Blog Post

The Past Week in the Markets

Stocks posted gains for the ninth consecutive week in this holiday shortened week with small cap and emerging market companies posting the biggest gains.  The gains were driven mostly by anticipation of a

In the numbers this week:

  • The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes fell 1.2% in January, the third month in a row.  From a year earlier, January existing home sales were down 8.5%.  Some economist are predicting sales to pickup due to lower mortgage rates and slower gains in home prices.  Also, it is unknown how much of an effect the partial government shutdown had on this.
  • The Commerce Department reported that orders for durable goods rose 1.2% in December.  This was mainly due to surge in orders for commercial aircraft and parts.  Excluding volatile transportation durable goods order rose only 0.1%.   New orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a measure of business investment, actually fell 0.7%.
  • The Labor Department reported first time claims for unemployment fell 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 216,000.  The four week moving average of claims rose 4,000 to 235,750.
  • The Energy Information Administration weekly report is here wpsrsummary.  Also, the EIA reported
    • U.S. Crude oil production rose from at 11.9MM barrels per day to 12MM barrels per day.
    • Storage of natural gas fell 177BN cubic feet.
    • Baker Hughes reported in the past week that the number of active oil rigs fell 4 to 853 and the number of active gas rigs was unchanged at 194.
  • Factset reported with 89% of S&P 500 companies reporting earnings, the blended earnings growth rate in the 4th quarter was 13.1%.  69% of companies reporting had positive earnings surprises and 61% had positive revenue surprises.  25 companies have issued positive earnings guidance and 68 had issued negative earnings guidance for Q1.

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Best Regards,

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

President                                                                                                 Managing Partner

Generations Financial Planning & Wealth Management             269-441-4143

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Battle Creek, MI  49017

Tel 269-441-4090

Carrie Fuce, Assistant 269-441-4091

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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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