Becoming parents heightens the need for an emergency fund. New parents should try to save the equivalent of 3-6 months of income in either bank accounts or conservative, liquid investments


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


At the last Federal Reserve policy meeting, “many participants” in the Federal Open Market Committee felt it “might be appropriate to raise the federal funds rate again fairly soon” if inflation and hiring data are strong enough. Even with that language appearing in the latest FOMC minutes, the CME Group’s FedWatch Tool forecasts just a 22% chance of a quarter-point hike when the FOMC convenes in March. 2,3


According to reports from the Census Bureau and National Association of Realtors, new home sales advanced 3.7% in January, while existing home sales rose 3.3%. Tight inventory notwithstanding, new home purchases were up 5.5% from January 2016; resales were up 3.8% year-over-year.4


Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average recorded its eleventh straight daily gain. The last time that happened? 1992. For the week, it rose 0.95% to 20,821.76. The Nasdaq Composite improved 0.11% in four trading days to 5,845.31; the S&P 500, 0.69% to 2,367.34. The S&P and Dow ended the week at all-time highs.5,6


Monday offers reports on January durable goods orders and pending home sales, and earnings from Frontier Communications, Hertz Global Holdings, Horizon Pharma, and Priceline Group. The Conference Board’s February consumer confidence index appears Tuesday, plus the second estimate of Q4 GDP and earnings news from Acadia Pharmaceuticals, AutoZone, Big 5, Domino’s, La Quinta Holdings, Palo Alto Networks, Ross Stores, SeaWorld Entertainment, Sempra Energy, Target, and Universal Health Services. On Wednesday, investors consider the latest ISM factory PMI, January’s PCE price index, January consumer spending, a new Federal Reserve Beige Book, and earnings from American Eagle Outfitters, Best Buy, Broadcom, Dollar Tree, Icahn Enterprises, Lowe’s, Monster Beverage, Office Depot, and Shake Shack. Thursday brings a new Challenger job-cut report, new initial claims numbers, and earnings from Abercrombie & Fitch, Autodesk, Barnes & Noble, Costco, Kroger, Staples, and Wingstop. Friday, Fed chair Janet Yellen speaks on the economic outlook in Chicago, ISM issues its latest non-manufacturing PMI, and Big Lots reports Q4 results. (The Department of Labor’s February jobs report arrives on March 10.)

Sources: wsj.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov – 2/24/177,8,9,10

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.

Please feel free to forward this article to family, friends or colleagues. If you would like us to add them to our distribution list, please reply with their address. We will contact them first and request their permission to add them to our list.

About Brower Financial Group

Sound financial planning you can count on.

An organization is only as strong as its roots. For six generations, our families’ Florida roots have guided our approach to life and community service. As a financial partner to hundreds of families and organizations for more than 25 years, we understand what is most important to you.

Brower Financial Group is a premier financial planning firm located in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.

Contact Us

Brower Financial Group

Securities offered through JW Cole Financial, Inc. (JWC), Member FINRA/SIPC Advisory Services offered through J.W. Cole Advisors, Inc. (JWCA). Brower Financial Group and JWC/JWCA are unaffiliated entities. Registered Representatives of J.W. Cole Financial, Inc. whose identities and associations with Brower Financial Group are disclosed on this site, may only conduct business with residents of the states and/or jurisdictions for which they are properly registered.

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. 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. 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 indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, 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 an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. 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. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. Market indices discussed are unmanaged. Investors cannot invest in unmanaged indices. 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.


1 – sca.isr.umich.edu [2/24/17]

2 – cnbc.com/2017/02/22/fed-minutes-trump-policies-could-lead-to-rate-hike-fairly-soon.html [2/22/17]

3 – cmegroup.com/trading/interest-rates/countdown-to-fomc.html [2/24/17]

4 – constructiondive.com/news/new-home-sales-rebound-in-january-as-demand-solidifies/436867/ [2/24/17]

5 – marketwatch.com/story/dow-poised-to-break-10-day-string-of-record-closes-2017-02-24 [2/24/17]

6 – google.com/finance?q=INDEXDJX:.DJI&ei=U6OwWKmkNYiMjAHdp43IBw [2/24/17]

7 – markets.wsj.com/us [2/24/17]

8 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=2%2F24%2F16&x=0&y=0 [2/24/17]

8 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=2%2F24%2F16&x=0&y=0 [2/24/17]

8 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=2%2F24%2F16&x=0&y=0 [2/24/17]

8 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=2%2F24%2F12&x=0&y=0 [2/24/17]

8 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=2%2F24%2F12&x=0&y=0 [2/24/17]

8 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=2%2F24%2F12&x=0&y=0 [2/24/17]

8 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=2%2F23%2F07&x=0&y=0 [2/24/17]

8 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=2%2F23%2F07&x=0&y=0 [2/24/17]

8 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=2%2F23%2F07&x=0&y=0 [2/24/17]

9 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [2/24/17]

10 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [2/24/17]

Topics: Weekly Economic Update