Stocks ended last week mixed on earnings that were largely better than expected, though the tech sector disappointed. For the week, the S&P 500 gained 0.52%, the Dow grew 0.59%, and the NASDAQ lost 0.65%.
First-quarter earnings reports drove a lot of market activity last week. Though analysts expect overall S&P 500 earnings to be negative for the fourth quarter in a row, the news so far is more about earnings surprises and fewer negative revisions to estimates. Given how low the bar was set by many corporate teams, it’s not so unexpected to see positive surprises. With reports in from 132 S&P 500 members, overall earnings are down 7.9% on 1.1% lower revenues, though nearly three-quarters beat their earnings estimates.
However, the tech sector is another story. Tech stocks sold off after disappointing results from major players. Overall, much of the tech sector is painting a picture that is the inverse of the rest of the market – many companies are failing to rise to the expectations built over previous quarters of strong growth, disappointing investors.
Will investors hold on to their optimism in the days ahead? We’ll see.
The week ahead is packed with important economic data, including the first estimate of first-quarter economic growth and a measure of consumer sentiment. The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee also meets next week to discuss interest rates; though no one expects the Fed to raise rates this month, analysts are hoping for more clarity on the timing of future hikes.
Last week, a Reuters poll of economists found that about two-thirds expect a June rate increase while another 20% are betting on September. In March, the Fed acknowledged its concerns about global risks, stating that it expects two more rate hikes this year, only half as many as were planned in December.
Earnings season also heats up next week with releases by 183 S&P 500 companies. By the end of the week, we’ll have seen quarterly results from about 60% of the index and will have a much more complete picture of business activity last quarter. With all the reports coming out, we can expect some volatility in the days ahead as investors digest the latest data.
Monday: New Home Sales, Dallas Fed Mfg. Survey
Tuesday: Durable Goods Orders, S&P Case-Shiller HPI, Consumer Confidence
Wednesday: International Trade in Goods, Pending Home Sales Index, EIA Petroleum Status Report, FOMC Meeting Announcement
Thursday: GDP, Jobless Claims
Friday: Personal Income and Outlays, Employment Cost Index, Chicago PMI, Consumer Sentiment
- Housing starts drop. Groundbreaking on new houses dropped 8.8% in March, and permits for new home construction fell, indicating that homebuilders are expecting the sector to cool off.
- Existing home sales bounce 5.1% higher. Resales of existing homes rose more than expected in March, suggesting that the housing market had legs last quarter. Though monthly sales are volatile, growth was solid across all four U.S. regions.
- Jobless claims drop to multi-decade low. The number of weekly applications for new unemployment benefits dropped to the lowest level since 1973 in the latest sign that the labor market is steaming ahead despite slow economic growth.
- Oil prices post third week of gains. Benchmark crude oil prices rose again last week on expectations that the global oil supply glut is easing and demand will rise in the peak driving season.
Quote Of The Week
“The act of giving is the soul of living.” – Loreen Arbus
Recipe Of The Week
Serve this delicious salad as a quick lunch side.
- 1/2 pound macaroni or other short pasta
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 scallions, green and white parts thinly sliced
- 4 stalks celery, bottom removed and rinsed and chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, rinsed well and chopped
Chef’s Tip: Add a can of tuna for some extra protein. Like it spicy? Add a couple of dashes of your favorite hot sauce.
Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. Drain and rinse well with cold water to cool.
While the pasta is cooking, boil the eggs in a small saucepan for one minute. Remove the pot from the heat, cover, and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 10-12 minutes. Drain the eggs and run them under cold water for several minutes to cool. Peel the eggs and chop them coarsely.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mayo, lemon juice, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of pepper. Add the rest of the ingredients, including the eggs and pasta, and toss to combine. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, pepper, and lemon juice as needed.
Recipe adapted from RealSimple.com
Missed the Tax Deadline? Here’s What to Do
April 18 was the tax filing deadline for most people in 2016. If you didn’t file a tax return or an extension to file, it’s not too late to take action. Here’s what you can do:
File and pay soon. If you owe taxes, you should file and pay as soon as you can to minimize the interest and penalties that you will owe on any taxes due.
Pay as much as you can. If you owe taxes but can’t pay in full, you should pay as much as you can when you file your tax return.
Remember your refund. If you are owed a refund, you should file as soon as possible to get it. If you don’t file your return within three years, you could lose your right to the refund.
For more information on filing late taxes, speak to a qualified tax professional.
Tip courtesy of IRS.gov
Create Better Spin
There’s nothing more annoying than to hit a perfect shot into the green and then watch your ball fly away. One of the best ways to stop the ball where you want is by creating a higher spin rate on your ball.
Spin is created by the clubhead pressing the ball into the ground at impact. To get more spin, you want to strike the ball from a sharp angle. Set the ball up farther back in your stance and keep your weight left. Then focus on striking the ball sharply from that steep angle.
Tip courtesy of Tim Mahoney | Golf Tips Mag
Everyday Activities That Promote Brain Health
A long-running study by the Mayo Clinic has found that certain everyday activities can help you keep your brain sharp and your memory intact.
Researchers followed a group of men and women and found that doing these activities at least once per week correlated with a reduced risk of cognitive impairment:
Computer use -44% less risk
Reading magazines – 30% less risk
Crafts (e.g., knitting) – 16% less risk
Playing games – 14% less risk
Tip courtesy of AARP
Upgrade Your Showerhead
If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your showerhead, it might be time. Old showerheads can trap dirt and mold. They can also be wasteful, using as much as 3 gallons per minute (GPM), while newer models efficiently deliver 2 gallons or less by mixing the water with air. Look for models marked 2 GPM or less.
Tip courtesy of Seattle PI
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.
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 indexes from Europe, Australia and Southeast Asia.
The S&P U.S. Investment Grade Corporate Bond Index contains U.S.- and foreign-issued investment-grade corporate bonds denominated in U.S. dollars.
The SPUSCIG launched on April 09, 2013. All information for an index prior to its Launch Date is back-tested, based on the methodology that was in effect on the Launch Date. Back-tested performance, which is hypothetical and not actual performance, is subject to inherent limitations because it reflects application of an Index methodology and selection of index constituents in hindsight. No theoretical approach can take into account all of the factors in the markets in general and the impact of decisions that might have been made during the actual operation of an index. Actual returns may differ from, and be lower than, back-tested returns.
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.
Notes on Featured Image: All index returns exclude reinvested dividends, and the 5-year and 10-year returns are annualized. Sources: Yahoo! Finance, S&P Dow Jones Indices, and Treasury.gov. International performance is represented by the MSCI EAFE Index. Corporate bond performance is represented by the SPUSCIG. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.
These are the views of Platinum Advisor Marketing Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named representative, Broker dealer or Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named representative nor 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.
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