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Market Commentary by Scott J. Brown, Ph.D., Chief Economist
In his State of the Union Address, President Obama proposed various efforts to boost manufacturing jobs, universal pre-K education and an increase in the minimum wage. However, there’s little chance that any of these proposals will make it to the floor of the House.
The economic data were mixed. Retail sales rose a modest 0.1% in January. Industrial production slipped 0.1%, but figures for November and December were revised higher. The New York Fed’s Empire State Manufacturing Index and the mid-February reading on consumer sentiment surprised to the upside.Amid concerns about a possible currency war (a series of competitive devaluations), the G-7 finance ministers and central bankers issued a statement reaffirming a commitment to market-determined exchanged rates. However, there was immediate confusion as to whether the statement signaled approval for Japan or a warning. Japan and the euro area reported declines in GDP in the fourth quarter. However, a few recent indicators suggest some improvement in early 2013.
Next week, the major item is likely to be the Fed’s policy meeting minutes from January. In December, several FOMC members “thought that it would probably be appropriate to slow or to stop purchases well before the end of 2013, citing concerns about financial stability or the size of the balance sheet.” That debate likely continued at the January policy meeting. None of that should be a surprise to anyone, but news quotes from the minutes could rattle the markets on Wednesday.
Consumer Money Rates
Treasury Yield Curve – 02/15/2013
S&P Sector Performance (YTD) – 02/15/2013
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 February 14th, 2013.
Frazier Allen, WMS, CRPS, Financial Advisor with F&M Bank
Web Site: http://www.raymondjames.com/frazierallen
TopicsBarack Obama, Bonds, British Pound, Crude Oil, DJIA, Euro, Fed, finance, gold, Japan, Japanese Yen, Mexican Peso, MSCI EAFE, Nasdaq, Russell 2000, S&P 500, Scott J. Brown, state of the union address, U S President
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