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Weekly Economic Update - 12.25.17

LANDMARK FEDERAL TAX CHANGES SLATED FOR 2018

Congress passed the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act last week, and President Trump signed the bill into law on Friday. The new legislation authorizes major changes to the Internal Revenue Code. On January 1, 2018, the corporate tax rate will be reduced to 21%, most pass-through businesses will be allowed to claim a 20% deduction on earnings, the estate tax exemption will double, the individual standard deduction will rise to $12,000, and personal exemptions will disappear. At the start of 2019, the health insurance requirement for individuals set by the Affordable Care Act is scheduled for repeal. Most of the reforms are slated to sunset at the end of 2025.1

  

HOME SALES STRENGTHEN

The National Association of Realtors reported a 5.6% rise in residential resales in November, complementing last month’s 17.5% gain in new home buying announced by the Census Bureau. In a separate report, the Bureau found housing starts up 3.3% for November, with building permits down 1.4%.2

  

CONSUMER SPENDING JUMPS 0.6% IN NOVEMBER

Beside this noteworthy gain, the Department of Commerce also documented a 0.3% rise in personal income last month. Turning to consumer sentiment, the University of Michigan’s final December index declined 0.9 points from its preliminary reading to 95.9. In further consumer-linked news, the Bureau of Economic Analysis issued its last estimate of Q3 GDP, reducing it 0.1% to 3.2%.2

  

SMALL GAINS ON WALL STREET

As last week’s performance of the S&P 500 demonstrated, tax reform was already priced into U.S. equities. The benchmark advanced but 0.28% across five days, settling Friday at 2,683.34. In quiet trading, the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.34% for the week while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.42%. The Nasdaq finished the week at 6,959.96; the Dow, at 24,754.06. Bitcoin took a 27% intraday dive Friday, falling to $11,833 before recovering to $14,241 by Wall Street’s closing bell.3,4

      

THIS WEEK: U.S. financial markets are closed on Christmas Day. Trading resumes Tuesday, which is also the release date for the October S&P/Case-Shiller home price index. Wednesday, the Conference Board’s latest consumer confidence snapshot arrives, along with the NAR’s November pending home sales index. A new initial jobless claims report surfaces Thursday. Friday, nothing major is scheduled.

 

% CHANGE

Y-T-D

1-YR CHG

5-YR AVG

10-YR AVG

DJIA

+25.26

+24.27

+17.53

+8.40

NASDAQ

+29.29

+27.77

+26.08

+15.85

S&P 500

+19.85

+18.68

+17.53

+8.08

REAL YIELD

12/22 RATE

1 YR AGO

5 YRS AGO

10 YRS AGO

10 YR TIPS

0.54%

0.60%

-0.71%

1.84%

 

 


Sources: wsj.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov - 12/22/173,5,6,7

Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation.

 

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. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world's largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. 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 - cpapracticeadvisor.com/news/12388205/2018-tax-reform-law-new-tax-brackets-credits-and-deductions [12/22/17]

2 - investing.com/economic-calendar/ [12/22/17]

3 - markets.wsj.com/us [12/22/17]

4 - washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/12/22/bitcoin-tumbles-nearly-30-percent-in-volatile-trading/ [12/22/17]

5 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F22%2F16&x=0&y=0 [12/22/17]

5 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F22%2F16&x=0&y=0 [12/22/17]

5 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F22%2F16&x=0&y=0 [12/22/17]

5 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F21%2F12&x=0&y=0 [12/22/17]

5 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F21%2F12&x=0&y=0 [12/22/17]

5 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F21%2F12&x=0&y=0 [12/22/17]

5 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F21%2F07&x=0&y=0 [12/22/17]

5 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F21%2F07&x=0&y=0 [12/22/17]

5 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F21%2F07&x=0&y=0 [12/22/17]

6 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [12/22/17]

7 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [12/22/17]


Weekly Economic Update - 12.18.17

FED MAKES ITS FINAL RATE MOVE OF 2017

As expected, the Federal Reserve raised the benchmark interest rate by 0.25% last week. The Federal Open Market Committee voted 7-2 to take the target range for the federal funds rate up to 1.25-1.5%. Fed officials made little change to their dot-plot chart – they still see three rate hikes in 2018, and their consensus projection has the federal funds rate at 2.1% a year from now. They did elevate their 2018 GDP forecast from 2.1% to 2.5%.1

   

CORE INFLATION LAGS HEADLINE CPI ADVANCE

According to the Department of Labor, consumer prices rose 0.4% in November – but the core Consumer Price Index, which removes food and energy costs, only saw a gain of 0.1%. This left the 12-month increase in the core CPI at 1.7% compared with 2.2% for the headline number, a gap that may complicate matters for the Federal Reserve as it considers the pace of 2018 interest rate adjustments.2

  

BUYING, BUYING, and MORE BUYING

Retail sales climbed an impressive 0.8% in November following a strong 0.5% rise for October. Factoring out auto purchases, the November gain was 1.0%. Recent Department of Commerce data shows core retail sales (which do not include building materials, gasoline, and food) advancing at their best pace in three years.3

  

WALL STREET RALLIES

With the possibility of reduced corporate tax rates just ahead, institutional investors were notably bullish last week. Across five trading sessions, the S&P 500 gained 0.92% to 2,675.81; the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 1.33% to 24,651.74; Nasdaq Composite, 1.41% to 6,936.58. All that confidence helped send the CBOE VIX down to a Friday close of 9.42.4

      

THIS WEEK: No major economic indicators or earnings announcements are scheduled for release on Monday. Data on November housing starts and building permits emerges Tuesday, plus earnings news from Darden Restaurants, FedEx, Micron Technology, Navistar, Red Hat, and Steelcase. On Wednesday, the Street considers November existing home sales and earnings from Bed Bath & Beyond, Blackberry, General Mills, and Winnebago. The last estimate of Q3 GDP comes out Thursday, along with a new initial claims report and earnings from Accenture, CarMax, ConAgra Brands, Finish Line, Hovnanian, Nike, Paychex, and Rite Aid. Reports on November personal spending and hard goods orders, the November PCE price index, the final December University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, and November new home sales appear Friday.

  

% CHANGE

Y-T-D

1-YR CHG

5-YR AVG

10-YR AVG

DJIA

+24.74

+24.18

+17.54

+8.48

NASDAQ

+28.86

+27.12

+26.69

+16.32

S&P 500

+19.52

+18.29

+17.86

+8.23

REAL YIELD

12/15 RATE

1 YR AGO

5 YRS AGO

10 YRS AGO

10 YR TIPS

0.47%

0.70%

-0.84%

1.90%

 

 


Sources: wsj.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov - 12/15/174,5,6,7

Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation.

 

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. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world's largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. 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 - bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-13/fed-raises-rates-while-sticking-to-three-hike-outlook-for-2018 [12/13/17]

2 - reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-inflation/u-s-core-inflation-slows-puts-spotlight-on-2018-interest-rate-outlook-idUSKBN1E71QM [12/13/17]

3 - bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-14/u-s-retail-sales-increased-0-8-in-november [12/14/17]

4 - markets.wsj.com/us [12/15/17]

5 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F15%2F16&x=0&y=0 [12/15/17]

5 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F15%2F16&x=0&y=0 [12/15/17]

5 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F15%2F16&x=0&y=0 [12/15/17]

5 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F14%2F12&x=0&y=0 [12/15/17]

5 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F14%2F12&x=0&y=0 [12/15/17]

5 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F14%2F12&x=0&y=0 [12/15/17]

5 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F14%2F07&x=0&y=0 [12/15/17]

5 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F14%2F07&x=0&y=0 [12/15/17]

5 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F14%2F07&x=0&y=0 [12/15/17]

6 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [12/15/17]

7 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [12/15/17]


Weekly Economic Update - 12.11.17

ANOTHER MONTH OF SOLID HIRING

According to the Department of Labor, the U.S. workforce gained 228,000 more jobs than it lost during November. Annualized wage growth improved from 2.5% to 2.7%. The headline jobless rate held at 4.1% last month, while the U-6 rate, that includes the underemployed, ticked up a tenth of a percent to 8.0%. Even though October’s net job gain was revised down to 244,000, October-November 2017 represents the best two-month hiring period in more than a year.1,2

  

ISM INDEX MISSES EXPECTATIONS

The Institute for Supply Management’s gauge of service sector activity fell 2.7 points to a still-impressive reading of 57.4 in November. Economists polled by Briefing.com expected a retreat, albeit a lesser one: they projected a reading of 59.3.2

  

A SMALL DECLINE FOR CONSUMER SENTIMENT

There was just a bit less optimism in households in early December, at least by the measure of the University of Michigan’s twice-monthly Surveys of Consumers. The preliminary December edition of the university’s consumer sentiment index fell 1.7 points from its final November reading to a mark of 96.8.2

  

TWO OF THREE MAJOR INDICES RISE

Once again, the Nasdaq Composite gave up ground across five trading sessions while the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced. The tech benchmark lost only 0.11% last week on its way to a 6,840.08 Friday close. The same stretch brought gains of 0.40% for the Dow and 0.35% for the S&P; their respective Friday settlements were 24,329.16 and 2,651.50. Dropping 16.19% last week, the CBOE VIX volatility gauge went back under 10, closing Friday at 9.58. Settling at 1,521.72 Friday, the small-cap Russell 2000 lost 1.00% for the week.3

      

THIS WEEK: Casey’s General Stores announces Q3 earnings Monday. Tuesday, the November Producer Price Index comes out, and Verifone presents Q3 results. The Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise the benchmark interest rate Wednesday; the November Consumer Price Index also appears for Wall Street’s consideration. Thursday brings federal government reports on initial jobless claims and November retail sales, plus earnings from Costco and Jabil Circuit. A Federal Reserve report on November industrial output arrives Friday.

 

% CHANGE

Y-T-D

1-YR CHG

5-YR AVG

10-YR AVG

DJIA

+23.11

+24.03

+16.99

+7.86

NASDAQ

+27.07

+26.26

+25.94

+15.28

S&P 500

+18.43

+18.04

+17.40

+7.62

REAL YIELD

12/8 RATE

1 YR AGO

5 YRS AGO

10 YRS AGO

10 YR TIPS

0.50%

0.45%

-0.86%

1.86%

 

 


Sources: wsj.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov - 12/8/173,4,5,6

Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation.

 

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. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy.  The Russell 2000 measures the performance of approximately 2000 small-cap companies in the Russell 3000 Index, which is made up of 3000 of the biggest U.S. stocks. The CBOE Volatility Index® (VIX® Index®) is a key measure of market expectations of near-term volatility conveyed by S&P 500 stock index option prices. The NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world's largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. 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 - fortune.com/2017/12/08/november-job-report-unemployment-rate/ [12/8/17]

2 - briefing.com/investor/calendars/economic/ [12/8/17]

3 - markets.wsj.com/us [12/8/17]

4 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F8%2F16&x=0&y=0 [12/8/17]

4 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F8%2F16&x=0&y=0 [12/8/17]

4 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F8%2F16&x=0&y=0 [12/8/17]

4 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F7%2F12&x=0&y=0 [12/8/17]

4 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F7%2F12&x=0&y=0 [12/8/17]

4 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F7%2F12&x=0&y=0 [12/8/17]

4 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F7%2F07&x=0&y=0 [12/8/17]

4 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F7%2F07&x=0&y=0 [12/8/17]

4 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F7%2F07&x=0&y=0 [12/8/17]

5 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [12/8/17]

6 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [12/8/17]

 

 


Damian Rothermel is an investment adviser representative of, and securities and advisory services are offered through, USA Financial Securities Corp., Member FINRA/SIPC. www.finra.org A Registered Investment Adviser located at 6020 E. Fulton St., Ada, MI 49301. Rothermel Financial Services is not affiliated with USA Financial Securities.

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