Does your will or estate plan take your pets into account? If you have no heirs, or if no heirs or family members want the responsibility of caring for them if you die, provisions should be made on their behalf.
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 more rate increases during the balance of 2017, with three rate hikes envisioned for both 2018 and 2019.1
INFLATION PRESSURE EASES
February’s Consumer Price Index displayed only a 0.1% gain, compared to 0.6% in January. Core consumer prices moved 0.2% higher. The small February increase still left the headline CPI up 2.7% in the past 12 months. The Producer Price Index rose 0.3% for February, putting its yearly advance at 2.2%.2
SMALL GAINS IN SENTIMENT, RETAIL SALES
The initial March University of Michigan consumer sentiment index came in at 97.6 Friday, 1.3 points above its final February mark. Thanks mainly to “improved personal finances” among households, the index’s current economic conditions component hit a 17-year high. A Census Bureau report showed retail purchases up 0.1% in February, 0.2% with car and gasoline buying factored out.2,3
CALM WEEK SEES SMALL STOCK MARKET ADVANCE
Wall Street saw the March 15 Federal Reserve policy decision as an affirmation of the economy’s health; equities investors were not at all riled. Ending the week at 5,901.00, the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.67% in five days. The S&P 500 rose 0.24% in the same period to settle at 2,378.25 Friday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added just 0.06% across five trading sessions on the way to a Friday close of 20,914.62. Losing 3.26% in five days, the CBOE Volatility Index ended the week at 11.28.4
Monday, nothing major is scheduled. Earnings announcements from FedEx, General Mills, Lands’ End, Nike, and Steelcase appear Tuesday. Wednesday, Wall Street reviews February existing home sales and earnings reports from Cintas, Five Below, Perry Ellis, and Winnebago. Thursday morning, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen delivers a keynote address at a Fed conference in Washington, D.C.; in addition, investors will eye the latest initial claims report, February’s new home sales report, and earnings news from Accenture, GameStop, KB Home, Micron Technology, Shoe Carnival, and Sportsman’s Warehouse. Friday offers a report on February hard goods orders and Q4 results from Finish Line.
Sources: wsj.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov – 3/17/174,5,6,7
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.
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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 – marketwatch.com/story/fed-raises-interest-rates-by-a-quarter-point-sees-two-move-moves-this-year-2017-03-15 [3/15/17]
2 – investing.com/economic-calendar/ [3/17/17]
3 – sca.isr.umich.edu/ [3/17/17]
4 – markets.wsj.com/us [3/17/17]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=3%2F17%2F16&x=0&y=0 [3/17/17]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=3%2F17%2F16&x=0&y=0 [3/17/17]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=3%2F17%2F16&x=0&y=0 [3/17/17]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=3%2F16%2F12&x=0&y=0 [3/17/17]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=3%2F16%2F12&x=0&y=0 [3/17/17]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=3%2F16%2F12&x=0&y=0 [3/17/17]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=3%2F16%2F07&x=0&y=0 [3/17/17]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=3%2F16%2F07&x=0&y=0 [3/17/17]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=3%2F16%2F07&x=0&y=0 [3/17/17]
6 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [3/17/17]
7 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [3/17/17]
Topics: Weekly Economic Update