Market Perspective for January 4, 2019

The Nasdaq gained 4.26 percent on the day. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial increased 3.43 percent and 3.29 percent, respectively. Russell 2000 advanced 3.75 percent.

The economy created 312,000 jobs in December, exceeding the estimate of 182,000. Hourly wages increased 0.4 percent, the fastest growth in a decade. The unemployment rate surged to 3.9 percent from 3.7 percent, a positive sign because discouraged workers entering the workforce drove it higher. The government does not count individuals who cease looking for work as unemployed. If this number continues rising along with rapid job creation, it is a very bullish sign for the economy.

Motor vehicle sales hit an annualized pace of 17.6 million in December, higher than expected. The Markit Service PMI for December increased from 53.4 to 54.4.

SPDR Energy (XLE) rallied 4.23 percent this week. SPDR Communication Services (XLE) increased 3.77 percent, Consumer Discretionary (XLY) 2.96 percent, SPDR Financial (XLF) 2.76 and SPDR Industrial (XLI) 2.24 percent.

Stocks that led the market lower in the fourth quarter of 2018 rebounded over the past week. Netflix (NFLX) climbed 9.72 percent on Friday, providing a 16.22 percent return on the week. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) advanced 11.44 and 6.62 percent over the same periods.

The equity markets remain very volatile. Apple (AAPL) fell more than 10 percent on Thursday after it warned on earnings. The decline weighed on the major indexes. The company blamed China’s slowing economy for the warning. However, Apple rallied 4.27 percent on Friday, trimming its loss for the week to 5.10 percent.

Crude oil rose for the fifth consecutive day, closing the week at nearly $48 per barrel. Natural gas fell below $3 during the week but rallied on Friday.

It is obviously a volatile time for the stock market.  We encourage you to stick to your long-term plan. The market is poised for solid returns in 2019, though it is prudent to not be overly aggressive.

If you would like a complimentary portfolio analysis of your current investments, please call me directly at (844) 336-9878.  I will review your recent performance, risk level, and diversification and tax efficiency to prepare you to capitalize on opportunities while minimizing downside risk. You will also receive our unbiased opinion on the quality of your holdings and of funds you may want to consider buying.


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