April 24, 2017

EXISTING HOME SALES HIT A 10-YEAR PEAK Rising 4.4% for March, resales surpassed expectations – analysts polled by Reuters projected a gain of 2.5%. The National Association of Realtors said that sales were 5.9% improved from a year before, and that put them at their best level since February 2007, even with existing home inventory […]

APRIL 17, 2017

PRICES DECLINE IN MARCH In March, the Consumer Price Index retreated for the first time in 13 months. Its 0.3% dip left annualized consumer inflation at a moderate 2.4%. Fuels, autos, and groceries have all become less expensive recently, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Core consumer prices were up 2.0% in the year […]

APRIL 10, 2017

COMPANIES ADDED FEWER WORKERS IN MARCH Just 98,000 net new jobs were created last month, and some analysts think Winter Storm Stella may have held hiring back. Even so, the Department of Labor’s latest employment report showed the U-3 jobless rate decreasing 0.2% to 4.5%; the broader U-6 rate fell 0.3% to 8.9%. The big […]

“Reality is something you rise above.”      – Liza Minnelli

http://www.tomlinsonwealth.com/2017/04/3724/

April 2017

THE MONTH IN BRIEF Stocks went sideways rather than north in March, with the S&P 500 losing just 0.04%. The Federal Reserve made another quarter-point interest rate move, and overseas, the United Kingdom initiated Brexit proceedings. While new data showed weak consumer spending, consumer optimism remained high and hiring was once again strong. A subpar […]

APRIL 3, 2017

PERSONAL SPENDING SLOWS Consumers apparently chose saving over spending in the second month of the year. Last week, a Department of Commerce report noted only a 0.1% gain for personal spending in February. That happened even with personal incomes rising 0.4%, nearly matching the 0.5% January advance. In other news concerning personal spending, the Bureau […]

MARCH 27, 2017

NEW HOME SALES GO ONE WAY, RESALES ANOTHER Rising 6.1% in February, new home sales reached a 7-month peak. The Census Bureau said that this gain occurred with just 5.4 months of inventory on the market, less than half that available in 2006 during the height of the last residential real estate boom. In contrast, […]

MARCH 20, 2017

FED HIKES, LEAVES 2017 FORECAST UNCHANGED As expected, the Federal Reserve raised the target range for the federal funds rate by a quarter-point last week to 0.75-1.00%. “The simple message is, the economy is doing well,” Fed chair Janet Yellen explained to the media following the move. The central bank’s dot-plot table still projects two […]

MARCH 13, 2017

COMPANIES HIRED READILY IN FEBRUARY U.S. firms added 235,000 net new jobs last month, and the latest Department of Labor employment report showed the largest growth occurring in the construction and education/health care sectors. The DoL also revised January’s job gains upward by 11,000 to 238,000. Payroll expansion has averaged 209,000 per month since December. […]

MARCH 6, 2017

YELLEn: RATE MOVE MAY HAPPEN THIS MONTH In Chicago Friday, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said that if hiring and inflation indicators continue to meet the central bank’s expectations, an interest rate hike “would likely be appropriate” at its March policy meeting. She also noted that, barring unforeseen events, the pace of tightening in the […]

MARCH 6, 2017

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”      – Vince Lombardi

MARCH 2017

THE MONTH IN BRIEF February was a great month for stocks and a historic month for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The blue chips closed at record highs for 12 straight trading sessions, a feat unmatched for 30 years. The S&P 500 gained 3.72% for the month. Readings on consumer confidence and purchasing manager indices […]

FEBRUARY 27, 2017

A LITTLE LESS OPTIMISM AMONG CONSUMERS February’s final University of Michigan consumer sentiment index came in at 96.3, down from its January mark of 98.5, but well above the 91.7 reading of a year earlier. Despite the descent, the index just had its best three months since early 2004.1 FED MINUTES SUGGEST RATE MOVE MAY […]

FEBRUARY 20, 2017

RETAIL SALES ROSE 0.4% in JANUARY Consumer spending on household electronics and appliances powered this gain. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a 0.1% advance. Core retail purchases also rose 0.4% last month. The Department of Commerce revised the December increase for retail sales upward to 1.0%. Across the 12 months ending in January, retail […]

FEBRUARY 13, 2017

CONSUMER SENTIMENT SLIPS A BIT The University of Michigan’s preliminary February index of consumer sentiment came in at a reading of 95.7 Friday, compared with a final January mark of 98.5 (which was a 13-year peak). Economists polled by Bloomberg had expected a slight decline to 98.0. While this was the index’s lowest level in […]

“But in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”      – Ben Franklin

http://www.tomlinsonwealth.com/2017/02/3686/

FEBRUARY 2017

THE MONTH IN BRIEF Stocks advanced again in January. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 20,000 for the first time, and the S&P 500 gained 1.79% on the month. As January ended, politics took center stage: investors focused first on the controversy surrounding President Donald Trump’s executive orders, then on earnings and economic indicators. […]

FEBRUARY 6, 2017

POSITIVES & NEGATIVES IN JANUARY’s JOB DATA The Department of Labor’s latest jobs report showed 227,000 net new hires last month. Unfortunately, wages grew just 0.1% in January as the headline jobless rate rose slightly to 4.8%. The U-6 rate, counting the underemployed, rose 0.2% to 9.4%.1 STRONG CONSUMER CONFIDENCE & SPENDING While the Conference […]

JANUARY 30, 2017

HOUSEHOLD SENTIMENT GAUGE RISES AGAIN The University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment gained 0.4 points from its preliminary reading this month to reach a final January mark of 98.5. That represents a 12-year peak for the index, which stood at 92.0 in January 2016.1,2 HOME SALES FELL IN DECEMBER Given costlier mortgages, rising prices, […]

JANUARY 23, 2017

LARGEST INFLATION ADVANCE IN 5 YEARS The Consumer Price Index rose 2.1% in 2016, marking its greatest annual gain since 2011. During 2015, consumer prices only increased by 0.7%. December saw a 0.3% rise for the headline CPI and a 0.2% gain for the core CPI (which excludes food and energy costs). The core CPI […]

JANAURY 16, 2017

RETAIL SALES RISE 0.6% All of this December gain can be attributed to increased car buying and gasoline purchases; in fact, retail sales were flat with those two categories removed. Analysts surveyed by MarketWatch had projected a 0.8% December advance. Census Bureau data shows that online sales rose 13.2% in 2016, while department store sales […]

JANUARY 9, 2017

RISING WAGES, MODERATE HIRING IN DECEMBER The Department of Labor’s latest employment report shows the average hourly wage at $26.00 last month, up 2.9% in a year. That is the largest annualized wage increase seen since June 2009. Payrolls expanded by 156,000 additional hires in December, leaving total 2016 job growth at a 5-year low […]

“It is the dull man who is always sure, and the sure man who is always dull.”      – H.L. Mencken

http://www.tomlinsonwealth.com/2017/01/3662/

JANUARY 2017

THE MONTH IN BRIEF While the Dow Jones Industrial Average did not top 20,000 in December, it did advance nicely, gaining 3.34%. The Federal Reserve took its interest rate target to 0.50-0.75%, adjusting the federal funds rate for just the second time in two years; around the world, other central banks held rates steady, and […]

JANUARY 2, 2017

A SURGE IN CONSUMER OPTIMISM The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index continued to climb in December. Analysts polled by MarketWatch projected a reading of 110.0 for the gauge, but it beat that forecast, rising 4.3 points to a 15-year peak of 113.7. The major factor in the gain? Growing expectations of a better economy, particularly […]

DECEMBER 26, 2016

HOUSEHOLD SPENDING SLOWS IN NOVEMBER Last month, consumer spending increased 0.2%, while consumer incomes were flat. November was the first month in nine in which household incomes failed to rise, and the consumer spending advance was half that of October. Even so, with consumer confidence indices and other economic indicators becoming stronger, the November figures […]

DECEMBER 19, 2016

FED RAISES RATES, PLOTS THREE 2017 HIKES Federal Reserve policymakers unanimously chose to raise the benchmark interest rate by a quarter point last week. That was expected; less expected was the central bank’s adjustment to its 2017 dot-plot. Fed officials now see three rate hikes next year instead of two. The move to the new […]

DECEMBER 12, 2016

SERVICE SECTOR LOOKS VERY HEALTHY The Institute for Supply Management’s monthly services index improved 2.4 points in November to a 57.2 reading. Analysts polled by Briefing.com had expected a small gain to 55.6. It was the PMI’s best reading since October 2015, and it marked the 82nd consecutive month of expansion for the non-manufacturing segment […]

DECEMBER 5, 2016

JOBS REPORT SHOWS UNEMPLOYMENT AT 4.6% America’s jobless rate fell to a nine-year low in November as companies added 178,000 net new jobs. The U-6 rate (including the underemployed decreased) 0.2% to 9.3%. There were some negatives: yearly wage growth moderated to 2.5%, and the labor force participation rate ticked down to 62.7%, in part […]

NOVEMBER 28, 2016

STOCKS SETTLE AT ALL-TIME HIGHS An abbreviated trading week was also a historic week on Wall Street, as the four key U.S. equity indices all reached new peaks. At Friday’s closing bell, the Russell 2000 settled at a record 1,347.20 after its fifteenth straight day of gains; it was up 2.37% for the week. The […]

NOVEMBER 21, 2016

YELLEN HINTS STRONGLY AT A RATE HIKE Thursday, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen told Congress that the central bank could raise the benchmark interest rate “relatively soon,” calling current monetary policy merely “moderately accommodative.” She added that Fed officials envision “only gradual increases in the federal funds rate over time to achieve and maintain maximum […]

NOVEMBER 14, 2016

BLUE CHIPS HIT ALL-TIME HIGHS Donald Trump’s unexpected presidential election win did not rattle Wall Street. Instead, bulls saw the prospect of greater federal outlays and less business regulation in the near future. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a new record Friday: 18,847.66. The Dow 30 had its finest week since 2011, gaining […]

“Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress.”      – Mahatma Gandhi

http://www.tomlinsonwealth.com/2016/11/3625/

NOVEMBER 2016

THE MONTH IN BRIEF Bulls were reined in during October. The S&P 500 lost 1.94% as Wall Street responded unenthusiastically to the fall earnings season. Even though much of the economic news that emerged in October was good, investors saw an interest rate hike on the horizon and remained concerned about an increasingly controversial presidential […]

NOVEMBER 7, 2016

NEW DATA SHOWS BRIGHTER JOBS PICTURE Unemployment fell to 4.9% in October as firms added 161,000 net new workers, but that was just one positive from the Department of Labor’s latest summary of the U.S. employment situation. Year-over-year wage growth reached 2.8%, the best number seen since June 2009, as average hourly pay rose ten […]

OCTOBER 31, 2016

ECONOMY EXPANDS 2.9% in THIRD QUARTER After just 1.4% growth in Q2, this was welcome news. Surging exports and greater inventory investment and federal spending made Q3 the best quarter for the economy in two years, according to the Department of Commerce. The federal government’s core PCE price index was up 1.7% for the quarter […]

OCTOBER 10, 2016

Hiring picked up in the Third quarter Employers added 156,000 net new jobs to their payrolls in September, the Department of Labor stated Friday. The August gain was revised up to 167,000, so monthly job growth averaged 192,000 in Q3, improved from 146,000 in Q2. The unemployment rate ticked up to 5.0% in September; the […]

“Good people are good because they’ve come to wisdom through failure.”      – William Saroyan

http://www.tomlinsonwealth.com/2016/10/3607/

OCTOBER 2016

THE MONTH IN BRIEF Investors had plenty of news to absorb in September: the latest monetary policy statement from the Federal Reserve, the Wells Fargo fiasco and the crisis involving Deutsche Bank, and a major deal forged between OPEC member nations. Add in the presidential race and a raft of economic data, and you had […]

OCTOBER 3, 2016

NO ADVANCE IN CONSUMER SPENDING Personal spending was flat in August even as personal incomes rose 0.2%. These numbers from the Department of Commerce fell short of expectations: economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 0.2% gain in both categories. In other news linked to consumer spending, the federal government revised second-quarter GDP up to […]