In this week’s recap: U.S. stocks finish higher after a wild trading week; the Federal Reserve cuts short-term interest rates; Treasury yields decline; the latest jobs report out of Washington shows no falloff for hiring.
THE WEEK ON WALL STREET
Heightened coronavirus fears, falling yields, and Super Tuesday primary results sent stocks on a rollercoaster ride of sharp price swings, leaving stocks marginally higher for the week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average improved 1.79%; the S&P 500, 0.61%; the Nasdaq Composite, 0.10%. Outside the U.S., developed equity markets tracked by the MSCI EAFE Index rose 2.60%.1,2
A Swift Fed Decision
Wednesday morning, the Federal Reserve lowered its short-term interest rate by 0.5% to a range of 1.00%-1.25%, making its biggest cut since 2008. Addressing the media, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said that the move was made to give the economy a “meaningful” lift and “help boost household and business confidence.”
The question is whether reducing borrowing costs can effectively address growing business and consumer anxieties about shopping, traveling, and gathering.3
A Push Toward Treasuries
The uncertainty on Wall Street has heightened demand for Treasury bonds. Their yields typically fall as their prices rise, and fall they did last week. The yield on the 10-year Treasury dipped under 0.70% during Friday’s market day, an all-time low.4
Winter Hiring Surge Continues
The Department of Labor’s latest employment report showed companies adding 273,000 net new hires last month. Net monthly payroll growth has averaged 243,000 since December.5
The Fed’s 50-basis-points cut in the federal funds rate has now shifted the sights of investors toward the European Central Bank, which is expected to make a policy announcement on March 12. The ECB has less room to maneuver than the Fed, since its key interest rate currently stands at -0.5%. Negative interest rates have done little to lift eurozone economies, which may necessitate more-creative monetary policy accommodation from the ECB’s new president, Christine Lagarde.
Traders are also focused on whether the Federal Reserve will make another rate cut on March 18, when its next meeting concludes. The half-point rate cut this past week did little to soothe stock market concerns; opinions vary about what the central bank might choose to do next.6
T I P O F T H E W E E K
If you owe money on the vehicle you drive and would be hard-pressed to replace it in the case of a bad accident, make sure that you have an auto insurance policy with comprehensive and collision coverage.
THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Wednesday: The Census Bureau publishes a new Consumer Price Index, showing monthly and yearly inflation.
Friday: The University of Michigan presents its initial Consumer Sentiment Index for March, measuring consumer confidence.
Source: MarketWatch, March 6, 2020
The MarketWatch economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.
THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Monday: Thor Industries (THO)
Tuesday: Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS)
Thursday: Adobe (ADBE), Broadcom (AVGO), Dollar General (DG), Oracle (ORCL), Ulta Beauty (ULTA)
Source: Zacks.com, March 6, 2020
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.
Q U O T E O F T H E W E E K
“You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
T H E W E E K L Y R I D D L E
A man says that where he lives, 1,500 plus 20 and 1,600 minus 40 equal the same thing, and his neighbors and coworkers all agree. Where is he living?
LAST WEEK’S RIDDLE: You see us regularly, but never at the same time. We appear everywhere but never in the same place. What are we?
ANSWER: Day and night.
Heritage Wealth Management's Email Disclosure
This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs and expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The MSCI EAFE Index is a stock market index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed markets outside of the U.S. and Canada. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world's largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. MarketingPro, Inc. is not affiliated with any person or firm that may be providing this information to you. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.
1 - wsj.com/market-data [3/6/20]
2 - quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/MSCI%20GLOBAL/990300/historical-prices [3/6/20]
3 - washingtonpost.com/business/2020/03/03/economy-coronavirus-rate-cuts/ [3/3/20]
4 - cnbc.com/2020/03/06/the-plunge-in-bond-yields-is-scary-now-but-could-be-helpful-later.html [3/6/20]
5 - tinyurl.com/u7anpfg [3/6/20]
6 - fxstreet.com/macroeconomics/central-banks/fed [3/6/20]