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Market Commentary by Scott J. Brown, Ph.D., Chief Economist
With so many economic reports, some surprises were likely. Real GDP fell at a 0.1% annual rate in the advance estimate for 4Q12, smacked down by slower inventory growth and a 22.2% drop in defense spending (otherwise, GDP would have risen 2.5%). Consumer spending rose at a 2.2% pace in 4Q12, while business fixed investment advanced 8.4%. Residential construction added 0.4 percentage points to GDP. Exports fell.
Consumer Confidence tanked in January, while the Consumer Sentiment Index improved. The ISM Manufacturing Index was stronger than anticipated. Personal income jumped 2.6%, reflecting a 34.3% spike in dividend income and earlier bonus payments. Spending rose 0.2%. The PCE Price Index was flat overall (+1.3%) and ex-food and energy (+1.4% y/y) – trending well below the Fed’s 2% goal.The Federal Open Market Committee did not alter its forward guidance on the overnight lending rate, nor did it curtail its asset purchase program (QE3). The FOMC noted that “growth in economic activity paused in recent months,” but said that was due to the weather and other transitory factors. Note that the December FOMC minutes showed that “several” Fed policymakers were concerned about QE3’s possible impact on financial stability – there was no evidence of that in the latest policy statement, but we should see this discussion continue in the minutes for the January meeting (released in a few weeks).
Next week, the economic calendar thins out considerably. The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index has some market-moving potential. On Thursday, Fed Governor Jeremy Stein will speak on “financial stability” – so the Fed’s internal debate on QE may be going public.
Consumer Money Rates
Treasury Yield Curve – 02/01/2013
S&P Sector Performance (YTD) – 02/01/2013
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 31st, 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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