DECEMBER 2018

In this month’s recap: equities rise with a little help from the Fed, oil dives, and most key domestic indicators look quite strong. Monthly Economic Update   Presented by Andy Tomlinson Wealth Management December 2018   THE MONTH IN BRIEF For most of November, the stock market was plagued by the same skepticism evident in October: the […]

“The end result of kindness is that it draws people to you.” anita roddick

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OCTOBER 2018

In this month’s recap: the Fed hikes again, wage growth ascends, mortgage rates rise notably, and stocks advance. Monthly Economic Update   Presented by Andy Tomlinson Wealth Management, October 2018   THE MONTH IN BRIEF Wall Street maintained its optimism in September. While trade worries were top of mind for economists and investors overseas, bulls […]

“Having a lot of money does not automatically make you a successful person. What you want is money and meaning. You want your work to be meaningful, because meaning is what brings the real richness to your life.” Oprah winfrey

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JULY 2018

In this month’s recap: tariff talk weighs on equities worldwide, oil prices jump 10%, and the Fed raises rates once more. Monthly Economic Update   Presented by Andy Tomlinson, July 2018   THE MONTH IN BRIEF While segments of the stock market rallied in June, assumptions that a global trade war was starting hurt the […]

“Never put off ‘til tomorrow what you can do today.”      – Lord Chesterfield

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JUNE 2018

THE MONTH IN BRIEF In May, investors were left to interpret mixed geopolitical and financial signals. The historic U.S.-North Korea summit was on, then off, then possibly on again. An apparent truce emerged in the U.S.-China tariffs battle, but it did not last. Oil rallied, but then prices fell. Federal Reserve policy meeting minutes indicated […]

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”      – Maya Angelou

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MAY 2018

THE MONTH IN BRIEF April saw the S&P 500 advance 0.27% as a new earnings season unfolded – one in which investors grew uneasy about rising Treasury yields, protectionism, and privacy concerns involving tech giants. While the financial media largely focused on those anxieties, good news also appeared. The latest consumer spending and consumer confidence […]

“We cannot fail to win unless we fail to try.”      – Tom Clancy

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MARCH 2018

THE MONTH IN BRIEF Investors certainly received a wake-up call in February. A correction hit Wall Street for the first time in nearly two years, and benchmarks overseas were also challenged. Two weeks later, though, the S&P 500 had gained back more than half of what it had lost in the dive. Prices of important […]

“Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for truth.”      – Benjamin Disraeli

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FEBRUARY 2018

THE MONTH IN BRIEF Bulls took charge of Wall Street as 2018 began: the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 5.79% in the first month of the year, even with a mild selloff on the verge of February. Foreign equity benchmarks largely advanced as well. Oil and gasoline futures surged, while bitcoin continued to rollercoaster. Personal […]

“The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious of the rose.”      – Kahlil Gibran

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JANUARY 2018

January 2018 THE MONTH IN BRIEF Financially speaking, the last month of 2017 was also the year’s most newsworthy. Congress reformed federal tax law to a degree unseen since the 1980s, the Federal Reserve raised the benchmark interest rate, and bitcoin took its investors for a wild ride. Hiring, retail sales, and personal spending numbers […]

“Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.”      – Malcolm Forbes

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DECEMBER 2017

THE MONTH IN BRIEF In November, the S&P 500 gained 2.81% and advanced for a thirteenth straight month – an unprecedented milestone in the index’s long history. Consumer confidence and investor confidence were both abundant, as further evidence arrived that the economy was growing at an impressive rate. Solid fundamental indicators, upbeat earnings announcements, and […]

“Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.”      – Thomas Jefferson

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NOVEMBER 2017

THE MONTH IN BRIEF October saw the S&P 500 rise 2.22% in response to results from the fall earnings season, encouraging fundamental indicators, and anticipation of tax reforms. An impressive jump in personal spending complemented excellent readings on consumer confidence and purchasing manager indices; although, hiring suffered a setback. As the European Union contended with […]

OCTOBER 2017

THE MONTH IN BRIEF In August, investors witnessed a terrible natural disaster and heard threats of war on America, and the S&P 500 still managed to gain 0.05%. September brought two terrible natural disasters and more threats of war on America, and the broad benchmark rose 1.93% and topped 2,500 for the first time. In […]

“All things are difficult before they are easy.”      – Thomas Fuller

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“Dreams come true. Without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them.”      – John Updike

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AUGUST 2017

THE MONTH IN BRIEF The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 2.54% in July as earnings announcements and fundamental indicators provided a lift for the blue chips and other stock market indices. Hiring and manufacturing data was particularly reassuring. Annualized inflation declined once more. Oil, gold, and other marquee commodities advanced and so did many Asia-Pacific […]

“Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday.”      – Wilma Rudolph

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JULY 2017

THE MONTH IN BRIEF June brought some definite headwinds to Wall Street, but the broad stock market still advanced. The S&P 500 added 0.48% across the month, even with tech shares selling off. As anticipated, the Federal Reserve raised the federal funds rate by another quarter point. Last month was a trying one for European […]

JULY 10, 2017

HIRING PICKS UP AGAIN The Department of Labor announced some good news Friday: the creation of 222,000 net new jobs in June, the largest hiring gain in four months. Approximately 4.7 million people reentered the labor force and found work in June, a peak unmatched in 27 years of monthly data. Wages rose 0.2% for […]

JULY 3, 2017

HOUSEHOLD EARNINGS OUTPACE SPENDING According to newly released Department of Commerce data, personal incomes improved 0.4% in May, but personal spending advanced just 0.1% after a 0.4% gain in April. Core consumer prices (minus food and energy costs) rose only 1.4% during the 12 months ending in May.1,2,3   WERE CONSUMERS MORE CONFIDENT IN JUNE? […]

JUNE 26, 2017

MORE HOMES MOVED IN MAY In a pleasant surprise for economists, both new and existing home sales picked up last month. The National Association of Realtors announced a 1.1% gain for resales, with the average house for sale spending only 27 days on the market. New home buying increased 2.9% in May, resulting in an […]

JUNE 19, 2017

FED DELIVERS EXPECTED & UNEXPECTED NEWS As Wall Street anticipated, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates on June 14. The Federal Open Market Committee voted 8-1 to take the benchmark interest rate north by a quarter-point to the 1.00-1.25% range. The Fed also said it would begin to reduce its $4.5 trillion balance sheet at […]

JUNE 12, 2017

AN UPBEAT REPORT ON THE SERVICE SECTOR The Institute for Supply Management’s May non-manufacturing purchasing manager index displayed a reading of 56.9 last week, showing expansion in U.S. service industries for an eighty-ninth straight month. Although the gauge declined 0.6 points from its April mark, it signaled a solid pace of growth. The index’s employment […]

“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.”      – Voltaire

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JUNE 2017

THE MONTH IN BRIEF May was another good month for stocks. The S&P 500 gained more than 1%, putting its YTD advance above 7.7%. While the housing market showed some spring weakness, hiring bounced back and most other important economic indicators did not falter. Wall Street seemed little troubled by politics, terrorist incidents, data disappointments, […]

JUNE 5, 2017

JOB CREATION, JOBLESS RATE DOWN IN MAY A day after ADP’s employment change report estimated a hiring gain of 253,000 in May, the Department of Labor’s latest jobs report told a far different story. It said employers added just 138,000 workers last month. The U-3 jobless rate fell to a 16-year low of 4.3% in […]

MAY 29, 2017

CONSUMER SENTIMENT DECLINES JUST A BIT Ending May at a mark of 97.1, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell 0.6 points from its preliminary reading for the month. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast the gauge to remain at 97.7.1 FEWER HOMES WERE BOUGHT IN APRIL Both new and existing home sales tapered […]

MAY 22, 2017

CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY SLOWED IN APRIL Against expectations, both housing starts and building permits declined in the fourth month of the year. Newly released Census Bureau data shows a 2.5% retreat for permits and a 2.6% pullback for starts last month. The key factors: a 9.2% drop in starts for multi-family projects (which have declined for […]

MAY 15, 2017

A SOLID RETAIL SALES READING Americans bought more in April. The pace of retail purchases hastened by 0.4% last month, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis revised the 0.2% March retreat into a 0.1% gain. Headline retail sales were up 4.5% across the 12 months ending in April. Core retail sales rose 0.3% in the […]

MAY 8, 2017

NEW DATA SHOWS MORE HIRING, LESS SPENDING Unemployment hit a 10-year low in April as payrolls swelled with 211,000 net new jobs, a rebound from the meager gains of March. The Department of Labor’s monthly report showed the headline jobless rate declining 0.1% to 4.4%; the U-6 rate measuring underemployment was at 8.6%, falling 0.3%. […]

“The whole life of man is but a point of time; let us enjoy it.”      – Plutarch

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MAY 8, 2017

THE MONTH IN BRIEF In April, investors kept one eye on impressive corporate earnings and another on geopolitical developments in Asia and Europe. Earnings ultimately drew the most attention – the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose more than 1% for the month, while the Nasdaq Composite added more than 2%. The latest readings on some […]

MAY 1, 2017

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE DIPS SLIGHTLY The University of Michigan and Conference Board consumer confidence indices descended a little last month, but remained in great shape. The CB index displayed an April reading of 120.6, down from 124.9 in March. Slipping a point from its initial April mark, the Michigan barometer fell to 97.0.1   LATEST HOUSING […]