Archive for ND&S Updates

Summer Swings

August 17, 2015 

US Equity Markets finished slightly higher last week as China’s devaluation of its currency caused a volatile week of trading. Major economic reports this week were the Commerce Department’s report of a m/m retail sales increase of 0.6% … more than the (-0.3%) in June; the Department of Labor’s Producer Price Index (PPI) which increased 0.2% m/m which was slightly above consensus . The market moving news from the week though was the Chinese government’s moves to devalue the Yuan. This devaluation along with an imminent Fed rate hike certainly has a negative affect on US multinationals who derive earnings from overseas.

For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished at 17,477 to close up 0.65%. The broader-based S&P 500 closed at 2092 for a gain of 0.73% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite closed the week at 5,048 as it advanced 0.12%. International markets were negative as the MSCI EAFE closed down (-1.35%) while the MSCI EM was down (-2.31%) for the week. Interest rates finished the week mostly flat during a volatile week of the trading with the 10-year Treasury closing at a yield of 2.20% (up from 2.18% the prior week).

As we continue through the “Dog Days of Summer”, expect continued volatility as the Fed considers a rate hike as soon as September and equity trading volumes remain low. Enjoy your week!

You have power over your mind – not outside events.  Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius

Rate Increase Coming?

August 10, 2015 

Last week, pretty much all equity markets were negative. The S&P 500 was down (-1.18%), while the DJIA was (-1.74%) and in the midst of 7 straight negative trading sessions, the longest streak since 2011. International stocks were also down for the week with the MSCI EAFE and MSCI EM down (-.54%) and (-1.79%) respectively. The 10yr US Treasury closed at a yield of 2.18% which is slightly above where it began the year (2.17%).

The major economic news last week was the July jobs report which reported nonfarm payrolls increased by 215,000. These numbers likely meet the Fed’s threshold for an interest rate increase later this year and possibly as soon as September. Earnings announcements this quarter are almost completed with 68% of companies exceeding earnings expectations.

This week, retail sales for the month of July will be reported on Thursday. Analyst expectations are for an increase of 0.6%, which would be more evidence to support a rate increase.

Enjoy the summer!

“Good questions outrank easy answers.” – Paul Samuelson

Weekly Roundup … Slowly but Surely

August 3, 2015 

Earnings and economic data released last week were generally positive. On Monday, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that durable goods orders for June rose 3.4% … ahead of the 3.2% expectation. First quarter GDP results were revised higher to a gain of 0.6% from an earlier reported loss of 0.2%. Importantly, second quarter consumer spending expanded at a 2.9% rate following a decline of 1.8% in the first quarter. Perhaps the improving job market along with cheaper oil and gas prices are finally showing up in consumer spending. Economies around the world (Greece excluded along with a few others) seem to be improving … slowly but surely.

Markets were mostly positive last week as they rebounded from the previous week’s losses. For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished at 17,690 to close up 0.69%. The broader-based S&P 500 closed at 2,104 for a gain of 1.16% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite closed the week at 5,128 as it advanced 0.78%. International markets were generally positive as the Dow Jones Global (ex US) Index inched ahead by 0.47% for the week. The 10-year Treasury closed the week at a yield of 2.18% (down from 2.26% the prior week).

As always, we urge investors not to get caught up in the day-to-day noise of the markets. Instead, focus on long-term goals, and enjoy the gift of each day.

August is here … make sure you enjoy the summer before it’s over!

Success consists of going from failure to failure without the loss of enthusiasm.
– Winston Churchill