Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: November 12, 2018-The Impact of Oil and Elections

November 12, 2018


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Featured Article: The Impact of Oil and Elections


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The Impact of Oil and Elections

Last week, markets experienced a 4-day winning streak before dropping on Friday, November 9. Despite those losses, domestic indexes posted gains for the week. The S&P 500 increased 2.13%, the Dow added 2.84%, and the NASDAQ was up 0.68%. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE had slight growth, ending the week up 0.20%.

From interest rates to corporate profits, investors had a number of topics to consider. In this update, we want to focus on two key details that drove markets: oil prices and midterm election results.

2. Oil Prices Declined
Oil prices continued to fall last week, posting the most consecutive daily declines in at least three decades. In fact, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures, a key oil benchmark, is officially in bear market territory. WTI has fallen more than 20% below its highest point over the past year.

What does this drop mean for markets?
Some investors believe the price declines are another sign that the global economy is slowing down. Historically, people have used oil prices as one way to decipher economic health because they can correlate with global growth. When crude oil prices drop, greater economic challenges are often ahead.

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Weekly Update:November 5, 2018-Markets Bounce Back

November 5, 2018


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Featured Article: Markets Bounce Back


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Markets Bounce Back

Markets posted strong gains last week after struggling for much of October. The S&P 500 had its best weekly performance since May, and the NASDAQ had its first positive week since September.

Despite domestic markets dropping on Friday, November 2, the S&P 500 added 2.42%, the Dow increased 2.36%, and the NASDAQ gained 2.65%. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE were also up 3.34%.

What drove market performance last week?
We received a fair amount of data and reports, with the following details holding particular weight for investors:

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Weekly Update: October 29, 2018-Why Did Stocks Drop?

October 30, 2018


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Featured Article: Why Did Stocks Drop?


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Why Did Stocks Drop?

Last week did nothing to dispel October’s reputation as a tough month for the markets. The S&P 500 lost 3.94%, the Dow declined 2.97%, and the NASDAQ dropped 3.78% during what was one of 2018’s most volatile weeks so far. All three indexes are down significantly for the month, and both the S&P 500 and Dow have entered negative territory for 2018. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE also struggled, posting a 3.87% drop for the week, and a 13.31% decline for the year.

Why did stocks drop? Will they continue to do so?
Currently, many topics are on investors’ minds, from inflation to tariffs to valuations and beyond, but analysts are not pointing to one single culprit for last week’s performance.

Instead, a mixture of concerns, with a large dose of emotion, seemed to drive the markets.

Emotional reactions are understandable when volatility emerges, but they have no place in long-term investment strategies. Instead, we need to focus on the fundamentals.

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Weekly Update: October 15, 2018-Stocks Take a Ride

October 15, 2018


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Featured Article: Stocks Take a Ride


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Stocks Take a Ride

Volatility was back in full force last week. The three major domestic indexes posted several days of losses before experiencing wide swings on Friday. By week’s end, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), which investors use to help measure fear in the markets, had increased by approximately 70%. The VIX also reached its highest point since February.

Despite a number of equities posting last-minute gains on Friday, all three domestic indexes had sizable losses for the week.

In fact, they posted their worst weekly performance since March. The S&P 500 dropped 4.10%, the Dow declined 4.19%, and the NASDAQ gave back 3.74%. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE also lost ground, decreasing 3.96%.

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Weekly Update: October 8, 2018-Examining Economies

October 8, 2018


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Featured Article: Examining Economies


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Examining Economies

Although new data continued to show strength in the U.S. economy, markets stumbled across the globe last week. The S&P 500 lost 0.98%, the Dow dropped 0.04%, and the NASDAQ declined 3.21%. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE struggled, posting a 2.35% loss.

While U.S. and international stocks followed similar paths last week, data is beginning to show that our economic outlooks may be very different for the moment.

U.S. Strength in a Growing International Divide
The latest labor report helped underscore some of the differences between the U.S. economy and the rest of the world.

While the data missed the mark for new jobs added, September marked the 96th-straight month of job growthand the lowest unemployment level since 1969. The report pushed interest rates higher, which contributed to last week’s equity losses.

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Weekly Update: September 24, 2018-New Records and Changes

September 24, 2018


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Featured Article: New Records and Changes


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New Records and Changes

Last week brought new tariffs and data, and another look at changes coming to equity classifications. Overall, the S&P 500 gained 0.85% and the Dow was up 2.25%, while the NASDAQ dropped 0.29%. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE had sizable growth, posting a 2.89% increase.

A Look Back: Last Week’s Tariffs and Mixed Housing Data

For months, fears of a global trade war have dominated headlines. Last week, China and the U.S. launched new tariffs on each other’s products, but the latest round of this trade skirmish had an interesting effect.

Rather than feeling concerned, both analysts and investors interpreted the tariffs to be lower than what they expected. As concerns about the global trade war calmed, both the S&P 500 and Dow reached new record highs.

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Weekly Update: September 10, 2018-A Shaky Start to September

September 10, 2018


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Featured Article: A Shaky Start to September


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A Shaky Start to September

Domestic markets fell last week due to negative trade news and declining tech stocks, with the S&P 500 and Dow both breaking their multi-week winning streaks. Meanwhile, the NASDAQ posted losses for 4 days in a row for the first time since April and experienced its worst September start since 2008. Overall, the S&P 500 lost 1.03%, the Dow dropped 0.19%, and the NASDAQ gave back 2.55% for the week. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE also declined, losing 2.89%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), which can help gauge market fears, increased 15.8% last week. This increase matches what often occurs during September, when volatility returns after waning during the summer months. In fact, since 2007, volatility has been above average in September.

Of course, the change from one month or season to another isn’t enough to trigger market losses and rising volatility.

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Weekly Update: September 4, 2018-Markets Up Again

September 4, 2018

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Featured Article: Markets Up Again


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Recipe of the Week: Super Easy Fruit and Coconut Ice Cream


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Markets Up Again

Trade continued to dominate the news last week and cause market volatility as investors monitored discussions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and tension with China. While Mexico and the U.S. reached a new trade deal early in the week, talks with Canada stalled on Friday, August 31. Reports also came out that President Trump may be adding tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese goods.

Domestic markets increased for the week and ended August in positive territory. The S&P 500 and Dow each had their best August since 2014—while the NASDAQ’s 5.7% growth was its best performance for the month since 2000. On Wednesday, the S&P 500 reached a new record high. For the week, the S&P 500 gained 0.93%, the Dow added 0.68%, and the NASDAQ increased 2.06%. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE joined the growth, adding 0.26%.

Key Data from Last Week
Although trade might have dominated headlines, last week provided a number of informative economic updates, including:

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Weekly Update: August 27, 2018-The Bull Market Continues

August 27, 2018


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Featured Article: The Bull Market Continues


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The Bull Market Continues

Last week marked a noteworthy milestone in our economy: On Wednesday, August 22, the bull market entered its 3,453rd day, the longest such run in U.S. history. In the past 9 plus years, domestic indexes have come quite a way since the dark days of the financial crisis. The S&P 500 is now more than 4 times the level that it was when the bull market began on March 9, 2009.

In fact, both the S&P 500 and NASDAQ closed last week with new record highs. The S&P 500 added 0.86%, the Dow increased 0.47%%, and the NASDAQ gained 1.66%. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE also grew, increasing 1.52% for the week.

This domestic growth occurred against a backdrop of geopolitical events. Investors considered new tariffs between China and the U.S., as well as legal developments potentially related to President Trump. However, economic updates seemed to hold the most sway over market performance last week.

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Weekly Update: August 20, 2018-Trade & Turkey Drive Markets

August 20, 2018


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Featured Article: Trade & Turkey Drive Markets


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Trade & Turkey Drive Markets

Challenges in emerging markets affected both U.S. and global stock performance last week, with the S&P 500 experiencing several down days. By market close on Friday, however, two of the three major domestics posted gains for the week. The S&P 500 added 0.59%, the Dow increased 1.41%, and the NASDAQ lost 0.29%. Meanwhile, the MSCI EAFE international stocks slipped 1.18%.

As several reports deepened our understanding of the economy’s underlying health, investors balanced the news with updates on Turkey and trade disputes. Here are some key highlights of the various developments:

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