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Clarksville Weekly Market Snapshot from Frazier Allen for the week of April 12th, 2015

 

F&M Investment Services - Raymond James - Clarksville, TNClarksville, TN – The economic data calendar was thin. Stock market participants finally got their chance to react to the disappointing employment data for March (the report was released on Good Friday).

However, the negative response was brief, as the market opened lower on Monday and then quickly turned up. The markets seemed to be looking for direction through the week, but failed to find much in the early earnings reports.

Frazier Allen

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Clarksville Weekly Market Snapshot from Frazier Allen for the week of April 1st, 2015

 

F&M Investment Services - Raymond James - Clarksville, TNClarksville, TN – The economic data were mixed, but generally disappointing, consistent with first quarter GDP growth closer to 0% (growth is widely expected to pick up again in the 2Q15). Consumer confidence improved more than anticipated in March and motor vehicle sales picked up.

However, the ISM manufacturing data suggested a slowdown in the factory sector (likely related to the stronger dollar, although survey respondents continued to note West Coast port delays).

Frazier Allen

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Clarksville Weekly Market Snapshot from Frazier Allen for the week of March 31st, 2015

 

F&M Investment Services - Raymond James - Clarksville, TNClarksville, TN – The economic data were mixed, adding little to the overall picture. Durable goods orders disappointed (again), with orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft (a rough proxy for business fixed investment) down for the sixth consecutive month. Unfilled orders are falling and inventories are outpacing shipments – both are bad signs, but neither is yet at a dangerous level.

Home sales figures were mixed. The third estimate of fourth quarter GDP growth came in at 2.2%, the same as in the previous estimate. This report included corporate profit data for 4Q14, which showed a moderate increase in domestic nonfinancial corporate profits, but a sharp drop in profits from abroad.

Frazier Allen

Frazier Allen

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Clarksville Weekly Market Snapshot from Frazier Allen for the week of March 22nd, 2015

 

F&M Investment Services - Raymond James - Clarksville, TNClarksville, TN – As was widely anticipated, the Federal Open Market Committee removed the “patient” language from the policy statement, but indicated that “an increase in the target range for the federal funds rate remains unlikely at the April FOMC meeting.”

The FOMC noted that “economic growth has moderated somewhat” (vs. January’s “expanding at a solid pace”). In its Summary of Economic Projections, Fed officials lowered their forecasts for GDP growth and inflation. The dots in the dot plot (expectations of the appropriate year-end level of the federal funds rate) generally moved lower, implying a lower expected path of short-term interest rates in the months ahead.

Frazier Allen

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Clarksville Weekly Market Snapshot from Frazier Allen for the week of March 15th, 2015

 

F&M Investment Services - Raymond James - Clarksville, TNClarksville, TN – Retail sales results for February continued to disappoint and consumer sentiment slipped unexpectedly, but weather may have been a factor. The reports on import prices and producer prices both showed significant disinflationary pressure (which may be seen as delaying the Fed’s initial hike in short-term interest rates). Stock market volatility was elevated, with sharp moves day by day.

Market participants have grown increasingly worried about exchange rates. Around the world, exchange rates mostly fall under the jurisdiction of finance ministers (the Treasury in the U.S.), not the central banks.

Frazier Allen

Frazier Allen

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Clarksville Weekly Market Snapshot from Frazier Allen for the week of March 11th, 2015

 

F&M Investment Services - Raymond James - Clarksville, TNClarksville, TN – The economic data were mixed, but the February Employment Report was stronger than expected. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 295,000 (±105,000), with a revision to January of -18,000. The BLS indicated that the payroll survey missed most of the bad weather that hit last month.

The household survey showed that 328,000 could not make it to work due to bad weather, which is about average (it was 601,000 in February 2014). Average weekly hours held steady (no weather impact).

Frazier Allen

Frazier Allen

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Clarksville Weekly Market Snapshot from Frazier Allen for the week of March 1st, 2015

 

F&M Investment Services - Raymond James - Clarksville, TNClarksville, TN – Greece’s reform proposals were accepted by European finance ministers, effectively kicking the can down the road for another four months.

In her monetary policy testimony, Fed Chair Janet Yellen signaled that the Fed will begin to consider raising short-term interest rates on a meeting-by-meeting basis. Before then, the Fed will change its forward guidance (currently, the language suggests that the Fed can be “patient” in deciding when to raise rates).

Frazier Allen

Frazier Allen

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Clarksville Weekly Market Snapshot from Frazier Allen for the week of February 22nd, 2015

 

F&M Investment Services - Raymond James - Clarksville, TNClarksville, TN – The minutes of the January 27th-28th Federal Open Market Committee meeting showed officials continuing to make preparations for policy normalization.

There was some debate about the risks of moving either too late or too soon. “Several” Fed officials feared that waiting too long to raise rates would risk higher inflation, but “many” (which in Fedspeak, is more than “several”) worried that a premature increase in rates could dampen the economic recovery and leave the Fed with limited options to correct course.

Frazier Allen

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Clarksville Weekly Market Snapshot from Frazier Allen for the week of February 15th, 2015

 

F&M Investment Services - Raymond James - Clarksville, TNClarksville, TN – As expected, U.S. financial market participants kept a close eye on developments in Europe. A fragile ceasefire agreement was reached in Ukraine (but we’ve seen that before). Negotiations to reduce austerity in Greece and restructure the country’s debt broke down without making much progress, but the two sides agreed to try again next week.

Retails sales were softer than expected in January and consumer sentiment fell unexpectedly in the mid-February assessment, leading to some concerns about the strength of consumer spending, but also fueling expectations that the Fed will delay its initial increase in short-term interest rates. Unadjusted core retail sales fell 24.9%, the same decline as in January 2014.

Frazier Allen

Frazier Allen

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Clarksville Weekly Market Snapshot from Frazier Allen for the week of February 8th, 2015

 

F&M Investment Services - Raymond James - Clarksville, TNClarksville, TN – The January Employment Report was strong. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 257,000 (median forecast: +235,000), with a net upward revision of +147,000 to the two previous months (three month average at +336,000). Payrolls fell by 2.76 million before seasonal adjustment, but were up 3.21 million from a year earlier.

The unemployment rate edged up to 5.7% (from 5.6%) reflecting noise in the labor force participation figure (down in December, up in January). The employment/population ratio edged higher. Average hourly earnings jumped 0.5%, following a 0.2% decline in December (up 2.2% y/y, still a relatively lackluster trend).

Frazier Allen

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