May 22

Bad news once again turns into good news

5/21/15 Market Recap:

Equities finished with modest gains yesterday as bad news once again turned into good news for the markets. Existing home sales disappointed, falling by 3.3%, and jobless claims rose more than expected but these economic data points lead to the belief that the Fed will continued its dovish stance regarding interest rates. With the first quarter earnings season nearly over and no other major market moving catalysts to drive trading, trading participation has been muted in recent sessions even as the averages continue to push against record levels. According to the Wall Street Journal, yesterday’s essentially flat close for the Dow marked the fifth consecutive day that the average has moved less than .15% in either direction, its longest such streak since 2006. The Nasdaq led all averages with a gain of .38% yesterday while the Russell was the sole decliner, finishing slightly below the neutral line. S&P sectors were primarily positive as well with seven of the ten sectors finishing higher. A rally in oil prices pushed energy stocks higher, the best sector performer with gains of .84%.


Looking Ahead:

Futures are moving marginally this morning ahead of the last trading day before the Memorial Day Weekend, the unofficial start of the summer season. Though most foresee light trading activity heading into the weekend, traders are still anticipating the release of April consumer price index data and a speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen regarding Wednesday’s FOMC minutes at 1pm. Neither event however, is expected to bring any major surprises to the table. Make sure to listen to Money Matters with Gary Goldberg this Sunday at 11:00 AM on WOR 710 AM Radio to hear our latest economic and market analysis.   This week Gary’s guest are actor Joe Montagne discussing the true meaning of Memorial Day and Wegman’s executive chef Cindy Growman giving some great tips on grilling. Visit  www.ggfs.com for details.

May 21

Investors continue to consider yesterday’s April FOMC meeting minutes

05/20/15 Market Recap:

In what has been a common occurrence over the past few trading sessions, traders stayed primarily on the sidelines with the markets never straying too far from the neutral line. The major averages, hovering near record levels, closed mixed with either marginal gains or marginal losses. Even the Fed minutes, released during the afternoon, inspired nothing more than a short positive burst but did little to spur trading significantly in that direction. As expected, the minutes offered no significant deviation from the Fed’s ongoing message regarding data-dependency and generally agreed that the first quarter slowdown was due to temporary factors such as the west coast port strikes and harsh winter weather. The Fed, in its most explicit terms yet, argued against a June hike saying that it was “unlikely that June economic data would provide enough confirmation that the conditions for raising the target range for the federal funds rate had been satisfied” but stopped short from completely ruling out a near term hike. Sector performance during the session was equally mixed with gains and losses split equally between the ten S&P sectors. Telecom led all sectors with gains of .47% while Financials and Industrials lagged the most.  


Looking Ahead:

Markets are pointing to a slightly lower open this morning as investors continue to consider yesterday’s April FOMC meeting minutes. On tap for today, along with notable earnings releases from Hewlett Packard (HPQ) and Best Buy (BBY), is arguably the week’s busiest stream of econ data with jobless claims, flash manufacturing PMI, and existing home sales expected. Existing home sales, in particular, will be closely watched after Tuesday’s housing starts data pointed to the highest levels of new residential construction in more than seven years. Market participants are hoping for signs of a 2nd quarter rebound and growth in housing activity would certainly point to that. Make sure to listen to Money Matters with Gary Goldberg this Sunday at 11:00 AM on WOR 710 AM Radio to hear our latest economic and market analysis.  This week Gary’s guest is actor Joe Montagne.  Visit www.ggfs.com for details. 

May 20

Markets are moving marginally higher

Market Recap 051915:

It was another light trading day in the market as investors continue to weigh evidence of a recovering US economy against the inevitability of a rate hike. Positive economic news, signaling a pick up from disappointing 1Q numbers, cause investors to worry that a rate hike could come quicker while poor economic news point to fears that the 1Q slowdown could spill into the current quarter. However, a continuing stagnation would force the Fed to kick the rate hike further down the road. It is clear that at this juncture, investors aren’t sure what scenario they favor. This uncertainty is leading to vacillation in the markets even as the averages continue to test and surpass record highs. The Dow notched another record close in yesterday’s session despite rising by only .07%, while the other major averages closed with marginal losses. Among the sectors, Financials and Healthcare led the way for the second consecutive day while Energy and Telecom stocks lagged. The dollar meanwhile recorded its best day against the Euro in over two months, rising by 1.5%, after news that the ECB planned to frontload bond purchases of its QE program during May and June in anticipation of decreasing liquidity in the summer months. 

Looking Ahead:

Markets are moving marginally higher this morning as investors eagerly await the release of the minutes from the FOMC’s April meeting. With no major economic data in the docket, the minutes, which will be released this afternoon, will be parsed for more insight on Fed thinking. Though investors shouldn’t expect a clear indication of when the rate will take place, the Fed’s outlook and overall assessment of the current state of the US economy hold significant importance. Aside from the release of the minutes, investors also have another round of retailer earnings to digest today with Target (TGT) and Lowes (LOW) reporting among other. In overnight trading, the Treasuries are moving slightly higher while the dollar is continues its recent rally versus the euro.

Make sure to listen to Money Matters with Gary Goldberg this Sunday at 11:00 AM on WOR 710 AM Radio to hear our latest economic and market analysis. Visit www.ggfs.com for details. 

May 19

Dollar Taking Back Some Ground

Market Recap 051815:

Despite beginning the day in the red, markets ended the day on a positive note with all major averages registering gains on the day and the Dow and S&P notching record highs again. Despite the lack of major economic news to drive the markets, stocks moved higher on acquisition news (Ascena Retail Group acquiring Ann Taylor), acquisition rumors (Altera reviving talks with Intel), and even a prominent activist investor’s vote of confidence (Carl Icahn on Apple). However, it is important to note that even though the market rallied, yesterday’s trading participation was notably light and the market might need more substantial reasons to continue its positive momentum. Among the averages, the Russell 2000 and small cap companies led the way, gaining slightly more than one percent while Financials and Healthcare showed leadership between the S&P sectors.

Looking Ahead:

The Dollar is taking back some ground against the Euro this morning after the European Central Bank announced that it would front-load purchases in its bond buying program during May and June in anticipation of decreasing market liquidity in the summer months. This news, showing the ECB’s flexibility in its QE program, is boosting European markets while conversely causing the euro to fall sharply against the greenback. The Euro, which has traded as high as $1.1468 in recent sessions, is currently falling below $1.12. Stocks are also pointing higher this morning with investors eyeing key earnings releases from Wal-Mart (WMT) and Home Depot (HD) along with April housing starts.

Make sure to tune into CNBC this afternoon at 3:45 PM when Oliver Pursche joins Bill Griffith on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange to give our latest outlook and analysis.  Tune into Money Matters with Gary Goldberg this Sunday at 11:00 AM on WOR 710 AM Radio to hear our latest economic and market analysis. Visit www.ggfs.com for details. 

May 18

This Week’s Market Moving Events

Market Recap 051515:

The markets ended the week with a whimper on Friday, vacillating between small gains and losses for most of the day before ultimately ending with marginal gains for the S&P and Dow and marginal losses for the Nasdaq and Russell 2000. Friday’s disappointing industrial production and consumer sentiment reports added to the concern that first quarter economic woes will spill into the second quarter, concerns that likely weigh on the Federal Reserve and their desire to raise rates. Industrial production fell in April for the fifth consecutive month while preliminary May consumer sentiment dropped sharply to 88.6 from a 95.9 reading in April. All four of the averages did manage to close with gains for the week, however, thanks to the strong rally on Thursday. The Nasdaq and Russell 2000 led with gains of .9% and .7% respectively. The dollar, on the other hand, closed weaker against the Euro on Friday and finished with its fifth consecutive weekly decline versus that currency. The Dollar Index has now fallen by almost seven percent since it peaked in March.

Looking Ahead:

After a round of disappointing earnings last week from department stores like Macy’s (M) and Nordstrom’s (JWN), investors will now wait on earnings from some of the largest big box retailers in the next few days including Wal-Mart (WMT), Home Depot (HD), Lowes (LOW) and Target (TGT). Consumer spending has grown little in the past few months and there is growing evidence that consumers are saving, not spending, dollars from falling oil prices. On the economic front, investors will get more insight into the Fed’s thoughts when minutes from the April meeting are released on Wednesday but we don’t anticipate any significant deviances from previous messages. The Fed has emphasized that they are data watching, particularly as it deals with inflation and employment, and will continue to do so.

This Week’s Market Moving Events:

  • Monday: US Housing Market Index
  • Tuesday: Housing Starts, Walmart (WMT) and Home Depot (HD) report earnings
  • Wednesday: Release of April 29 Fed meeting minutes, Target (TGT) and Lowes (LOW) report earnings
  • Thursday: Jobless claims, Existing Home Sales, Best Buy (BBY) and Hewlett Packard (HPQ) report earnings
  • Friday: Consumer Price Index, Deere (DE) reports earnings

Make sure to listen to Money Matters with Gary Goldberg this Sunday at 11:00 AM on WOR 710 AM Radio to hear our latest economic and market analysis. Visit www.ggfs.com for details. And tune into CNBC Tuesday at 3:45 to watch Oliver Pursche, as he joins Bill Griffith on the floor of the NYSE to provide our latest outlook and commentary.

May 15

Futures Are Moving Higher

Market Recap 051415:

The S&P 500 closed at record highs and the Nasdaq settled above 5k in yesterday’s trading as the broad markets registered its first positive session of the week. All four of the major averages rallied by more than one percent with the aforementioned Nasdaq composite leading the way with a gain of 1.4%. Though there wasn’t one single event that traders attributed the rally to, a confluence of factors including a better than expected jobless claims number and a rise in the European markets pushed the markets forward. Gains were broad-based among the S&P sectors as well with all ten sectors moving higher on the day. Tech and Consumer Staples stocks led the way, rising by 1.7% and 1.5% respectively. The dollar however, continued its selloff yesterday with the euro rising to $1.1382. It was the greenback’s third consecutive negative session.

Looking Ahead:

Futures are moving higher again this morning as the markets look to end the week on a positive note and build on yesterday’s record highs. Yesterday’s rally pushed the markets into positive territory for the week after beginning with three consecutive days of declines. Today’s economic calendar is on the lighter side with industrial production data releasing at 9:15 and sentiment data coming at 10. Both are expected to show modest increases from previous month numbers. In overnight trading, Treasuries are moving higher while the dollar is gaining some ground versus the euro.

Make sure to listen to Money Matters with Gary Goldberg this Sunday at 11:00 AM on WOR 710 AM Radio to hear our latest economic and market analysis. Visit our website www.ggfs.com for details. And tune into CNBC next Tuesday at 3:45 to watch Oliver Pursche, as he joins Bill Griffith on the floor of the NYSE to provide our latest outlook and commentary.

May 13

Lack Of Significant News

5/12/15 Market Recap:

With a lack of significant news to bolster the market, equities declined in yesterday’s trading though closing well above the lows of the session. Though it may seem like a bit of a moral victory, the markets managed to pare losses sustained at the beginning of the session, one negatively influenced by the selloff that took place in European markets. In the end, all four of the major averages finished with losses between .2 and .3%. Among the S&P sectors, energy was the only sector to manage a gain, rising almost half a percent, while the rest were flat or negative for the day. The greenback also weakened yesterday with the euro rising to $1.1232, 8 cents higher than the $1.04 level it reached in the middle of March.


Looking Ahead:

Markets are pointing to a rebound in today’s trading, a reprieve from two days of declines to begin the week. Investors have a relatively packed day of economic data ahead including mortgage applications, business inventories, and retail sales. Continuing with the retail theme, a few of the larger names in the industry will release earnings this week including Macy’s (M) and Ralph (RL) Lauren which will both report today. Other notable names reporting today include Cisco (CSCO) and Shake Shack (SHAK), both reporting after the market’s close. In overnight trading, Treasuries are rising once again after yesterday’s gains while the euro continues its climb against the dollar.

Make sure to listen to Money Matters with Gary Goldberg this Sunday at 11:00 AM on WOR 710 AM Radio to hear our latest economic and market analysis. Visit our website www.ggfs.com for details.

May 11

This Week’s Market Moving Events

Market Recap:

A much stronger than forecast April Employment report boosted investor confidence as major indexes rallied by well over 1% on Friday. The official unemployment rate dropped to 5.4%, while the overall job growth rate is being viewed as just strong enough to keep our economy growing, but not strong enough to warrant a near-term rate hike by the Fed. April’s jobs report showed that 223,000 jobs new jobs were created, and that average hourly earnings increased 0.1 percent, a touch below expectations of 0.2 percent. Stock Futures immediately jumped higher on the news, while Bond yields edged lower, with the U.S. 10-year ending the week at 2.14 percent, after falling as low as 2.11 in intraday trade. The 2-year Treasury note yield dropped the most on the data, falling to 0.56 percent after a peak of 0.67 percent overnight.


Looking Ahead:

Monday morning’s Labor Market Conditions report should prove to be the catalyst for next week’s market action. Look for reasonably strong data with limited signs of wage inflation – this “goldilocks” environment for market participants means that while our economy continues to grow at a moderate pace without any real inflationary pressures, and therefore no impetus for the Fed to raise rates anytime soon, and the rally continues. Conversely, should the report show signs of wage inflation, expect a sell-off.


This Week’s Market Moving Events:

  •  Monday: Labor Market Conditions
  • Tuesday: NFIB Small Business Optimism, JOBS (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Statistics)
  • Wednesday: European countries and Eurozone GDP and Inflation data, ECB Minutes, U.S. Mortgage Applications, Business Inventories, Retail Sales data, Import / Export Prices
  • Thursday: Jobless Claims, Producer Price Index, Consumer Comfort data
  • Friday: Empire State Manufacturing, Industrial Production, Consumer Sentiment, E-Commerce Retail Sales data.

Make sure to listen to Money Matters with Gary Goldberg this Sunday at 11:00 AM on WOR 710 AM Radio to hear our latest economic and market analysis. Visit www.ggfs.com for details.

May 08

Market anxiously awaits release of April jobs report

5/7/15 Market Recap:

Stocks rebounded in yesterday’s trading and closed with broad based gains, despite getting off to a choppy start and vacillating during the early part of the trading session. However, though the market was moving in a positive direction, traders were cautious going into today’s April jobs report with many choosing to wait on the sidelines. The Nasdaq and Russell 2000 led the averages with gains over half a percent with leadership from Tech, Financials, and Industrial stocks. The energy sector was the lone decliner among the ten S&P sectors with oil prices moving lower on the day. In the bond market, Treasuries finally broke its eight day losing streak as yields fell to 2.21%.


Looking Ahead:

Equity futures are moving slightly higher this morning as the market anxiously awaits the release of the April jobs report. This report, which investors have been waiting for all week, should give investors clarity regarding the state of the employment recovery. Last month’s jobs data disappointed significantly with hiring slowing to its weakest since December 2013 and investors are expecting a strong rebound. Another disappointing report would lend more credence to an extended slowing of the US economy while a better than expected report would suggest that the economy is moving in a positive direction after a soft stretch during the winter months. Additionally, the jobs report is crucial because the Fed has made it clear that US employment, along with inflation, is one of their key considerations as they weigh the timing of an interest rate hike. This Fed speculation, along with mixed 1st quarter earnings and so-so economic data has led to the current vacillation in the markets. Make sure to listen to Money Matters with Gary Goldberg this Sunday at 11:00 AM on WOR 710 AM Radio to hear our latest economic and market analysis. This week, Gary’s guest is former NBA star Jamaal Wilkes. Visit www.ggfs.com for details.

May 07

Elevated valuations could pose risks

5/6/15 Market Recap:

In a conversation with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde at the Finance and Society conference in Washington, Fed Chair Yellen noted that “equity market valuations at this point generally are quite high” and warned that the elevated valuations could pose some risks. These comments, along with the disappointing April ADP private sector employment report which indicated a marked slowdown in hiring, added pressure to trading in yesterday’s session and pushed stocks to its lows of the day. Though the markets eventually pared some of the losses and climbed off the lows, all four of the major averages closed lower with the Dow and S&P declining by about half a percent. Most of the S&P sectors also fell on the day with only Consumer Staples and Materials managing meager gains. Telecom and Tech led the underperformers, falling by 1.2% and .8% respectively. Treasuries also continued its recent decline, pushing 10 year yields close to its 2015 highs. 


Looking Ahead:

Stock futures are falling this morning, following losses in overseas markets caused by a sharp selloff in fixed income. The historically stable German Bunds, in particular, are seeing its largest weekly yield climb in over 25 years. Investors are also likely still digesting yesterday’s comments from Fed Chair Yellen regarding inflated equity valuations. Economic data for the day is relatively light. Weekly jobless claims data will be scrutinized due to the recent spate of disappointing employment data. Claims are expected to rise slightly from last week’s 262k number but stay below the psychologically important 300k mark. Elsewhere, Treasuries are continuing their selloff while the Euro continues its recent march higher against the greenback. Make sure to listen to Money Matters with Gary Goldberg this Sunday at 11:00 AM on WOR 710 AM Radio to hear our latest economic and market analysis.  This week Gary’s guest is former NBA star, motivational speaker, and Financial Adviser, Jamaal Wilkes.  Visit www.ggfs.com for details.

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