Market Commentary, 04/15/19
Stocks were slightly negative Monday through Thursday, but rallied on Friday to make up for the early week declines, with the S&P finishing the week +0.5%, the Nasdaq +0.6%, and the Dow down just 13 points.
For the first time in 50 years, the number of claims for first-time unemployment benefits fell below 200,000. The Labor Department reported the number of new jobless claims fell by 8,000 to just 196,000 last week. Economists had expected a reading of 210,000. Jobless claims have fallen four weeks in a row, just a few months after hitting a short-term high of 244,000. (www.dol.gov; 04/10/2019)
The US Federal Reserve may keep interest rates unchanged through the rest of this year, although it’s prepared to consider a further increase or perhaps a rate cut if economic conditions significantly shift in coming months. That’s the takeaway that many economists had on Wednesday after reviewing minutes released from the Fed’s most recent policy meeting. (www.jhinvestments.com; 04/15/2019)
Significant progress was reported in the trade negotiations between the US and China this week. It was confirmed earlier in the week the two sides had reached agreement on an enforcement mechanism for a potential trade deal. This was thought to be a key hurdle to clear in reaching a final deal. (www.wsj.com; 04/11/2019)
This year could mark the 10th annual increase in a row for dividend payments, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. Dividends are projected to rise 8-9% in 2019, based on current dividend policies of companies in the S&P 500 Index. (www.barrons.com; 04/04/2019)
The markets remained relatively flat, but Friday’s uptick could be an indication that the market is attempting to break out of its recent malaise.
Jeremiah Patterson, CFP®
Copelin Financial Advisors
514 Brooks Street
Sugar Land, TX 77478
Phone: 281 240-2902
Fax: 281 240-2856
Securities offered through ProEquities, Inc., a Registered Broker-Dealer and Member FINRA & SIPC Advisory Services offered through Harvest Investment Services, LLC., a Registered Investment Advisor Copelin Financial Advisors, Inc and Harvest Investment Services, LLC are independent of ProEquities, Inc.