The Good Life Newsletter 2.24.20
Virus Anxieties Affect Stocks
Weekly Update - February 24, 2020
The Week on Wall Street
Traders paid close attention to coronavirus developments and earnings last week, while wondering how the former might eventually impact the latter. Concern over updated infection numbers moderated risk appetite.
A pair of key stock benchmarks posted similar weekly losses. In New York, the S&P 500 declined 1.25%; the MSCI EAFE index (of developed stock markets away from North America) lost 1.24%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 1.38% for the four-day trading week; the Nasdaq Composite, 1.59%.
Minutes from the Federal Reserve's January Meeting
Last month, members of the Federal Open Market Committee felt the near-term outlook for the economy had improved slightly since the last Fed meeting in December. The minutes did note that the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak "warranted close watching."
Some analysts have wondered, if the coronavirus threat heightens whether the Fed might cut short-term interest rates this year. The FOMC voted 11-0 in January to leave rates alone.
Fewer Home Sales, But More Building Permits
Sales of existing homes weakened 1.3% in January, according to a new National Association of Realtors report. On the new home front, the Census Bureau said that the rate of permits for new residential construction neared a 13-year high last month.
At Friday's closing bell, gold was worth $1,646.60 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold futures traded at a seven-year peak on Friday morning.
THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Tuesday: The Conference Board's monthly Consumer Confidence Index.
Wednesday: A January new home buying report from the Census Bureau.
Thursday: The second estimate of fourth-quarter economic growth from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Friday: January consumer spending numbers from the Department of Commerce, and the final February Consumer Sentiment Index from the University of Michigan (an assessment of consumer confidence levels).
THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Monday: HP (HPQ), Intuit (INTU), Palo Alto Networks (PANW)
Tuesday: Home Depot (HD), Public Storage (PSA), Salesforce (CRM)
Wednesday: Booking Holdings (BKNG), Lowe's (LOW), TJX Companies (TJX)
Thursday: Anheuser-Busch Inbev (BUD), Baidu (BIDU), Best Buy (BBY), Dell Technologies (DELL)
Friday: Dollar Tree (DLTR)
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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.
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