The Good Life Newsletter 1.27.20
Stocks End the Week Lower
The Week on Wall Street
Stock prices fell last week as investors considered the potential health and economic risks of the flu-like coronavirus.
Foreign stock markets, as tracked by the broad MSCI EAFE index, fell 1.03% for the week. Coincidentally, the S&P 500 lost exactly that much across a 4-day Wall Street trading week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 1.22%, the Nasdaq Composite 0.79%.
Futures Markets Eye Coronavirus Outbreak
By Friday's closing bell, two cases of coronavirus had been confirmed in the U.S. by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sixty-three other potential cases were being monitored. Twenty-six people had died from the virus in China, where more than 30 million people faced travel restrictions.
This news exerted a drag on stocks in multiple industries. Oil prices also slipped: West Texas Intermediate crude lost 7.4% for the week to settle at $54.19 Friday. Stock and commodity traders wondered if the virus would mimic the SARS scare of 2002-03, which kept Chinese workers and shoppers at home and hurt corporate earnings worldwide.
Fewest Homes for Sale in 20 Years
Existing home sales improved 3.6% in December, according to the National Association of Realtors. This happened even as the number of listed properties hit a 20-year low. The NAR says that the rate of total U.S. home sales (existing and new) increased 10.8% in 2019.
Traders will watch not only earnings and economic indicators this week, but also the Federal Reserve, which meets Tuesday and Wednesday. Will the central bank's latest monetary policy statement reveal any subtle change of outlook?
THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Monday: The Census Bureau's report on December new home sales.
Tuesday: The latest consumer confidence index from the Conference Board.
Wednesday: A monetary policy announcement from the Federal Reserve, followed by a press conference with Fed chair Jerome Powell.
Thursday: The first estimate of fourth-quarter gross domestic product from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Friday: December consumer spending figures from the Department of Commerce, plus the final January University of Michigan consumer sentiment index (a gauge of consumer confidence levels).
THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Monday: D.R. Horton (DHI), Sprint (S)
Tuesday: Apple (AAPL), Pfizer (PFE), SAP (SAP), United Technologies (UTX)
Wednesday: AT&T (T), Facebook (FB), Mastercard (MA), Microsoft (MSFT)
Thursday: Amazon (AMZN), Coca-Cola (KO), Verizon (VZ), Visa (V)
Friday: Chevron (CVX), ExxonMobil (XOM), Honeywell International (HON)
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.
Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.
Diversification does not guarantee profit nor is it guaranteed to protect assets.
International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors.
The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. The DJIA was invented by Charles Dow back in 1896.
The Nasdaq Composite is an index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market and is considered a broad indicator of the performance of stocks of technology companies and growth companies.
The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) that serves as a benchmark of the performance in major international equity markets as represented by 21 major MSCI indices from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia.
The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
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