Blog Post

Weekly Market Update

U.S. and foreign stocks rose substantially this past week.  Q4 earnings started to come out this past week and with only 5% of S&P 500 companies reporting Q4 earnings were up 10.2%.  U.S. Treasury bond yields as well as global government bond yields rose sharply.  Some sources in China hinted they may slow or halt purchases of US Treasury bonds.  However, most market analysts doubted that this would be possible given the large size of China’s foreign reserves.  The minutes from the latest ECB meeting were released and they signaled that they may move more quickly to taper it’s bond purchases even before inflation hits its 2% target.  Commodity prices, especially oil, rose this past week as inventory levels continue to decline.

In economic data:

  • The Labor Department reported:
    • Frist time claims for unemployment rose 11,000 to 261,000 in the prior week.  The four-week moving average of claims rose 9,000 to 250,750.
    • Producer prices fell 0.1% in December.  Excluding volatile food and energy producer prices also fell 0.1%.  This was the first month in over a year with a decline.  For the entire year 2017 producer prices rose 2.6% and 2.3% excluding food and energy.
    • Consumer prices rose 0.1% in December.  Core prices, excluding food and energy rose 0.3%.  From the end of 2016 consumer prices were up 2.1%, core prices were up 1.8%.
  • The Commerce Department reported retail spending rose 0.4% in December.  The biggest gains were in building materials and online retailers.
  • The Energy Information Administration weekly report is here wpsrsummary (20) .  Also the EIA reported:
    • Weekly field production of crude oil fell 290 thousand barrels per day.
    • Storage of Natural Gas fell 359 BN Cubic Feet as cold weather gripped the nation and demand surged.  Supplies are near the bottom of the five year average range at this time.
  • Baker Hughes reported that the number of active oil rigs fell 5 742 and the number of active gas rigs was unchanged at 182.

Best Regards,

Loren C. Rex, CFP®, AIF®, MA                                                         Erik A Smith

President                                                                                                 Managing Partner

Generations Financial Planning & Wealth Management             269-441-4143

77 E. Michigan Ave, Suite 140

Battle Creek, MI  49017

Tel  269-441-4090

Carrie Fuce, Assistant 269-441-4091

Toll Free: 800-513-8180

Fax  866-381-2301

Visit our Website:

Registered Representative of and securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC.  Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.  Cambridge and Generations Financial Planning & Wealth Management are separate companies and are not affiliated.

These are the opinions of Loren Rex and Erik Smith and are not necessarily those of Cambridge, are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed or acted upon as individualized investment advice.


If you are serious about planning for your future, we want to meet with you. We ask that you provide us with some basic information so we can assess your needs and schedule a meeting. Please follow the link below to complete our survey.