Last week, the markets closed for Labor Day, and in the subsequent four trading days, all three domestic indexes gave back some recent gains. The S&P 500 declined 0.61%; the Dow lost 0.86%; and the NASDAQ slid 1.17%. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE faired better, ending Friday up 0.78% for the week.
On Wednesday, September 6, we received solid data from the services sector, with the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index showing growth in 15 of the 18 industries it tracks. The trade deficit also stayed relatively static for July, avoiding the widening trade gap forecasters predicted. Both reports may indicate that the economy continues to be on stronger ground than many people believe.
But last week's new economic reports were not what drove many headlines or captured people's attention. Between Hurricane Harvey's devastation in Texas and Louisiana, Irma bearing down on Florida and the southeast, and new hurricanes Jose and Katia forming offshore, weather was on everyone's minds. Understanding the economic effects these weather events can create is important for proactively planning ahead.
How Hurricanes Affected the Markets
- Insurance Companies Stumbled, Then Recovered
Large natural disasters can be incredibly costly for insurance companies. Last week, despite Friday's price recovery, many insurance stocks and ETFs lost considerable ground, as investors contemplated whether insurers would be able to withstand the costs of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
- Materials Suppliers Jumped
While hurricanes are challenging for insurers, they can drive growth for companies who will help provide materials when rebuilding begins. With Hurricane Irma predicted to "devastate" areas of the U.S., a number of building suppliers added over 1% to their stock prices on Friday.
- Restaurant Stocks Struggled
Several major restaurant brands saw their stock prices drop last week. Restaurants with a large number of locations in hurricane-damaged areas could experience lower sales throughout the rest of 2017.
What to Expect for Long-Range Impacts
With Hurricane Irma battering the southern states and Harvey's waters still receding, we are far from knowing the final tally of either hurricane's destruction. However, some estimates indicate that recovery could cost as much as $100 billion or more, for each storm.
Due to these massive recovery efforts, natural disasters like this can end up having a net-positive effect on the economy. Ultimately, industries such as construction, transportation, and logistics often benefit from rebuilding. Meanwhile, industries such as insurance and hospitality may suffer due to the losses they experience.[10}
While the costs from damages will be immense, the true economic impact will be important to track as the weather events continue. In the meantime, we also believe that paying attention to the human side of weather catastrophes is just as important. We send our thoughts and best wishes to everyone affected by these storms, and we hope for as swift a recovery as possible.
Should you have any questions or concerns about how severe weather events could affect your financial future, we are always ready to talk.
Thursday: Consumer Price Index
Friday: Retail Sales, Industrial Production, Business Inventories, 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.
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.