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Weekly Market Update – July 8, 2016

The Dow finished 251 points higher on Friday as the far-better-than-expected June U.S. Jobs Report alleviated some concerns of an economic slowdown. For the week the Dow was up 1.1%. Year-to-date the index is up 4.1%.

Domestic economic data were largely positive for the week. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 287,000 vs. consensus estimate of 165,000, making June the strongest month of hiring since last October and providing reassurance of continued economic growth in the U.S. despite recent global uncertainties. Markit’s US services PMI rose slightly to 51.4 in June from 51.3 in May. June ISM Services Index recorded the biggest sequential increase since 2008, suggesting strong business activities. Initial jobless claims dropped to 254,000 and June ADP employment came in at 172,000, both numbers better than consensus estimates.

Earlier this week, a number of Federal Reserve officials commented that it was too early to estimate the impact of Brexit on the U.S. economy. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) Minutes on Tuesday highlighted the financial market turbulence following the Brexit vote and judged it appropriate to leave policy options open and remain dependent on economic data. The strong jobs report increases the possibility of an interest rate hike later this year. For the week the US Preferred stock index was down 0.20% and the U.S. 10 Year Treasury yield dropped by 8 basis points to 1.36%. Our preferreds did quite well, and the interest rate environment and slow economic growth should allow more favorable conditions to continue.

U.S. crude oil inventories and production continue to drop which is expected to close the supply and demand gap later this year. The warm summer and the ongoing conversion of coal electric utility plants to natural gas are reducing high natural gas inventories as well.

Next week’s economic calendar highlights include Crude Inventories (July 13th), Initial Jobless Claims and Producer Price Index (July 14th), and Consumer Price Index (July 15th).

Have a great weekend,

Yansong Pang (庞岩松)

Weekly Market Update – June 3, 2016

The Dow finished 32 points lower on Friday after a disappointing May nonfarm payrolls report. For the week the Dow was largely unchanged and year-to-date the index is up 2.2%.

May nonfarm payrolls recorded a surprisingly low increase of 38,000 jobs on Friday, compared to the consensus expectation of 160,000.  The data recorded the poorest job creation level in five years, even though a strike at Verizon helped explain some of the weakness. Due to the soft jobs report and renewed concerns about England’s vote to stay in or leave the European Union, the Fed might delay its interest rate hike until at least the July meeting. Accordingly, 10 year Treasury bonds rallied, rising by 1.3% for the week. The US Preferred index PFF rose .4% for the week in reaction to the news. However, contrasting economic data throughout the week still portrayed a healthy economy: unemployment rate fell to a new low of 4.7%, April consumer spending rose the fastest since August 2009, and May’s manufacturing index marked a third month of expansion after five months’ consecutive contractions.

Crude oil was down 1.1% for the week, reaching $48.83 after OPEC failed to implement a production ceiling on Thursday. Iran was a key opponent, rejecting any cap on production, while Saudi Arabia’s oil minister was optimistic that oil prices would continue to recover. US inventory data showed an unexpected decline on Thursday, partially offsetting the negative headlines from the OPEC meeting.

Next week’s economic calendar highlights include productivity and unit labor costs (June 7), jobless claims (June 9) and wholesale inventories (June 9). The Fed meeting is June 14 & 15.

Have a good weekend,

Natalie Do

Weekly Market Update – May 20, 2016

The Dow finished 66 points higher on Friday as the market adjusts to the heightened expectations of a June Federal Reserve interest rate hike. For the week the Dow was down 0.20% and year-to-date the index is up 0.44%.

April’s headline CPI recorded the largest increase in three years and was up 0.4% from the previous month, ahead of expectations of a 0.3% gain and was led by 8% increase in gasoline prices. Core CPI, which excludes food and energy, was up 0.2% and was in line with consensus. Industrial production rose 0.7% in April, well ahead of consensus. Jobless claims came in line with expectations at 278,000. However, May’s Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index declined 1.8 compared to consensus of 4.0 increase, with new orders decreasing for the second consecutive month.

The release of the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s April 26-27 meeting was the focus of this week. The meeting noted a continued strong labor market, an increased risk sentiment, and a decline in financial market volatility. Positive rate hike comments were delivered by the regional Fed bank presidents on Tuesday and during the “Fedspeak” on Thursday. The Fed will review new economic data before making a rate decision at its June meeting. For the week, the U.S. 10 Year Treasury yield increased 0.16% and the US Preferred stock index PFF was down 0.15%.

Crude oil rallied by 3.2% for the week to $47.67 per barrel as the Canadian wildfire outages and disruptions in Nigeria and Libya chipped away an oversupply. The U.S. oil rig count remained flat at 318 after 8 weeks of consecutive declines. A stronger dollar will put downward pressure on oil prices by making the dollar-denominated commodity more expensive for investors of other currencies.

Next week’s economic calendar highlights include New Home Sales (May 24th), Crude Inventories (May 25th), Initial Jobless Claims and Pending Home Sales (May 26th), and Q1 GDP Estimate (May 27th). We expect continued discussion of a Fed interest rate increase which will insure another volatile week.

Have a great weekend,

Yansong Pang (庞岩松)

Weekly Market Update – July 17, 2015

Stocks finished the day mixed Friday despite a record day from Google.  The Dow fell 34 points while the NASDAQ, buoyed by Google’s strength, surged nearly 1%, closing at a record high.   For the week the Dow was up 1.8% and for the year the index is now up 1.5%.

Google rose more than 16% Friday on better-than-expected second-quarter earnings, boosting its market cap by over $65 billion, the largest single-day gain ever.  Led by Google, the technology sector posted its best week since 2011.  Overseas, Greek debt negotiations continued Friday as the European Council approved a short-term $7.7 billion loan to Greece while the European Central Bank announced it would increase its emergency liquidity to Greek banks, which are set to reopen Monday after being closed for the past three weeks.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury held steady at 2.35%, down 7 bps for the week and now up 18 bps for the year.  Earlier in the week Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen reiterated that interest rates would likely begin to rise later in the year, but at a slow and measured pace.

Oil fell 12 cents to $50.79 Friday, down 3.9% for the week.  A stronger dollar, oversupply concerns and the fear that Iran will flood the market with additional oil on the heels of its nuclear deal contributed to the price decline.

Next week’s economic calendar highlights include June housing data on Wednesday and Friday and weekly jobless claims on Thursday.  Expect the housing data to show an increase in activity from May and weekly jobless claims to again fall in the 280-290,000 range (from 281,000 this week).  Second quarter corporate earnings will continue as well.  To date, earnings have been better-than-expected, helping to drive markets this week.


Ulland Investment Advisors

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