Market Update: August 8, 2022-Mixed Week For Markets, Jobs On The Rise, Plus SFG News and Events


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Mixed Week For Markets, Jobs On The Rise


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Mixed Week For Markets, Jobs On The Rise

Stocks turned in a mixed performance last week as investors struggled with headlines suggesting that the Fed was unlikely to soon ease up on its current monetary tightening policy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.13%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 0.36%. The Nasdaq Composite index picked up 2.15% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, gained 0.23%.

Showing Resilience

Ahead of Friday’s employment report, stocks were generally higher, highlighted by a Wednesday rally triggered by fresh earnings surprises and a better-than-expected economic report. The rally was especially notable because it occurred when multiple Fed officials said that the fight against inflation hadn’t ended, perhaps throwing cold water on the idea that the Fed might pivot due to weakening economic activity and the prospect of cooling inflation.

Aside from this single day of enthusiasm, markets were a bit jittery, especially as investors monitored Speaker of the House Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. A robust employment report on Friday reinforced the idea that the Fed would likely stay the course on monetary tightening, resulting in a mixed market for the week.

Employment Report

The U.S economy added 528,000 jobs in July, doubling the consensus expectation of 258,000. The unemployment rate ticked…

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Market Update: August 1, 2022-Markets Rally; Earnings Better Than Expected, Plus SFG News and Events


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Markets Rally; Earnings Better Than Expected


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Markets Rally; Earnings Better Than Expected

Undaunted by another Fed rate hike and news of a contracting economy, the stock market rallied last week on better-than-expected corporate earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 2.97%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 picked up 4.26%. The Nasdaq Composite index gained 4.70% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, rose 0.95%.

Stocks Rally on Earnings

It was an inauspicious start to the week after a big-box retailer missed earnings and reduced forward guidance on Tuesday, sparking a broad market retreat.

But sentiment improved following mega-cap technology company earnings that proved better than expected. Enthusiasm gathered steam in the wake of the Fed’s 0.75% rate hike, boosted by Fed Chair Powell’s comments following Wednesday’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting. Powell indicated that it might become appropriate to slow the pace of future hikes, and he didn’t believe the economy had entered into recession. Stocks on Thursday shrugged off news of a second-consecutive quarter of negative economic growth to build on Wednesday’s gains as fresh earnings continued to comfort, if not impress, investors.

Economy Contracts

The U.S. economy shrank at an annualized rate of 0.9% in the second quarter as consumers pulled back on spending and businesses worked to reduce inventories. It was the second-consecutive quarter of negative economic growth, meeting the technical definition of a recession. Unlike past recessions, hiring has been…

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Market Update: July 25, 2022-Markets React to Dim Forecast, 2Q Reports, Plus SFG News and Events


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Markets React to Dim Forecast, 2Q Reports


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Markets React to Dim Forecast, 2Q Reports

Stocks rallied last week as investor spirits lifted thanks to a better-than-expected start to the second-quarter earnings season.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.95%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 added 2.55%. The Nasdaq Composite index jumped 3.33% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, advanced 3.54%.

Earnings Propel Stocks
Earnings season kicked off last week, with major banks reporting second-quarter results. While their results were mixed, they appeared to indicate that consumers and businesses remained reasonably healthy–a perspective that helped erase some negative sentiment overhanging the market.

As the week progressed, stocks gained momentum as earnings results poured in from different sectors of the economy, showing that businesses were navigating higher inflation and slowing growth better than investors feared. Technology and other gloomier sectors were among the market’s best performers for the week. A few disappointing corporate reports and a weak economic report sent stocks lower to close out a solid week.

Cracks in the Foundation
Data released last week indicated more trouble in the housing market. The latest monthly homebuilder sentiment survey showed the single largest monthly drop in its 37-year history, except for April 2020. The sentiment report preceded a drop in…

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Market Update: July 18, 2022-Friday Rally Stems Week of Losses, Plus SFG News and Events


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Friday Rally Stems Week of Losses


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Friday Rally Stems Week of Losses

A record-high inflation report, the prospects of a more aggressive Fed, and growing recession fears sent stocks lower– though losses were pared by a Friday rally.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.16%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 0.93%. The Nasdaq Composite index dropped 1.57% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, lost 3.49%.

Stocks Slide
As the week opened, recession fears intensified with reports of renewed Covid-related lockdowns in China. Also, the U.S. dollar continued to climb, reflecting global economic weakness.

June’s consumer price index report showed price increases accelerating. Year-over-year prices jumped 9.1%, the fastest pace in over 40 years. Speculation grew that the Federal Reserve might contemplate a 100 basis point increase in short-term rates later this month, rather than the 75 basis point hike it earlier signaled. The market rebounded on Friday following comments by an Federal Open Market Committee member who said he favoring a 75 basis point hike. Also helping the Friday rally was a strong retail sales report and additional second-quarter company reports.

Dollar Strength
The increasing strength of the U.S. dollar moved to center stage last week as the dollar index (a measure of the U.S. dollar to six other major currencies) reached a…

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Market Update: July 11, 2022-Stocks Rally Despite Mixed Data, Plus SFG News and Events


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Stocks Rally Despite Mixed Data


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Stocks Rally Despite Mixed Data

In a holiday-shortened trading week, stocks rallied despite mixed economic data and vacillating energy prices and bond yields. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.77%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 1.94%. The Nasdaq Composite index picked up 4.56% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, edged 0.46% higher.

Stocks Move Higher
In advance of Friday’s much-anticipated employment report, stocks enjoyed successive daily gains despite ongoing concerns about a recession. Recession fears were supported by an inversion in the yield curve and updated second-quarter Gross Domestic Product projections indicating the economy is ready to contract.
Technology shares were the week’s big winners as investors appear to have turned to companies with earnings growth potential during a weakening economic environment. Stocks bounced along the flatline following the strong jobs report on Friday to close out a positive week.

Employment’s Mixed Signal
One of the holes in the “imminent-recession” narrative has been the labor market’s strength. Historically, recessions have been preceded by or concurrently with a weakening jobs market.

Friday’s employment report reflected a job market that continues to…

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Market Update: June 27, 2022-Stocks Rally, Despite Recession Concerns, SFG News and Events, and Bryan Slovon’s New Book!


Table of Contents



Stocks Rally, Despite Recession Concerns


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Stocks Rally, Despite Recession Concerns

Prospects of cooling inflation powered a rally in stock prices last week despite growing recession concerns. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 5.39%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 climbed 6.45%. The Nasdaq Composite index rose 7.49% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, edged 0.78% higher.

Stocks Bounce
Declining energy and food prices and falling bond yields signaled a potentially improving inflation outlook, buoying investor sentiment. The rally in stocks was most powerful on the first and final trading days of a holiday-shortened week. Stocks turned a bit choppy mid-week as investors digested Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s Senate appearance but resumed their momentum on Thursday and rallied Friday as rate-hike expectations eased.
Though the weekly gain was a welcome respite from the market’s downward trend, declining bond yields and falling food and energy prices can also be interpreted as signs of slowing economic growth, which may represent a headwind for corporate earnings in the months ahead.
Powell Testifies
Fed Chair Jerome Powell told members of the Senate Finance Committee that the Fed is committed to lowering inflation and moving quickly to do so. He conceded that a recession could…

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Market Update: June 20, 2022-Fed Rate Hike Triggers Market Dip, Plus SFG News and Events


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Fed Rate Hike Triggers Market Dip


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Fed Rate Hike Triggers Market Dip

Stocks moved lower last week as recession fears deepened following a Fed hike in interest rates and weak economic data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 4.79%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 dropped 5.79%. The Nasdaq Composite index slid 4.78% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slumped 4.51%.

Stocks Tumble
Stocks were under pressure all week due to inflation worries, higher yields, and rising recession concerns. In advance of the much-awaited mid-week meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), bond yields jumped, and stocks retreated on speculation that the Fed might raise rates by 75 basis points. When the Fed announced a 75 basis point hike on Wednesday, stocks rebounded strongly.
The enthusiasm was short-lived. Stocks resumed their slide on Thursday as global central banks followed with their own rate hikes. Recession fears grew based on a weak housing starts report and a contraction in the Philadelphia Fed Business Index–the first contraction since May 2020.
Fed Rate Hike
The Federal Reserve announced a 0.75% hike in the federal funds rate, making it the biggest rate increase since 1994 and signaling its commitment to address inflation. The report from last week’s FOMC meeting also indicated…

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Market Update: June 13, 2022-Stocks Dip on Inflation Report, Plus SFG News and Events


Table of Contents



Stocks Dip on Inflation Report


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Stocks Dip on Inflation Report

A higher-than-expected inflation report triggered a sell-off on Friday, leaving stocks in the red for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 4.58%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 dropped 5.05%. The Nasdaq Composite index slid 5.60% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, declined 1.81%.

Inflation Upends Stocks
Stocks gyrated between gains and losses last week until sliding lower on Friday’s hot inflation report, which heightened worries over a more aggressive Fed and a further economic slowdown. Stocks moved higher to begin the week, despite rising bond yields, a profit warning from a major retailer, and Senate testimony by Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen, who said that inflation was likely to remain elevated.
Stocks turned lower later in the week on renewed concerns of an economic slowdown, sparked by a downward revision in The Federal Reserve-Atlanta’s real-time estimate of second-quarter GDP growth and a drop in new mortgage applications. Investors lightening up on stocks ahead of Friday’s inflation report may have also contributed to Thursday’s selling.
Inside Inflation
Consumer prices rose 8.6% year-over-year in May, marking the highest rate since December 1981. Price increases over the last 12 months were driven by…

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Market Update: June 6, 2022-Stocks Slip on Mixed Economic News, Plus SFG News and Events


Table of Contents



Stocks Slip on Mixed Economic News


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Stocks Slip on Mixed Economic News

In a holiday-shortened week of volatile trading, stocks surrendered some of the previous week’s strong gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.94%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 declined 1.20%. The Nasdaq Composite index lost 0.98% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slipped 0.17%.

An Uncertain Market
Stocks experienced wild swings last week, in part, due to ongoing uncertainty over economic health and the path of inflation. Investors seemed conflicted when interpreting the data, in some instances viewing economic strength as a negative since it may mean more aggressive rate hikes from the Fed.
Illustrative of how this uncertainty has played out, stocks surged higher on Thursday despite comments from Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard indicating it’s unlikely that the Fed will pause on rate hikes. Then on Friday, stocks dropped as a better-than-expected jobs report raised concerns about monetary policy.
Strong Job Growth
The U.S. economy added 390,000 jobs in May, a slowdown from recent months but higher than consensus estimates. Job gains registered in several categories, led by leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and warehousing and transportation. The retail sector lost jobs.
The unemployment rate remained unchanged at …

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Market Update: May 23, 2022-Recession Concerns Rising, Plus SFG News and Events


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Recession Concerns Rising


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Recession Concerns Rising

Recession fears grew last week following weak earnings reports from major retailers, sending stocks lower. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.90%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 3.05%. The Nasdaq Composite index dropped 3.82% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, gained 0.84%.

Trending Lower
Stock prices remained in a downtrend, capped by a sell-off on Wednesday following a succession of disappointing earnings reports from several major retailers. Despite solid April retail sales and industrial production data, weak economic numbers from China and shrinking profit margins at U.S. retailers fanned recession fears throughout the week.
Rising yields, which have been an overhang to the markets in recent weeks, turned lower as investors appeared to move cash to bonds from stocks. But lower yields did not help stock prices, which closed out the week with a volatile trading session.
Cloudy Picture with Retailers
Investors received a mixed message from the retail sector. April’s retail sales increased 0.9% from March, signifying that consumer spending remained strong. But it was difficult to determine from the retail sales report whether the increase was a function of higher retail prices or a resilient consumer.
It was also a big week for earnings reports from some of the nation’s largest retailers. Results were disappointing as

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