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Market Commentary by Scott J. Brown, Ph.D., Chief Economist
The economic data were mixed, but generally consistent with moderate growth in the near term. Retail sales and industrial production were largely in line with expectations. Jobless claims sank and housing starts jumped, boosting the major stock market indices, although seasonal adjustment likely played a part. The Fed’s two major regional surveys disappointed, reflecting contractions in new orders and employment and some pickup in input price pressures.
Earnings reports were mixed, but investors seemed more concerned with the path ahead.There will be three major hurdles in Washington over the next few weeks. 1) The drop dead date for the debt ceiling is expected between February 15th and March 1st. 2) Large spending cuts are set to begin on March 1st (but the sequester could be delayed again). 3) The Continuing Resolution that authorizes government spending expires on March 27th (most likely, we’ll simply see another CR, but there may be some noise and uncertainty).
Next week, the economic data calendar is relatively light. Home sales figures could be exaggerated by the seasonal adjustment. Annual benchmark revisions will be incorporated into the Index of Leading Economic Indicators, but the recent story is not expected to change much (and the drop jobless claims will make a significant positive contribution in the December calculation). Earnings should remain a factor for equities.
Consumer Money Rates
Treasury Yield Curve – 01/18/2013
S&P Sector Performance (YTD) – 01/18/2013
US government bonds and treasury bills are guaranteed by the US government and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and guaranteed principal value. US government bonds are issued and guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by the federal government. Treasury bills are certificates reflecting short-term (less than one year) obligations of the US government.
Commodities trading is generally considered speculative because of the significant potential for investment loss. Markets for commodities are likely to be volatile and there may be sharp price fluctuations even during periods when prices overall are rising. Specific sector investing can be subject to different and greater risks than more diversified investments.
Tax Equiv Muni yields (TEY) assume a 35% tax rate on triple-A rated, tax-exempt insured revenue bonds.
The information contained herein has been obtained from sources considered reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Data source: Bloomberg, as of close of business January 17th, 2013.
Frazier Allen, WMS, CRPS, Financial Advisor with F&M Bank
Web Site: http://www.raymondjames.com/frazierallen
TopicsCapacity Utilization, Consumer Price Index, Economic Data, European Debt, Federal Open Market Committee, Financial Markets, Frazier Allen, Global Equity Markets, Gross Domestic Product, Index of Leading Economic Indicators, Manufacturing Output, Raymond James, Raymond James Investment Services, Scott J. Brown, Seasonal Adjustment, Short-Term Interest Rates, Volatility, Weekly Market Capacity Utilization, Weekly Market Snapshot
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