Blog Post

Good Earnings and Retail Sales offset by Virus Uncertainty

Stocks ended the week with modest gains as traders weighed good earnings against the uncertainties of the coronavirus.  China revised their methodology for recording the number of coronavirus cases which sharply increased the official number of cases and caused markets to pause on Thursday.  Retail sales posted a decent gain in January.

The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 1.584%.  Crude oil rose to $52.03 a barrel and natural gas fell to $1.844 MMBTUs.  The U.S. dollar rose against a basket of currencies and gold prices rose to $1585.8 an ounce.

In economic numbers this week:

  • Germany reported 0.0% growth in the fourth quarter of 2019.  This follows a 0.2% increase (quarterly, not annualized) in the third quarter. 
  • The Federal Reserve reported that industrial production fell a seasonally adjusted 0.3% in January.  Utility production fell 4% due to warmer than usual weather.  Factory output fell 0.1%, largely due to Boeing.  Excluding aircraft and parts, factory output was up 0.3%. 
  • The Commerce Department reported retail sales rose 0.3% in January.  From a year earlier, retail sales have risen 4.4%.  The strongest sectors were furniture, general merchandise stores and building-material stores.  Gasoline sales dropped 0.5% due to lower prices.
  • The Labor Department Reported
    • The consumer-price index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.1% in January down from 0.7% in December.  Energy prices fell 0.7% and gasoline fell 1.6%.  Excluding volatile food and energy prices rose 0.2%.  From a year earlier core prices rose 2.3%.
    • First time jobless claims in the prior week rose 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 205,000.  The four week moving average of claims was 212,000.
  • The EIA weekly oil report is here: wpsrsummary-1.  Also, the EIA reported in the past week:
    • Field production of crude oil rose from 12.9MM to 13.0MM barrels per day.
    • Natural gas storage fell by 115BN cubic feet and is above the five year average at this time of year.
  • Baker Hughes reported the number of active oil rigs rose 2 to 686 and the number of active gas rigs fell 1 to 110.

Please call us if you have any questions.

Best Regards,

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

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

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.  The Indices mentioned are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.


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