In this week’s recap: coronavirus concerns ripple through global stock markets; the Fed makes a slight monetary policy adjustment; consumer confidence rises; the government makes its first estimate of fourth-quarter growth.

Weekly Economic Update

Presented by Cornerstone Financial Advisory, February 3, 2020


 

THE WEEK ON WALL STREET

Stock benchmarks declined for a second straight week as coronavirus news tempered risk appetite.

The S&P 500 fell 2.14% on the week. The Nasdaq Composite dipped 1.76%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 2.55%. Away from North America, developed markets slumped 2.24%, according to MSCI’s EAFE index.1,2

 

THE Fed Makes a Minor Move

The Federal Reserve left short-term interest rates alone at its January meeting, but it did make what Fed chairman Jerome Powell called a “small technical adjustment” in view of its continuing purchases of Treasuries. Wednesday, it slightly increased the interest rate paid to banks that park excess capital reserves at the Fed.

The move may give the Fed a bit more control over short-term rates this quarter and assist the operations of U.S. financial markets.3

 

Encouraging New Consumer Data

Rising to 131.6 in January, the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index reached its highest level since August. Consumer spending increased 0.3% in December, according to a new Department of Commerce report.4,5

 

Economy Expanded at a 2.1% Pace in Fourth Quarter

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released this estimate Thursday. That number matches the gross domestic product of the third quarter and affirms that the U.S. avoided a fall slowdown.6


T I P   O F   T H E   W E E K

Auto insurance providers offer a wide range of discounts, perhaps wider than many consumers realize. They may lower rates for good drivers, honor students, seniors, long-time customers, or households or companies insuring multiple cars or trucks. Asking about a carrier’s variety of discounts could lead to savings.


 

 THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA

Monday: The latest snapshot of factory sector health from the Institute for Supply Management, presenting January data.

Wednesday: ISM’s January report on the state of non-manufacturing businesses and the latest private-sector payrolls report from Automatic Data Processing (ADP).

Friday: The Department of Labor releases its January employment report.

Source: MarketWatch, January 31, 2020

The MarketWatch economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS

Monday: Alphabet (GOOG), Sysco (SYY)

Tuesday: BP (BP), Fiserv (FISV), Gilead Sciences (GIL), Walt Disney (DIS)

Wednesday: GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Merck (MRK), Qualcomm (QCOM), Toyota (TM)

Thursday: Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), Cigna (CI), Philip Morris (PM), Sanofi (SNY)

Friday: AbbVie (ABBV), Honda (HMC), Novo Nordisk (NVO)

Source: Zacks.com, January 31, 2020

Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame, and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.


Q U O T E   O F   T H E   W E E K

Management is nothing more than motivating other people.”

LEE IACOCCA



T H E   W E E K L Y   R I D D L E

There is a word for a place in Europe, a place where many travelers like to go. But if you take the first letter of this word and put it at the end of the other four letters in the word, you have something no one likes. What is this word?

 

LAST WEEK’S RIDDLE: I’m a word some use to measure bits of time, but you won’t find me on a clock or anything that chimes. I will never fit upon a clock face, but I am used to identify a place. What word am I?

ANSWER: Mississippi (e.g. one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi…).


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 MSCI EAFE Index is a stock market index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed markets outside of the U.S. and Canada. 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 – wsj.com/market-data [1/31/20]

2 – quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/MSCI%20GLOBAL/990300/historical-prices [1/31/20]

3 – marketwatch.com/story/fed-holds-benchmark-interest-rate-steady-sees-economy-growing-at-moderate-pace-2020-01-29 [1/29/20]

4 – investing.com/economic-calendar/cb-consumer-confidence-48 [1/28/20]

5 – investing.com/economic-calendar/personal-spending-235 [1/31/20]

6 – marketwatch.com/story/economy-grows-21-in-the-4th-quarter-as-gdp-gets-big-boost-from-falling-trade-deficit-2020-01-30 [1/30/20]

 

CHART CITATIONS:

wsj.com/market-data [1/31/20]

quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/MSCI%20GLOBAL/990300/historical-prices [1/31/20]

quotes.wsj.com/index/SPX/historical-prices [1/31/20]

treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=yieldAll [1/31/20]