What I’m Watching this week – 5 January 2015

The Markets

A couple of disappointing economic reports coupled with year-end tax maneuvers put the few traders who were at their desks last week in selling mode. All four domestic indices plus the Global Dow lost more than 1%, while the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield fell as prices rose.

Market/Index 2014 Close Prior Week As of 1/2 Weekly Change YTD Change
DJIA 17823.07 18053.71 17832.99 -1.22% .06%
Nasdaq 4736.05 4806.86 4726.81 -1.67% -.20%
S&P 500 2058.90 2088.77 2058.20 -1.46% -.03%
Russell 2000 1204.70 1215.21 1198.80 -1.35% -.49%
Global Dow 2501.66 2529.85 2491.50 -1.52% -.41%
Fed. Funds .25% .25% .25% 0% 0%
10-year Treasuries 2.17% 2.25% 2.12% -13 bps -5 bps

Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.

Last Week’s Headlines

  • The growth of U.S. home prices showed signs of slowing in October as the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Index saw a -0.1% downturn for the month. October’s 4.5% increase year-over-year also was slightly less than September’s 4.8%. However, 8 cities reported the pace of increases had actually accelerated; two months ago, all 20 cities reported weakening.
  • The Institute for Supply Management said its gauge of U.S. manufacturing showed slowing growth. The index reading of 55.5% was 3.2% lower than November’s reading, though any number above 50 indicates expansion.
  • Construction spending in the United States fell 0.3% in November, and the Commerce Department said a 1.7% drop in government spending on schools and infrastructure was responsible for much of that decline. However, total construction spending was up 2.4% from last November.

Eye on the Week Ahead

In 2015’s first full week of trading, minutes of the Federal Reserve’s most recent monetary policy committee meeting will be parsed for information about what led to elimination of the “considerable time” language in its most recent statement about future interest rates. And as always, Friday’s unemployment report will be of interest.

Wishing you all an AMAZINGLY SUCCESSFUL 2015 !