While recent economic data releases were mostly positive, major indices retreated under perceptions of increased policy and geopolitical uncertainty. The Fed minutes on Wednesday showed a split committee, leaving the market unsure when the next rate hike will come, and a terror attack in Spain sent stock markets lower. The S&P 500 fell 0.6% and the MSCI ACWI closed 0.2% lower. The Bloomberg BarCap U.S. Aggregate Bond Index rose 0.1%.
Geopolitics took center stage last week with U.S.-North Korea tensions leading to a cautious pullback across global markets and greater emphasis on safer investments. Given the ferocity of the rhetoric between the U.S. and North Korea, the market reaction seemed subdued. The S&P 500 dropped 1.4% and the MSCI ACWI slid 1.6%. The flight to safe havens pushed gold and bond prices higher. The Bloomberg BarCap U.S. Aggregate Bond Index rose 0.2% and gold climbed 2.4%.
Generally solid economic data and earnings are continuing to propel the bullish momentum. The Dow Jones touched and crossed the 22,000 level mid-week while the S&P 500 fell just short of last week’s all-time record. Most global indices were up as well on the positive data. The S&P 500 edged up 0.2% and the MSCI ACWI climbed 0.4% and set a record high early in the week. The BarCap U.S. Aggregate Bond Index rose 0.2%. Read more
If you’ve looked at the ads in your Sunday paper lately, you know what time of the year it is . . . Back to School season! With most students starting classes later this month, retailers across the country are planning for the influx of shoppers looking for the best deals on back to school clothes and supplies. Read more
Published by Scott Kubie
Recently, a fee-only financial advisor mentioned to me that more clients are proposing to manage more of their own assets and invest in the “S&P 500.” For most who go down this path, this move will likely end badly. These investors, while seeking to avoid wealth management fees, are ignoring the value their advisor brings to them as well as the current market environment. Read more
Second quarter earnings have been anything but dull with a majority of the reporting companies beating internal estimates and market expectations. Consumer confidence jumped to a near 16-year high in July (121.1 vs 117.3 in June) amid optimism over the labor market. In spite of the news, the S&P 500 was basically unchanged and the MSCI ACWI rose 0.1%. The Bloomberg BarCap U.S. Aggregate Bond Index slid 0.2%.
Earnings season is off to a good start with major indices up almost every day of the week. Additionally, the Bank of Japan’s decision to again push back the target date to reach its inflation goal and the ECB standing pat on stimulus pushed Asian and European exchanges higher. The S&P 500 rose 0.5% and our global benchmark, the MSCI ACWI, climbed 0.6%. Both indexes hit all-time records on Thursday. The Bloomberg BarCap U.S. Aggregate Bond Index increased 0.6%.
Headline CPI for June came in at 1.6%, down from 1.9% the previous month. Fed’s chair Yellen reiterated her confidence about the U.S. economy, but noted that the committee, “…stands ready to adjust policy if it appears the inflation undershoot appears consistent.” The less hawkish tone sent the U.S. equity markets higher. The S&P 500 climbed 1.4%. Global stocks, represented by the MSCI ACWI, soared 2.1% and the Bloomberg BarCap U.S. Aggregate Bond Index rose 0.4%.