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WEEKLY ECONOMIC UPDATE

February 1, 2012

John Jastremski Presents:

WEEKLY ECONOMIC UPDATE

January 30, 2012

ECONOMY GROWS 2.8% IN Q4

While this is the best GDP reading since Q2 2010, the initial estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis still disappointed the markets. Many economists and investors were looking for growth of 3.0% or better. The majority of the growth actually came from increased inventories. Consumer spending rose 2.0% last quarter, with auto sales being the biggest factor. Durable goods orders did see 3.0% growth in December, putting them 45% above the recession low hit in April 2009.1,2,3

DIPS IN NEW & PENDING HOME SALES

The number of signed home sale contracts fell 3.5% in December, according to the National Association of Realtors. Separately, a Census Bureau report showed that new home sales declined 2.2% in December.4,5

MARQUEE SENTIMENT INDEX AT 11-MONTH PEAK

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index ended January at 75.0. This was way up from December’s 69.9 mark, and it beat the 74.1 reading forecast by economists surveyed by Reuters.6,7

PRECIOUS METALS GAIN ALLURE

At Friday’s COMEX close, gold was +10.56% YTD, copper +13.18% YTD and silver +21.05% YTD. Crude futures finished last week at $99.56 per barrel on the NYMEX, putting oil merely at +0.74% YTD. (Retail gas prices were +3.67% for the month as of Friday.)2

A STRONG MONTH COMES TO A CLOSE

With just a couple of trading days left, January is shaping up to be the best month for U.S. equities since October (see the YTD numbers below). Across last week, the S&P 500 rose 0.07% to 1,316.33 and the NASDAQ gained 1.07% to 2,816.55; the Dow slipped 0.47% to fall to 12,660.46.1

THIS WEEK: The December consumer spending report comes out Monday. On Tuesday, earnings reports arrive from Amazon.com, Broadcom, ExxonMobil, UPS, Pfizer and Eli Lilly – and we also get the latest S&P/Case-Shiller home price index and the Conference Board’s January consumer confidence poll. Wednesday, Q4 results roll in from Qualcomm, Electronic Arts, Aetna and Marathon Oil and the latest ISM manufacturing index appears. Besides new initial claims figures, Thursday brings Q4 results from Unilever, Sony, Deutsche Bank, Merck and Beazer Homes. Friday, the January unemployment report is out along with ISM’s service sector index and data on December factory orders; Clorox also issues Q4 results.

 

%   CHANGE

Y-T-D

1-YR   CHG

5-YR   AVG

10-YR   AVG

DJIA

+3.63

+5.59

+0.28

+2.83

NASDAQ

+8.11

+2.22

+3.13

+4.49

S&P 500

+4.67

+1.29

-1.49

+1.62

REAL YIELD

1/27   RATE

1   YR AGO

5   YRS AGO

10   YRS AGO

10 YR TIPS

-0.18%

1.16%

2.48%

3.48%

 

 

Sources: cnbc.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov, treasurydirect.gov – 1/27/121,8,9,10

Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly.

These returns do not include dividends.

This material was prepared by Peter Montoya Inc, and does not necessarily represent the views of John Jastremski, Jeremy Keating, Erik J Larsen, Frank Esposito, Patrick Ray, Robert Welsch, Michael Reese, Brent Wolf, Andy Starostecki and The Retirement Group or FSC Financial Corp. This information should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named Representatives nor Broker/Dealer gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If other expert assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. Please consult your Financial Advisor for further information or call 800-900-5867.

The Retirement Group is not affiliated with nor endorsed by fidelity.com, netbenefits.fidelity.com, hewitt.com, resources.hewitt.com, access.att.com, ING Retirement, AT&T, Qwest, Chevron, Hughes, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, ExxonMobil, Glaxosmithkline, Merck, Pfizer, Verizon, Bank of America, Alcatel-Lucent or by your employer. We are an independent financial advisory group that specializes in transition planning and lump sum distribution. Please call our office at 800-900-5867 if you have additional questions or need help in the retirement planning process.

John Jastremski is a Representative with FSC Securities and may be reached at www.theretirementgroup.com.

 

 

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