Market Commentary, 08/21/17

Last week the Dow fell 76 points, closing at 21,674 on Friday. This was the second week of declines for the Dow and the worst two-week percentage drop (1.9%) in nearly a year.

Recent developments that likely contributed to this market weakness are:

• Rising global tensions including threats between North Korea and the terrorist attack in Spain that left 13 dead.

• Fallout from President Trump’s remarks on the protests in Charlottesville.

• The president’s deteriorating relationship with business leaders and his difficulty in pushing his agenda through congress.

• The continued “retail apocalypse” including earnings disappointments as stores lower prices in order to get people in the door [e.g., last week, shares of Advance Auto Parts (-13%), Dick’s Sporting Goods (-24%), Foot Locker (-32%) and Finish Line fell (-8%) were down significantly] and the fact that over 8,600 retail locations will shut down in 2017 (by comparison, 6,200 retail stores closed during the 2008 economic downturn).

• Rumors that Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, was resigning. (Cohn has pushed for business-friendly polices like tax reform and is seen by some as an important ingredient for the stock market rally since the election.)

However, even with these concerns and its two-week declines, the Dow is up 9.7% year-to-date and our attitude is one of caution.

Wayne Copelin, CFP®
President, Copelin Financial Advisors, Inc.
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.

Several sources were consulted including the Wall Street Journal and WE Sherman & Co., LLC

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