February 24, 2020

The Week On Wall Street

Traders paid close attention to coronavirus developments and earnings last week while wondering how the former might eventually impact the latter. Concern over updated infection numbers moderated risk appetite.

A pair of key stock benchmarks posted similar weekly losses. In New York, the S&P 500 declined 1.25%; the MSCI EAFE index (of developed stock markets away from North America) lost 1.24%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 1.38% for the four-day trading week; the Nasdaq Composite, 1.59%.1,2

Minutes From The Federal Reserve’s January Meeting

Last month, members of the Federal Open Market Committee felt the near-term outlook for the economy had improved slightly since the last Fed meeting in December. The minutes did note that the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak “warranted close watching.”

Some analysts have wondered if the coronavirus threat heightens, whether the Fed might cut short-term interest rates this year. The FOMC voted 11-0 in January to leave rates alone.3 

Fewer Home Sales, But More Building Permits

Sales of existing homes weakened 1.3% in January, according to a new National Association of Realtors report. On the new home front, the Census Bureau said that the rate of permits for new residential construction neared a 13-year high last month.4,5

Final Thought

At Friday’s closing bell, gold was worth $1,646.60 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold futures traded at a  seven-year peak on Friday morning.4

The Week Ahead: Key Economic Data

  • Tuesday: The Conference Board’s monthly Consumer Confidence Index.
  • Wednesday: A January new home buying report from the Census Bureau.
  • Thursday: The second estimate of fourth-quarter economic growth from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  • Friday: January consumer spending numbers from the Department of Commerce, and the final February Consumer Sentiment Index from the University of Michigan (an assessment of consumer confidence levels).

The Week Ahead: Companies Reporting Earnings

  • Monday: HP (HPQ), Intuit (INTU), Palo Alto Networks (PANW)
  • Tuesday: Home Depot (HD), Public Storage (PSA), Salesforce (CRM)
  • Wednesday: Booking Holdings (BKNG), Lowe’s (LOW), TJX Companies (TJX)
  • Thursday: Anheuser-Busch Inbev (BUD), Baidu (BIDU), Best Buy (BBY), Dell Technologies (DELL)
  • Friday: Dollar Tree (DLTR)
Market Index Close 2/21 Week % YTD %
DJIA 28,992.41 -1.38 +1.59
NASDAQ 9,576.59 -1.59 +6.73
S&P 500 3,337.75 -1.25 +3.31
Treasury Close 2/21  Week % YTD %
10 Year Note 1.46% -0.13 -0.46

Sources: wsj.com, treasury.gov – 2/21/2020
Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. Weekly and year-to-date market index returns are expressed as percentages. 10-year Treasury note yield = projected return on investment, expressed as a percentage, on the U.S. government’s 10-year bond. Weekly and year-to-date 10-year Treasury note yield differences are expressed in basis points.

Weekly Tip

Think about taking an inventory of all of your assets this year. This can be useful not only for insurance purposes but also for an estate strategy.


Citations
  1. wsj.com/market-data
  2. quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/MSCI%20GLOBAL/990300/historical-prices
  3. reuters.com/article/us-usa-fed-minutes/fed-policymakers-cautiously-optimistic-on-u-s-economy-despite-new-risks-minutes-show-idUSKBN20D2K3
  4. tinyurl.com/w6an89m
  5. marketwatch.com/story/housing-starts-dip-36-in-january-but-permits-hit-13-year-high-2020-02-19

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