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Weekly eNews: December 31, 2018

Financial Market Update

Welcome to the StrategicPoint Financial Market Update — a market and economic overview of what occurred last week and what’s up for this week. Please find our market commentary and most recent Blog posts in our StrategicPoint of View®.

Last Week

A crazy week of market swings finally closed with each of the benchmark indexes listed here posting gains for the first time in three weeks. Christmas Eve (Monday) saw stocks drop precipitously heading into the holiday, surely putting a damper on festivities for some investors. The Dow fell over 19% early Wednesday, only to surge by the end of the day. By week’s end, each of the benchmarks listed here posted gains led by the Nasdaq, which climbed almost 4.0%, followed by the Russell 2000, the S&P 500, the Dow, and the Global Dow. While the bond market was generally quiet, long-term bonds saw yields reach a nine-month low as bond prices soared. Despite last week’s positive returns, it is unlikely that the indexes listed here will gain enough on New Year’s Eve to close the year ahead of last year’s ending values.

Oil prices remained relatively low last week, closing at $45.07 per barrel by late Friday, down slightly from the prior week’s closing price of $45.42 per barrel. The price of gold (COMEX) increased last week, closing at $1,283.10 by last Friday evening, up from the prior week’s price of $1,259.10. The national average retail regular gasoline price was $2.321 per gallon on December 24, 2018, $0.048 lower than the prior week’s price and $0.151 less than a year ago.

S&P 500: 2485 (up 2.86% for the week and down 7.03% for the year)
NASDAQ: 6584 (up 3.97% for the week and down 4.62% for the year)
Dow: 23062 (up 2.75% for the week and down 6.70% for the year)
US Treasury 10yr: 2.71% (from 2.78% last week)
Crude Oil (February): $45.33 (from $45.59  last week)
Gold (February): $1,283.00 (from $1,258.10 last week)
USD/Euro: $1.1442 (from $1.137 last week)

Last Week’s Headlines

  • Due to the government shutdown, most economic reports are unavailable. If and when this information becomes available, it will be included in our report.
  • For the week ended December 22, there were 216,000 new claims for unemployment insurance, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week’s level, which was revised up by 3,000. According to the Department of Labor, the advance rate for insured unemployment claims remained at 1.2% for the week ended December 15. The advance number of those receiving unemployment insurance benefits during the week ended December 15 was 1,701,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the prior week’s level, which was revised up by 17,000.

This Week

Hopefully, the first week of the new year will bring some encouragement to investors who have seen stocks drop precipitously over the past several weeks. On the economic front, the employment figures for December are out at the end of the week. New hirings have dipped some over the last few months, although wages have increased overall.

Visit the StrategicPoint Blog

Five Financial Items to Tackle Before the End of 2018
It’s that time of year again: time to take a last look at your finances before the end of the year to make sure you are taking advantage of money saving opportunities before they’re lost. Read our latest blog by Chrissy Canapari for five financial items that should be addressed before you ring in 2019.


Market Turbulence
Market volatility has returned. Do market worries add up to a significant bear market? Read our Chief Investment Officer’s commentary on recent market turbulence.


StrategicPoint in the Media

Miss our most recent TV appearance?  Watch the latest video!  To catch our advisors on WJAR/NBC 10 with Frank Coletta, visit our blog.


*Past performance is not indicative of future results. Indices are unmanaged and you cannot directly invest in them. The Nasdaq Composite Index measures all NASDAQ U.S. and non-U.S. based common stocks listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The S&P 500 index is based on the average performance of 500 industrial stocks monitored by Standard and Poor’s. The data referred to above was taken from sources believed to be reliable. StrategicPoint Investment Advisors has not verified such data and no representation or warranty, expressed or implied, is made by StrategicPoint Investment Advisors.

Data sources: News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e. wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations. Market data: Based on data reported in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/Bloomberg.com Market Data (oil spot price, WTI Cushing, OK); www.goldprice.org (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates). All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The 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 NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighted index composed of 2,000 U.S. small-cap common stocks. The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide. Market indices listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.
The information contained in this post is not intended as investment, tax or legal advice. StrategicPoint Investment Advisors assumes no responsibility for any action or inaction resulting from the contents herein. Third party content does not reflect the view of the firm or of our parent company, Focus Financial Partners. LLC and is not reviewed for completeness or accuracy. It is provided for ease of reference.
Parts of this report were prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2018. Part of this content contributed by Forefield, Inc.