U.S. markets experienced more wild sessions last week before ending in positive territory, as the recent turbulence continued. In fact, we are currently in the middle of some of the most volatile market performance in more than eight years.[1] For the week, the S&P 500 gained 1.86%; the Dow added 1.61%; and the NASDAQ increased 2.34%.[2] MSCI EAFE stocks also increased, posting a 1.42% weekly gain.[3]

While the results may not seem especially dramatic, the path to get there certainly was. On Thursday, January 3rd, domestic stocks plunged, as factory data and a tech warning spooked investors.[4] Then, the next day, the S&P 500, Dow, and NASDAQ each gained at least 3.3%.[5] Friday's performance marked one of the largest rallies since the beginning of this bull market.[6]  

What drove the market rally?
Two key events contributed to the huge jumps on Friday: 1) the latest labor report and 2) comments from the Federal Reserve Chairman.[7]  

1. December's labor report exceeded projections.  Many people expected that the economy would add around 176,000 jobs last month. Instead, the latest data revealed that the increase was actually 312,000 new jobs in December, drastically beating expectations.[8] Not only did last month's labor report show more jobs added than anticipated, but wage growth and labor market participation also increased.[9]   

Why does this data matter?  Investors have been very concerned that economic growth is slowing. This data helped quell worries that a recession is ahead.[10]   

2. The Fed shared new policy perspectives.  Fed Chair Jerome Powell told the American Economic Association that the Federal Reserve understands the market's worries and hasn't predetermined its future interest rate hikes.[11]  

Why does this update matter?  Some of the uneasiness the markets have shown recently are a result of concerns that the Fed is tightening monetary policy too quickly. Powell's comments indicate the Fed is sensitive to economic conditions, an update that many investors wanted to hear.[12]    

What is on the horizon?
A number of unresolved situations remain for the markets and economy. The government shutdown continues, and a solution doesn't appear imminent at the moment. Trade dynamics are also still an important consideration, especially since corporations are now issuing warnings that trade is affecting their profits. Meanwhile, U.S. officials will be meeting with China this week to talk once again.[13]  

For now, the volatility we are experiencing may continue.[14] Remember, we're closely tracking developments to see how they may affect your financial life. If you have questions about how to weather these ups and downs, we are here for you. 

ECONOMIC CALENDAR

  • Monday: Factory Orders, ISM Non-Mfg Index

  • Tuesday: JOLTS

  • Wednesday: FOMC Minutes

  • Thursday: Jobless Claims

  • Friday: CPI



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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 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.

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.

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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 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] www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-04/all-the-days-are-big-days-for-stocks-as-bulls-bears-trade-blows?srnd=premium
[2] http://performance.morningstar.com/Performance/index-c/performance-return.action?t=SPX®ion=usa&culture=en-US
http://performance.morningstar.com/Performance/index-c/performance-return.action?t=%21DJI®ion=usa&culture=en-US
http://performance.morningstar.com/Performance/index-c/performance-return.action?t=@CCO
[3] www.msci.com/end-of-day-data-search
[4] www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-03/asia-stocks-to-track-u-s-losses-on-growth-worries-markets-wrap?srnd=markets-vp
[5] https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/04/stock-market-investors-react-to-us-china-trade-talks.html
[6] www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-03/asia-stocks-to-track-u-s-losses-on-growth-worries-markets-wrap?srnd=markets-vp
[7] www.cnbc.com/2019/01/04/stock-market-investors-react-to-us-china-trade-talks.html
[8] www.cnbc.com/2019/01/04/stock-market-investors-react-to-us-china-trade-talks.html
[9] www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-03/asia-stocks-to-track-u-s-losses-on-growth-worries-markets-wrap?srnd=markets-vp
[10] www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-03/asia-stocks-to-track-u-s-losses-on-growth-worries-markets-wrap?srnd=markets-vp
[11] www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-stocks/wall-st-rebounds-on-robust-jobs-report-dovish-powell-remarks-idUSKCN1OY154
[12] www.cnbc.com/2019/01/04/stock-market-investors-react-to-us-china-trade-talks.html
[13] www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-03/asia-stocks-to-track-u-s-losses-on-growth-worries-markets-wrap?srnd=markets-vp
[14] www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-stocks/wall-st-rebounds-on-robust-jobs-report-dovish-powell-remarks-idUSKCN1OY154