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Topic: F&M Investment Services

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

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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

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

 

F&M Investment Services - Raymond James - Clarksville, TNClarksville, TN – As expected, Greece’s election resulted in a turn to the left. The new leadership indicated that it intends to remain in the euro, but will seek a reduction in austerity and some restructuring of the country’s debt.

That sets up a conflict with other European countries that oppose such moves. This will likely take some time to resolve, with headlines expected to add to global financial market volatility in the weeks to come. Meanwhile, euro area inflation fell to -0.6% y/y.

Real GDP rose at a 2.6% annual rate in the advance estimate for 4Q14 (vs. a median forecast of +3.1%), but it was still a good report. As expected, it was a strong quarter for consumer spending (+4.3%), but a relatively soft quarter for business fixed investment (+1.9%).

Frazier Allen

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Clarksville Weekly Market Snapshot from Frazier Allen for the week of January 26th, 2015

 

F&M Investment Services - Raymond James - Clarksville, TNClarksville, TN – As expected, the European Central Bank (ECB) signaled that it would begin a quantitative easing program, purchasing €60 billion per month in public and private securities through September 2016.

The amount of monthly purchases was a bit higher than anticipated, but that included the ECB’s already-existing program to purchase asset-backed securities and covered bonds. The ECB’s announcement sent the euro sharply lower.

Frazier Allen

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Clarksville Weekly Market Snapshot from Frazier Allen for the week of January 18th, 2015

 

F&M Investment Services - Raymond James - Clarksville, TNClarksville, TN – Investors remained concerned about the global economy. The Swiss National Bank abandoned its currency ceiling against the euro, generating turmoil in the foreign exchange markets and adding to investor anxiety in the U.S.

While the Swiss franc surged, the U.S. dollar gained further ground against other currencies and a flight to safety pushed yields on long-term Treasuries lower (the 30-year bond yield to an all-time low). The SNB’s move reflected the central bank’s inability to defend the ceiling (especially with the European Central Bank expected to embark on QE next week), but investors took it as a sign of global financial instability.

Frazier Allen

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

 

F&M Investment Services - Raymond James - Clarksville, TNClarksville, TN – The December Employment Report was strong, but with some conflicting details. Nonfarm payrolls rose by a greater-than-expected 252,000 (median forecast: +240,000), with a net revision to October and November of +50,000.

It was the strongest year for job growth since 1999 (and the strongest private-sector job growth since 1997). The unemployment rate fell to 5.6% (median forecast: 5.7%), with annual benchmark revisions making little difference – however, the drop in the unemployment rate was due entirely to a decrease in labor force participation (don’t read too much into that, seasonal adjustment is tricky in December).

Frazier Allen

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Clarksville Weekly Market Snapshot from Frazier Allen for the week of January 4th, 2015

 

F&M Investment Services - Raymond James - Clarksville, TNClarksville, TN – Two days before Christmas, the government revised its estimate of 3Q14 GDP growth sharply higher (to 5.0%, vs. +3.9% in the 2nd estimate). Most of the revision was in consumer spending (a 3.2% annual rate, vs. +2.2%), which accounts for 70% of the economy.

Moreover, the monthly figures through November suggest an even stronger pace of consumer spending growth in 4Q14 (4.0% to 4.5%). It’s not hard to do the consumer spending calculation (and the monthly figures are subject to revision), but the markets seemed not to fully reflect the improved consumer outlook.

Frazier Allen

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Clarksville Weekly Market Snapshot from Frazier Allen for the week of December 22nd, 2014

 

F&M Investment Services - Raymond James - Clarksville, TNClarksville, TN – The stock market’s anxieties about oil prices, the Fed, and the rest of the world gave way to a renewed sense of optimism (or at least less pessimism).

Heading into the Federal Open Market Committee meeting, the key question was whether it would abandon the “considerable time” phrase. The FOMC had it both ways, removing the phrase, saying instead that it could “be patient” in deciding when to begin normalizing policy, but quickly adding that the intent is exactly the same.

Frazier Allen

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