates-in-september-as-draghi-reloads-stimulus [6/27/19]

12 - reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-johnson/boris-johnson-says-he-is-serious-about-no-deal-brexit-threat-idUSKCN1TP2SR [6/24/19]

13 - markets.on.nytimes.com/research/markets/worldmarkets/worldmarkets.asp [6/28/19]

14 - msci.com/end-of-day-data-search [6/28/19]

15 - money.cnn.com/data/commodities/ [6/28/19]

16 - marketwatch.com/investing/index/dxy/historical [6/28/19]

17 - freddiemac.com/pmms/archive.html [6/27/19]

18 - money.cnn.com/data/markets/sandp [6/29/19]

19 - money.cnn.com/data/markets/dow [6/29/19]

20 - money.cnn.com/data/markets/nasdaq [6/29/19]

21 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=yieldAll [6/28/19]

22 - markets.wsj.com/us [12/31/18]

Monthly Economic Update

Presented by Beacon Financial Group

In this month’s recap: Stocks, gold, and oil all surge, a door opens for U.S.-China trade talks to resume, and the Federal Reserve suddenly sounds dovish.

THE MONTH IN BRIEF

You could say June was a month of highs. The S&P 500 hit another record peak, oil prices reached year-to-date highs, and gold became more valuable than it had been in six years. (There was also a notable low during the month: the yield of the 10-year Treasury fell below 2%.) Also, a door opened to further trade talks with China, and the latest monetary policy statement from the Federal Reserve hinted at the possibility of easing. For most investors, there was much to appreciate. 1  

DOMESTIC ECONOMIC HEALTH

On June 29, President Trump told reporters, gathered at the latest Group of 20 summit, that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping were planning a resumption of formal trade negotiations between their respective nations. Additionally, President Trump said that the U.S. would refrain from imposing tariffs on an additional $300 billion of Chinese goods for the “time being.” A six-week stalemate in trade talks had weighed on U.S. and foreign stock, bond, and commodities markets in May and June. 2

The Federal Reserve left the benchmark interest rate alone at its June meeting, but its newest policy statement and dot-plot forecast drew considerable attention. Among seventeen Fed officials, eight felt rate cuts would occur by the end of the year, eight saw no rate moves for the rest of the year, and just one saw a 2019 hike. The policy statement also removed reference to the Fed being “patient” about its stance on interest rates, and it mentioned economic and political “uncertainties” that may affect its near-term outlook. Stocks climbed after the announcement, and futures traders saw increased chances of a rate adjustment in either the third or fourth quarter. 3

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell also moved the market on two other occasions during June. On June 4, stocks had their best day since January after he noted that the Fed was keeping a close eye on trade and tariff issues and would “act as appropriate to sustain the expansion” of the economy. Stocks had their poorest day of the month on June 25 after Powell commented that there was no need to “overreact” to a “short-term swing in sentiment” or incoming data. 4,5

Some of the latest data seemed to hint at economic deceleration. The much-watched Institute for Supply Management Purchasing Managers Index for the factory sector fell to a 19-month low of 52.1 in May. The latest Consumer Price Index showed less inflationary pressure; it had advanced 1.8% in the 12 months ending in May, falling short of the Fed’s 2% target. The annualized pace of wholesale inflation dropped from 2.2% in April to 1.8% in May. Perhaps, most importantly, the economy added only 90,000 net new jobs in May, down from 205,000 a month before. (The main unemployment rate stayed at 3.6%; the U-6 rate, a broader measure which includes the underemployed and those who have dropped out of the job market, descended 0.2% to 7.1%.) 6,7

Additionally, consumer confidence slipped. The Conference Board’s monthly index went from 131.3 in May to 121.5 in June (admittedly, the index had climbed higher for three consecutive months). The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index treaded water, ending June 0.3 points above its previous reading. 8,9

There were also encouraging signs, however. Retail sales rose 0.5% in May, according to the Census Bureau, and the Department of Commerce recorded a healthy 0.4% May advance for personal spending. The ISM’s nonmanufacturing PMI rose 1.4 points to 56.9 in May. 7,9

Early in the month, it seemed that trade negotiations between China and the U.S. were stalled. At the start of the month, President Trump proposed assessing tariffs on $300 billion more of Chinese imports (and he also talked of imposing a 10% tariff on all imported goods from Mexico, though this did not happen in June). Some optimism returned for investors when a meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping was scheduled for the month-ending Group of 20 summit in Japan. 8

 

GLOBAL ECONOMIC HEALTH

Away from America, concerns about an economic slowdown grew. The central banks of Australia, Chile, India, and Russia all cut interest rates in June, in an effort to stimulate the economies of their respective nations. This was the widest wave of easing seen since the first half of 2016. Word came that IHS Markit’s Global Purchasing Managers Index, a respected barometer of worldwide factory activity, fell to 49.8 in May – an indication that global manufacturing was contracting. It was the weakest reading for the index in seven years. Markit factory PMIs for China, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and Germany were all soft enough to indicate less activity in May. 6,10

Markets in Europe benefited from comments by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, who said that he was prepared to loosen monetary reins in order to stimulate lethargic economies of member nations within the European Union. Economists polled by Bloomberg believe that the ECB will cut its deposit rate to -0.5% during the third quarter. 11

This month, the United Kingdom will elect a new parliamentary leader. Former U.K. foreign secretary Boris Johnson and current U.K. foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt will face off, with the winner announced on July 23. Johnson is currently seen as the favorite, and he has pledged that the U.K. will make its Brexit from the European Union by Halloween, even without a deal. Analysts think his vow could lead to a fall impasse in Parliament, if the E.U. fails to agree to whatever new deal the U.K. proposes. 12

 

WORLD MARKETS

Several benchmarks recorded June gains of 3% or better. Argentina’s often-volatile Merval jumped 18.72%, the MSCI World index surged 6.46%, Russia’s Micex rose 5.98%, and the MSCI Emerging Markets index gained 5.70%. Next in line, Singapore’s STI rose 4.94%. Brazil’s Bovespa added 4.75%; Taiwan’s TWSE, 4.34%; France’s CAC 40, 4.26%; Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, 4.21%. South Korea’s Kospi advanced 3.99%, while Germany’s DAX rose 3.09%. June also brought a 2.37% gain for China’s Shanghai Composite. 13,14

India's Nifty 50 and BSE Sensex were notable June outliers. The Nifty lost 1.17%, and the Sensex declined 0.89%. 13

 

COMMODITIES MARKETS

Oil and gold certainly grew more valuable in June. As tensions heightened between the U.S. and Iran, West Texas Intermediate crude oil surged 9.07%, finishing June at $58.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold gained 8.20% in June, rising to a June 28 settlement of $1,412.50 per ounce on the NYMEX. 15

Four other important commodities gained at least 5% last month. Unleaded gasoline advanced 5.61%; platinum, 5.50%; heating oil, 5.32%;  silver, 5.02%. Silver finished June at a NYMEX price of $15.27. 15

Other June gains: wheat, 4.41%; sugar, 3.55%; copper, 2.69%; coffee, 2.52%; soybeans, 2.50%; cocoa, 1.83%. June retreats: corn, 1.11%; U.S. Dollar Index, 1.45%; cotton, 3.07%; natural gas, 6.01%. 15,16

 

REAL ESTATE

Mortgage rates fell in June. By the June 27 edition of the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the average interest on a 30-year, fixed-rate home loan was 3.73%, compared with 3.99% on May 31. Rates for 15-year, fixed loans also descended in this timeframe, from 3.46% to 3.16%. 17

30-year and 15-year fixed rate mortgages are conventional home loans generally featuring a limit of $484,350 ($726,525 in high-cost areas) that meet the lending requirements of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but they are not mortgages guaranteed or insured by any government agency. Private mortgage insurance, or PMI, is required for any conventional loan with less than a 20% down payment.

The latest data on home buying came from May. Existing home sales rose 2.5%, according to the National Association of Realtors – a nice change from the 0.4% decline in April. New home sales, unfortunately, slid 7.8% during May, and that followed a 3.7% April retreat. 7

Home prices flattened in April, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index. (Data for May arrives in July.) In year-over-year terms, prices were up 2.5%. 7

Lastly, housing starts weakened 0.9% in May, according to the Census Bureau, but the pace of building permits issued increased 0.3%. 7

TIP OF THE MONTH

If you can reduce some of your fixed, monthly expenses in retirement, you may end up withdrawing thousands of dollars less from your retirement savings per year than you would have otherwise.

LOOKING BACK, LOOKING FORWARD

On June 21, the S&P 500 reached a new all-time peak of 2,964.03 in intraday trading. That was a high note in a strong month for the index. 1

The S&P surged 6.89% in June. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 7.19%; the Nasdaq Composite, 7.42%. As the closing bell rang on the last market day of the month (June 28), the S&P settled at 2,941.76; the Nasdaq, at 8,006.24; the Dow, at 26,599.96. 18,19,20

Prices of longer-term Treasuries rose in June, and correspondingly, their yields fell. On the first market day of the month (June 3), the yield on the 10-year note dipped under 2%; that had not happened since November 2016. 21

All this greatly improved the year-to-date performance for these benchmarks. At the June 28 close, the S&P 500 was at +17.35% on the year; the Dow, +14.03%; the Nasdaq, +20.66%. 18,19,20

This month, the current U.S. economic expansion became the longest on record. The economy grew 3.1% in the first quarter, by the assessment of the Bureau of Economic Analysis; the BEA’s initial estimate of Q2 economic growth is scheduled to appear July 26. The Federal Reserve’s next monetary policy meeting concludes on July 31. 5,9

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

OSCAR WILDE

UPCOMING RELEASES

Here is the July schedule of news releases pertaining to fundamental economic and housing indicators: the June ADP employment change report and the June Institute for Supply Management nonmanufacturing index (7/3), the latest monthly employment snapshot from the Department of Labor (7/5), the latest Consumer Price Index (7/11), June retail sales (7/16), June construction activity (7/17), July’s initial University of Michigan consumer sentiment index (7/19), June existing home sales (7/23), June new home sales (7/24), the first estimate of Q1 economic expansion from the federal government (7/26), June consumer spending, the July Consumer Confidence Index from the Conference Board, and June pending home sales (7/30), and last, but certainly not least, a new Federal Reserve monetary policy statement (7/31). (The final July University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index is slated for release on 8/2.)

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs and expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results.  Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. MarketingPro, Inc. is not affiliated with any person or firm that may be providing this information to you. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.

 

CITATIONS:

1 - cnbc.com/2019/06/21/it-was-a-monumental-week-for-markets-with-major-milestones-in-stocks-bonds-gold-and-oil.html [6/21/19]

2 - bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-29/xi-trump-agree-to-restart-trade-talks-china-says [6/29/19]

3 - bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-19/fed-scraps-patient-rate-approach-in-prelude-to-potential-cut [6/19/19]

4 - foxbusiness.com/markets/us-stocks-wall-street-june-4-2019 [6/4/19]  

5 - apnews.com/36e95b56e88e444bb67d997b47b046d6 [5/29/19]

6 - bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-03/asia-factories-feel-trade-war-pain-led-by-south-korea-and-japan [6/3/19]

7 - investing.com/economic-calendar [6/28/19]

8 - thehill.com/policy/finance/450322-consumer-confidence-fell-in-june-amid-trump-tariff-threats-report [5/28/19]

9 - marketwatch.com/tools/calendars/economic [6/28/19]

10 - global-rates.com/interest-rates/central-banks/central-banks.aspx [6/25/19]

11 - bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-27/ecb-seen-cutting-rates-in-september-as-draghi-reloads-stimulus [6/27/19]

12 - reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-johnson/boris-johnson-says-he-is-serious-about-no-deal-brexit-threat-idUSKCN1TP2SR [6/24/19]

13 - markets.on.nytimes.com/research/markets/worldmarkets/worldmarkets.asp [6/28/19]

14 - msci.com/end-of-day-data-search [6/28/19]

15 - money.cnn.com/data/commodities/ [6/28/19]

16 - marketwatch.com/investing/index/dxy/historical [6/28/19]

17 - freddiemac.com/pmms/archive.html [6/27/19]

18 - money.cnn.com/data/markets/sandp [6/29/19]

19 - money.cnn.com/data/markets/dow [6/29/19]

20 - money.cnn.com/data/markets/nasdaq [6/29/19]

21 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=yieldAll [6/28/19]

22 - markets.wsj.com/us [12/31/18]

Monthly Economic Update

Presented by Beacon Financial Group

In this month’s recap: major stock benchmarks descend as new developments in the U.S.-China tariff dispute lead to a broad risk-off in equities; consumer confidence surges, while the housing market cools.

THE MONTH IN BRIEF

Hopes for a quick resolution to the U.S.-China trade dispute faded in May as discussions broke down and rhetoric from both sides turned tough again. The disappointment lingered on Wall Street: the month saw losses for stocks. On Main Street, consumer confidence was strong and inflation tame. Mortgage rates reached year-to-date lows, but the latest data on home sales showed weak spring buying. The price of crude oil fell significantly, and so did the yield on the 10-year Treasury. 1

DOMESTIC ECONOMIC HEALTH

Last month, trade was the story, and tariffs were on the minds of market participants. On May 5, President Trump announced that U.S. import taxes levied on $200 billion of Chinese products would soon rise from 10% to 25% and that virtually all other goods arriving from China would “shortly” face a 25% tariff. China retaliated, declaring that it would hike tariffs already imposed on $60 billion worth of American products, effective June 1. More tariff developments followed. On May 17, President Trump opted to delay levies planned for imported autos until later in 2019, and he removed tariffs on metals arriving from Canada and Mexico. 2,3

Late May brought more attention-getting headlines. On May 29, China’s state media suggested that its government might consider banning rare-earth mineral exports to America. (China mines or produces about 80% of the world’s rare earths.) On May 30, President Trump announced that all of Mexico’s exports to the U.S. would face 5% tariffs starting on June 10; these taxes could rise to as high as 25% by October. 4,5

Households, meanwhile, felt good about the economy and their financial prospects in May. The Conference Board’s monthly consumer confidence index rose nearly five points to 134.1; that was its best reading since November. (Confidence about the present economic situation reached its highest level since December 2000.) The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index jumped to a 15-year peak of 102.4 at mid-month, and it ended May at 100.0. 6,7

Consumer spending rose another 0.3% in April, by the calculation of the Department of Commerce. Overall retail sales declined 0.2% in April, but core retail sales (minus auto and gas purchases) improved 0.1%. 6

Inflation advanced at a mild 2.0% in the year ending in April, according to the latest Consumer Price Index. The CPI rose 0.3% in the fourth month of the year. 6

The Department of Labor released its April employment report at the start of May, and the latest news on hiring was certainly impressive. April saw a net gain of 263,000 jobs, trouncing a Bloomberg consensus forecast of 190,000. The jobless rate fell 0.2% to 3.6%, nearly a 50-year low. The U-6 rate, which counts the unemployed, the underemployed, and those who have stopped looking for work, stayed at 7.3% for the third straight month. Wages were growing at a 3.2% annualized pace. 8

On May 1, the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged. While the Fed was not expected to make a move, some investors wondered if it was considering the possibility of a rate cut at some point before the end of the year. In fact, at the end of May, the market expectation was for the Fed to make two rate cuts by next January, with the first coming in September. At the central bank’s May 1 press conference, Fed chair Jerome Powell did not refer to any kind of reconsideration of monetary policy, simply telling reporters that “we don’t see a strong reason for moving in one direction or the other.” 9,10

There was another yield curve inversion in the bond market: in the second half of May, the yield on the 3-month U.S. Treasury note exceeded the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note. On May 29, the 3-month yield topped the 10-year yield by the greatest margin since the financial crisis. Economists pay close attention to these yield curve inversions; some believe they presage recessions. Yields on Treasuries decline when their prices rise, and vice versa; demand for Treasuries increased during May, as stocks retreated here and overseas. 11

As for other economic indicators arriving during May, the April Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index (based on a monthly survey of purchasing managers at large firms) fell 2.5 points to a decent 52.8 reading; ISM’s April service-sector PMI lost 0.6 points, descending to 55.5. Industrial output fell 0.5% in April; durable goods orders, 2.1%. 6,12

 

GLOBAL ECONOMIC HEALTH

U.S. tariffs did seem to be affecting China’s factory sector, and by extension, its economy. China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers index displayed a May reading of 49.4, indicating contraction instead of expansion. 5

India was no longer home to the world’s fastest-growing economy. Last month, its government stated first-quarter gross domestic product of 5.8%, below that of China (which reported an official Q1 GDP of 6.4%). A June interest rate cut by India’s central bank is widely expected. 13

A change in leadership was ahead for the United Kingdom. Prime Minister Theresa May announced she would presently resign; her successor will likely take office in July. Boris Johnson, a fellow conservative, is widely considered to be the favorite in the forthcoming parliamentary elections. Johnson has stated that the U.K. must make its Brexit from the European Union by the current October 31 deadline, deal in place or not. Some analysts now see a stronger possibility of a no-deal Brexit. 14

WORLD MARKETS

Aside from a few outliers, most foreign stock markets went the way of our stock market in May. Five notable benchmarks recorded monthly gains: Argentina’s often-volatile Merval rose 15.79%, Russia’s Micex added 4.14%, India’s Sensex and Nifty 50 respectively rose 1.75% and 1.49%, and Australia’s All Ordinaries improved 1.14%. 15

 

May losses were widespread. The MSCI World index fell 6.08%; the MSCI Emerging Markets index, 7.53%. China’s Shanghai Composite declined 5.84%; Japan’s Nikkei 225, 7.45%; Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, 9.42%. Mexico’s Bolsa lost 4.14% for the month; Canada’s TSX Composite, 3.28%. Germany’s DAX slipped 5.00%; France’s CAC 40, 6.78%. The regional FTSEurofirst 300 lost 5.50%. 15,16

 

COMMODITIES MARKETS

Softs and energy futures saw some big ups and downs in May. Unleaded gasoline fell 16.63% on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and crude oil (the West Texas Intermediate variety) slipped 15.93%. Crude finished May at $53.36 per barrel. May losses also came for heating oil (11.73%) and natural gas (4.16%). Three crops soared: coffee improved 14.42%; wheat, 20.61%; corn, 20.85%. Soybeans rose 4.40%. Among notable crops, the biggest loser was cotton, down 9.69%. 17

 

Gold outperformed other key metals, with a 1.75% rise to a $1,350.50 May 31 close on the NYMEX. Silver wrapped up May at $14.56, losing 2.31%. Copper fell 9.14% for the month; platinum, 10.71%. 17

 

REAL ESTATE

New and existing home sales numbers from April arrived in May, and there were declines in both categories. The National Association of Realtors said that the pace of residential resales weakened 0.4%, on the heels of a 4.9% retreat in March; the April NAR pending home sales index also dipped 1.5%. New home buying, according to the Census Bureau, slowed 6.9% in the fourth month of the year, following a (revised) 8.1% March gain. The latest 20-city S&P/Case-Shiller home price index showed 2.7% annual appreciation in the year ending in March, down from 3.0% in the prior edition. 6

Residential construction activity picked up in April: the Census Bureau recorded a 5.7% advance for housing starts. Building permits rose 0.6%. 6

Mortgage rates dipped in May. A 30-year, fixed-rate loan bore an average interest rate of just 3.99% in the week ending May 30, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. In the last April edition of the PMMS (April 25), the interest rate on the 30-year FRM averaged 4.20%. Average interest on the 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage also declined in this timeframe, from 3.64% to 3.46%. 18

30-year and 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages are conventional home loans generally featuring a limit of $484,350 ($726,525 in high-cost areas) that meet the lending requirements of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but they are not mortgages guaranteed or insured by any government agency. Private mortgage insurance, or PMI, is required for any conventional loan with less than a 20% down payment.

TIP OF THE MONTH

If your teen or young adult children perform “odd jobs” to make extra cash, they are self-employed, and the money they earn from this work is taxable. Your children may be responsible for paying income taxes on such earnings, possibly through estimated tax payments.

LOOKING BACK, LOOKING FORWARD

Things did not go well on Wall Street in May, but the year-to-date advances of the three major U.S. equity benchmarks were still impressive, five months into the year. The Chicago Board Options Volatility Index, or CBOE VIX, a leading measure of stock market volatility, rose 42.61% in May, but remained down 26.40% YTD when the month wrapped up. The S&P 500’s real estate sector was the only one of its eleven industry groups to advance last month, and it had gained more than any other sector YTD (17.01%) when May ended. 1

So, what will it take to change the market’s mood, and how soon can such a change happen? Short of a quickly forged bilateral agreement between the U.S. and China, it may take quite a diversion to take Wall Street’s collective mind off trade. Throw in a recently inverted yield curve and assorted concerns about the business cycle slowing, and stocks may be in for a challenge in June. Perhaps the May jobs report, the June Federal Reserve policy meeting, or the G-20 summit at the end of this month (which could feature a meeting between President Trump and China’s President Xi) may have an influence. For the record, the S&P 500 has only had 14 negative Mays in the past 40 years, and June gains followed eight of them. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Equities may face more turbulence this month as the markets attempt to sort out the many uncertainties. 22

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

“There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul.”

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

UPCOMING RELEASES

Here is what is ahead in terms of major economic news in June… the May ADP payrolls report, the Institute for Supply Management’s May service sector PMI, and a new Beige Book from the Federal Reserve (6/5), the Department of Labor’s May employment snapshot (6/7), May wholesale inflation (6/11), May consumer inflation (6/12), the University of Michigan’s initial June consumer sentiment index and May retail sales (6/14), May housing starts and building permits (6/18), a Federal Reserve announcement following the conclusion of a 2-day monetary policy meeting (6/19), May existing home sales (6/21), the Conference Board’s latest consumer confidence index and May new home sales (6/25), May hard goods orders (6/26), May pending home sales and the “final” estimate of Q1 economic expansion from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (6/27), and then May consumer spending and the final June University of Michigan consumer sentiment index (6/28).

Know someone who could use information like this?
Please feel free to send us their contact information via phone or email. (Don’t worry – we’ll request their permission before adding them to our mailing list.)

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs and expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results.  Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. MarketingPro, Inc. is not affiliated with any person or firm that may be providing this information to you. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.

 

CITATIONS:

1 - barchart.com/stocks/indices?viewName=performance [5/31/19]

2 - usatoday.com/story/money/2019/05/30/tariffs-pause-chinas-purchases-american-soybeans-report-says/1284336001/ [5/30/19]

3 - piie.com/blogs/trade-investment-policy-watch/trump-trade-war-china-date-guide [5/31/19]

4 - staradvertiser.com/2019/05/29/breaking-news/china-dangles-potentially-harmful-new-threat-in-trade-war/ [5/29/19]

5 - foxbusiness.com/markets/us-stocks-wall-street-may-31-2019 [5/31/19]

6 - investing.com/economic-calendar/ [5/31/19]

7 - bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-28/u-s-consumer-confidence-tops-forecasts-rises-to-six-month-high [5/28/19]  

8 - finance.yahoo.com/news/april-jobs-report-2019-220932515.html [5/3/19]

9 - bankrate.com/banking/federal-reserve/fomc-meeting-recap-april-may-2019 [5/1/19]

10 - cnbc.com/2019/05/29/the-market-now-thinks-the-fed-will-cut-rates-twice-by-january-2020.html [5/29/19]

11 - cnbc.com/2019/05/29/us-bonds-wall-street-monitors-fresh-batch-of-economic-data-auctions.html [5/29/19]

12 - marketwatch.com/tools/calendars/economic [5/3/19]

13 - bbc.com/news/business-48478028 [5/31/19]

14 - theguardian.com/politics/2019/may/24/deal-or-no-deal-what-next-for-brexit-the-tories-and-the-country [5/24/19]

15 - markets.on.nytimes.com/research/markets/worldmarkets/worldmarkets.asp [5/31/19]

16 - msci.com/end-of-day-data-search [5/31/19]

17 - money.cnn.com/data/commodities/ [5/31/19]   

18 - freddiemac.com/pmms/archive.html [6/2/19]

19 - markets.wsj.com/us [12/31/18] 

20 - money.cnn.com/data/markets/nasdaq/ [5/31/19]

21 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=yieldAll [5/31/19]

22 - barrons.com/articles/stock-market-in-june-51559257496 [5/31/19] 

 

Monthly Economic Update for January 2019

Presented by Beacon Financial Group

In this month’s recap: equities rally here and around the world, economic fundamentals look solid, the pace of home sales slows, and oil surges.

THE MONTH IN BRIEF

During a month marked by political impasses in the United States and United Kingdom, equities performed well around most of the world. On Wall Street, the S&P 500 advanced 7.87% in January, with a new earnings season as well as trade and monetary policy developments providing tailwinds. Most of the economic data that rolled in was good; the partial federal government shutdown may have negatively impacted some of the numbers. Home sales fell off abruptly. Many commodities advanced. All in all, investors focused on the potential of the markets more than disputes. 1

DOMESTIC ECONOMIC HEALTH

The Congressional Budget Office believes that the 35-day federal government shutdown cost the economy about $11 billion. The silver lining is that roughly $8 billion of that loss is potentially recoverable, presuming federal spending and consumer spending bounce back in the coming months. 2

Due to the length and breadth of the shutdown, a few key economic reports did not appear last month. Nevertheless, there were plenty of attention-getting news items.

As expected, the Federal Reserve left interest rates alone in January. What really intrigued investors was the dovish tone of the Fed’s latest policy statement. It noted that the Federal Open Market Committee would be “patient as it determines what future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate may be appropriate” for the economy. The central bank appeared newly cautious: language implying that rate hikes might be merited was now absent. 3

In mid-January, China made a move in the U.S.-China trade dispute. It offered a plan to address the U.S. trade deficit, with an objective of cutting it to $0 by 2024. China would undertake a strategy to buy greater amounts of American goods: $45 billion more during 2019, and gradually, more in each of the following five years, with the multiyear increase reaching $1 trillion. Bloomberg News reported that U.S. negotiators wanted China to try and wipe out the trade imbalance within two years, not six. American demand for Chinese-made products is so strong, however, that making any real dent in the trade deficit might be a tall order, given current free market conditions. 4

Main Street seemed a bit unsettled by the shutdown and recent stock market volatility. The most respected U.S. monthly consumer confidence gauge, maintained by the Conference Board, fell sharply in January to 120.2, a good reading that still represented its lowest level since July 2017. Its future expectations sub-index hit a 27-month low. At mid-month, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index slipped from its final December mark of 98.3 to 90.7. 5,6

The Institute for Supply Management’s twin purchasing manager indices also fell; those numbers exclusively concerned December. In the last month of 2018, ISM’s manufacturing sector index slipped 5.2 points to 54.1; its services sector PMI declined 3.1 points to 57.6. Both readings indicated solid sector expansion, just to a lesser degree than a month before. 7

One word summed up the latest jobs report from the Department of Labor: fantastic. In December, employers added 312,000 net new workers to their payrolls. The main unemployment rate rose 0.2% to 3.9%, but that was an effect of more Americans looking for work. The U-6 rate, counting both the unemployed and underemployed, held at 7.6%. Wages were up 3.2% year-over-year, the best annual advance in a decade. 8

The Consumer Price Index retreated 0.1% during December after a flat November; the core CPI rose 0.2% in the final month of 2018, replicating its November move. December also brought a slight slip for both the headline (0.2%) and core (0.1%) Producer Price Index. 6

As January drew to a close, some significant data was still pending: the first estimate of Q4 Gross Domestic Product (GDP), plus the latest reports on personal spending as well as income and durable goods orders. This backlogged data could appear in the first half of this month.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC HEALTH

Would the Brexit be delayed? After the crushing 230-vote defeat of Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal deal in Parliament, the United Kingdom faced six possible options: an extension of the March 29 Brexit deadline set by the European Union, a renegotiation of May’s withdrawal deal, a general election that could bring about a change in U.K. leadership, a “hard” Brexit with no trade agreements with the E.U., another national vote on the matter, or no Brexit at all with the U.K. staying in the E.U. As January ended, May faced a February 13 deadline to return to Parliament with either an altered deal or a statement of which other course of action she wanted the U.K. to pursue. While European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted that the Brexit agreement was “not open for renegotiation,” U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that a delayed Brexit could be in order. One key sticking point has been the flow of trade between Ireland and Northern Ireland, which could be disturbed if Northern Ireland leaves the E.U. 9,10

China’s factory sector shrunk for a second straight month in January; the reading on the nation’s official manufacturing PMI improved 0.2 points to 49.5. The Chinese economy grew 6.6% in 2018 – a striking advance by global standards, but its smallest expansion since 1990. The effect of that slowdown was being felt in America (where major tech and heavy equipment firms reported declining sales in China) and in Japan, South Korea, and Australia, three of its other major trading partners. (Tariffs on a variety of Chinese imports to the U.S. are slated to rise from 10% to 25% before the end of the first quarter.) 11,12

WORLD MARKETS

Investors felt bullish around the world last month, and the performance numbers of major equity benchmarks reflected their optimism. Europe saw broad gains: Russia’s MICEX improved 6.41% in January; Spain’s IBEX 35, 6.05%; the FTSE Eurofirst 300, 5.99%; Germany’s DAX, 5.82%; France’s CAC 40, 5.54%. Even in London, the FTSE 100 gained 3.58%. 13

Indices in the Asia-Pacific region, Canada, and South America recorded even larger monthly jumps. Canada’s TSX Composite outperformed the Dow and S&P 500, surging 8.50%. The MSCI Emerging Markets index climbed 8.71% for the month, and MSCI’s World index added 7.68%. Look what two South American benchmarks did: Brazil’s Bovespa soared 11.14%, and Argentina’s Merval, 18.97%. Mexico’s Bolsa posted a monthly advance of 5.64%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and South Korea’s Kospi set the pace in the east, with respective gains of 8.11% and 8.03%. Australia’s All Ordinaries rose 3.99%; China’s Shanghai Composite, 3.96%; Japan’s Nikkei 225, 3.79%. The only notable retreats were minor: India’s Nifty 50 lost 0.29%; Malaysia’s KLSE Composite, 0.42%. 13,14

COMMODITIES MARKETS

Oil got off to a great start for 2019. By the closing bell on January 31, a barrel of WTI crude was worth $54.04 on the NYMEX, after a 17.94% YTD gain. While natural gas futures lost 4.53% last month, unleaded gasoline improved 4.94%, and heating oil soared 11.71%. 15

Among the softs, while cocoa took a 10.50% drop, other major crops rose. Sugar gained 4.16%; soybeans, 3.83%; cotton, 2.99%; wheat, 2.68%; corn, 0.47%; coffee, 0.34%. Copper led the key metals, rising 5.75%. Platinum advanced 4.35%, and silver and gold respectively added 4.05% and 3.03%. Gold ended the month at $1,319.50 on the COMEX; silver, at $16.06. The U.S. Dollar Index lost 0.80% in January. 15,16

REAL ESTATE

First, the good news. January brought a significant dip in mortgage rates. In Freddie Mac’s last Primary Mortgage Market Survey of 2018 (December 27), a conventional home loan carried 4.55% interest on average. By January 31, that average interest rate had declined to 4.46%. The trend carried over to 15-year, fixed rate loans (4.01% to 3.89%) and 5/1-year, adjustable loans (4.00% to 3.96%). 17,18

Additionally, delayed new home sales data from the Census Bureau showed a 17.0% jump in November to an 8-month high. (The Bureau’s report on January housing starts is still pending as a result of the shutdown.) 19

Now, the bad news: existing home sales slowed. The National Association of Realtors announced that resales were down 6.4% month-over-month in December, after improving 2.1% in November. In 2018, existing home sales lagged 3.1% behind their 2017 pace; last year was the poorest year for home buying since 2015. 6,20

In other real estate news, the 20-city composite S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index showed 4.7% annual appreciation in its latest edition (November), which was the slimmest gain in almost four years. The yearly advance had been 5.0% a month earlier. The NAR’s pending home sales index, which measures monthly housing contract activity, fell 2.2% to 99.0 in December; that was its worst reading since April 2014. 5,20

T I P O F T H E M O N T H

Recent college graduates are certainly challenged to save for the future, what with student loans, rent, and entry-level jobs. It can be tough to set anything aside. Still, saving and investing something is better than nothing, and the effort must be made. Given the power of compounding over time, starting early is smart.

LOOKING BACK, LOOKING FORWARD

Equities got off to a flying start this year. While the big three all gained 7% or better last month, the small caps outran those bullish starts: the Russell 2000 soared 11.19% in January. At the closing bell on January 31, their settlements were: Dow Industrials, 24,999.67; Nasdaq Composite, 7,281.74; S&P 500, 2,704.10; Russell 2000, 1,499.42. Leading the pack among U.S. benchmarks in terms of monthly performance, the PHLX Oil Service Sector index climbed 19.28%. The CBOE VIX declined 34.82% in January, down to 16.57 at the end of the month. 1

Patient investors sighed with relief at January’s major Wall Street advance. The S&P 500 had not rallied so strongly in January since 1987. It just goes to show that when the bears come out, the bulls are quite capable of coming right back. Going into February, investors have three preoccupations: earnings, the rate of progress in the trade negotiations between the U.S. and China, and the lingering risk of a shutdown in Washington. In the best-case scenario, this month would see a return to business as usual on Wall Street: a leveling out of extreme volatility, a fading memory of December and its anxieties. With luck, maybe we will see that this month instead of a retreat inspired by poor quarterly results or sudden headlines. 23

Q U O T E O F T H E M O N T H

“Cherish all your happy moments: they make a fine cushion for old age.”

CHRISTOPHER MORLEY

UPCOMING RELEASES

What will investors interpret during the rest of 2019’s shortest month? Besides earnings, they will look at the January Consumer Price Index (2/13), the January Producer Price Index (2/14), the preliminary February University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, recent retail sales data, and January industrial output (2/15), minutes from the January Federal Reserve policy meeting as well as new and delayed reports on homebuilding activity (2/20), January existing home sales and leading indicators (2/21), a new Conference Board consumer confidence index, January new home sales, and the December S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index (2/26), January pending home sales and hard goods orders (2/27), and then, an estimate of Q4 growth (2/28). January personal spending data, the January Personal Consumption Expenditures price index, and the final February University of Michigan consumer sentiment index are slated to appear on March 1.

Know someone who could use information like this? Please feel free to send us their contact information via phone or email. (Don’t worry – we’ll request their permission before adding them to our mailing list.)

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs and expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. MarketingPro, Inc. is not affiliated with any person or firm that may be providing this information to you. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.

CITATIONS:

1 - markets.wsj.com/us [1/31/19]

2 - tinyurl.com/ybuyqd79 [1/28/19]

3 - nbcnews.com/business/economy/federal-reserve-leaves-interest-rate-unchanged-first-meeting-2019-n964726 [1/30/19]

4 - bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-18/china-is-said-to-offer-path-to-eliminate-u-s-trade-imbalance [1/18/19]

5 - reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy/us-consumer-morale-at-one-and-a-half-year-low-house-price-gains-slow-idUSKCN1PN271 [1/29/19]

6 - investing.com/economic-calendar/ [1/31/19]

7 - instituteforsupplymanagement.org/ISMReport/NonMfgROB.cfm?SSO=1 [1/7/19]

8 - time.com/5493913/december-jobs-numbers/ [1/4/19]

9 - cnbc.com/2019/01/15/theresa-may-loses-brexit-vote-what-happens-next.html [1/15/19]

10 - apnews.com/dcaa3bafbc474b0ca2f1a2ef43b450fd [1/31/19]

11 - cnbc.com/2019/01/31/china-economy-manufacturing-january-pmi-.html [1/31/19]

12 - hawaiipublicradio.org/post/asia-minute-slowing-chinese-economy-hits-neighboring-countries [1/29/19]

13 - markets.on.nytimes.com/research/markets/worldmarkets/worldmarkets.asp [1/31/19]

14 - msci.com/end-of-day-data-search [1/31/19]

15 - money.cnn.com/data/commodities/ [1/31/19]

16 - marketwatch.com/investing/index/dxy/historical [1/31/19]

17 - freddiemac.com/pmms/archive.html [1/31/19]

18 - freddiemac.com/pmms/archive.html?year=2018 [1/31/19]

19 - marketwatch.com/story/new-home-sales-soar-17-in-november-hit-an-8-month-high-2019-01-31 [1/31/19]

20 - tinyurl.com/yd25wvyd [1/30/19]

21 - markets.wsj.com/us [12/31/18]

22 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=yieldAll [2/1/19]

23 - marketwatch.com/story/what-does-the-stock-markets-monster-january-rally-mean-for-february-2019-01-31 [1/31/19]