Markets last week were mixed, with leading tech stocks falling dramatically as some investors pulled profits.[1] The NASDAQ took the biggest hit, finishing 1.55% down on the week, its worst week of the year.[2] Meanwhile, the Dow rose 0.31% for the week, notching another record close on Friday.[3] The S&P 500 fell 0.30%, and the MSCI EAFE closed the week down 1.22%.[4]

The S&P tech sector dropped 3.3% on Friday; however, it remained up 18% for the year. Major tech stocks account for almost 13% of the total number of stocks in the S&P 500, while comprising nearly 40% of the S&P 500 increase for the year.[5]

Internationally, Asian markets were mixed, while European markets closed the week generally higher.[6] The European equities markets took last week's UK election in stride, though the pound dropped in response to the Conservatives losing their majority.[7] 

Domestically, monthly job openings exceeded 6 million in April. Hiring, however, has slowed to only 5 million per month, suggesting workers' skills may not match job needs. Moreover, the economy continues to show signs of softening.[8]

Indications of a Softer Economy

  • Wholesale and Retail Inventories Down: Revised wholesale inventories shrunk 0.5% in April, the largest contraction in more than 12 months. In addition, retail inventories fell in April as sales weakened.[9]
  • Inflation Slows: As noted last week, consumer prices remain weak. Inflation slowed in April to an annual rate increase of 1.7% year-over-year, down from the 1.9% recorded in March and 2.1% in February. Falling oil prices, excessive auto inventories, and increasing apartment rental inventories will all create headwinds to reaching the Fed's target rate of 2.0%.[10]
  • Factory Orders Down: Factory orders fell 0.2% in April. While motor vehicles rose 0.6% and computers gained 1.6%, durable goods orders fell 0.8%.[11]
  • Oil Prices Drop: Though summer driving season is here, U.S. gasoline demand dropped by nearly a half-million barrels a day. While the need for fuel fell -- and despite beliefs that oil would fall by 3.5 million barrels -- stockpiles rose by 3.3 million barrels. As a result, oil dropped by 4%, ending the week at $45.86 per barrel.[12]

What Comes Next

The Fed will hold a meeting this week to determine whether to raise interest rates. Expectations are that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will raise the fed funds rate 0.25% to 1.25% despite the soft economic news, which the Fed characterized as "transitory." The FOMC meeting will also address quarterly forecasts for the remainder of the year.[13] The markets expect both Japan and Britain's central banks to also address the issue of interest rates.[14] 

In addressing the federal debt, the Treasury Secretary assured last week that the U.S. will not default on its debt. Congress must address the debt limit this summer or fall, but markets may react negatively if delays occur.[15] Meanwhile, Congress continues to wrestle with policy questions around tax reform, an infrastructure program, and healthcare reform. How the government addresses these important initiatives could alter market dynamics in the future.[16]

If you have questions on where you stand as these events unfold, do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to support your financial life with clarity and sound perspectives. 

ECONOMIC CALENDAR

  • Wednesday: Consumer Price Index, Retail Sales, Business Inventories, FOMC Meeting Announcement 
  • Thursday: Industrial Production, Housing Market Index
  • Friday: Housing Starts, Consumer Sentiment

Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.

Diversification does not guarantee profit nor is it guaranteed to protect assets.

International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors.

The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. The DJIA was invented by Charles Dow back in 1896.

The Nasdaq Composite is an index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market and is considered a broad indicator of the performance of stocks of technology companies and growth companies. 

The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) that serves as a benchmark of the performance in major international equity markets as represented by 21 major MSCI indices from Europe, Australia and Southeast Asia. 

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are the leading measures of U.S. residential real estate prices, tracking changes in the value of residential real estate. The index is made up of measures of real estate prices in 20 cities and weighted to produce the index.

The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.

The Federal Reserve System (also known as the Federal Reserve and, informally, as the Fed) is the central banking system of the United States. The Federal Reserve System is composed of 12 regional Reserve banks which supervise state member banks. The Federal Reserve System controls the Federal Funds Rate (aka Fed Funds Rate), an important benchmark in financial markets used to influence the supply of money in the U.S. economy.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), a committee within the Federal Reserve System is charged under United States law with overseeing the nation's open market operations (i.e., the Fed's buying and selling of United States Treasury securities).

Inflation is the rise in the prices of goods and services, as happens when spending increases relative to the supply of goods on the market.

Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

You cannot invest directly in an index.

Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Fixed income investments are subject to various risks including changes in interest rates, credit quality, inflation risk, market valuations, prepayments, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.

These are the views of Platinum Advisor Marketing Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named Broker dealer or Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named Broker dealer or Investment Advisor gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your financial advisor for further information.

[1] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-08/pound-drops-as-u-k-exit-poll-unnerves-investors-markets-wrap 

[2] http://performance.morningstar.com/Performance/index-c/performance-return.action?t=@CCO 

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/09/us-stocks-uk-election.html 

[3]  http://performance.morningstar.com/Performance/index-c/performance-return.action?t=%21DJI®ion=usa&culture=en-US 

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/09/us-stocks-uk-election.html

[4] http://performance.morningstar.com/Performance/index-c/performance-return.action?t=SPX®ion=usa&culture=en-US

https://www.msci.com/end-of-day-data-search

[5] http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/09/fang-stocks-slammed-goldman-compares-them-to-tech-bubble.html?__source=newsletter%7Ceveningbrief 

[6] http://money.cnn.com/data/world_markets/asia/ 

http://money.cnn.com/data/world_markets/europe/ 

[7] http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/09/us-stocks-uk-election.html 

[8] http://wsj-us.econoday.com/byshoweventarticle.asp?fid=482029&cust=wsj-us&year=2017&lid=0&prev=/byweek.asp#top

[9] http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-inventories-idUSKBN19022R 

[10] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-30/as-fed-readies-rate-rise-inflation-slips-further-from-its-goal 

[11] http://wsj-us.econoday.com/byshoweventfull.asp?fid=477913&cust=wsj-us&year=2017&lid=0&prev=/byweek.asp#top 

[12] http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/07/oil-prices-drop-more-than-4-percent-after-data-shows-surprising-surge-in-stockpiles.html?__source=newsletter%7Ceveningbrief 

http://wsj-us.econoday.com/byshoweventarticle.asp?fid=482029&cust=wsj-us&year=2017&lid=0&prev=/byweek.asp#top 

[13] http://wsj-us.econoday.com/byshoweventarticle.asp?fid=482029&cust=wsj-us&year=2017&lid=0&prev=/byweek.asp#top 

[14] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-08/pound-drops-as-u-k-exit-poll-unnerves-investors-markets-wrap 

[15] http://money.cnn.com/2017/06/09/news/economy/mnuchin-debt-ceiling/index.html?iid=Lead 

[16] http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/06/politics/trump-agenda-russia-congress/index.html