Blog Post

Weekly Market Commentary From Generations Financial Planning & Wealth Management

The first week of January saw a large drop in US and foreign stocks.  The markets were affected by the selloff in China due to slowing growth there.  The U.S. saw strong job gains in December but other economic data this week was mixed with auto sales hitting a record but overall manufacturing slowing.

In economic news this past week:

  • The Caixin Manufacturing Index, a private measure of manufacturing activity, declined from 48.6 in November to 48.2 in December.  Anything below 50 represents contraction and the rate of contraction is accelerating.  This is the 10th month in a row of  manufacturing contraction in China.
  • The Institute for Supply Management reported
    • The U.S. Manufacturing activity fell from 48.6 in December from 48.6 in November.  The reading was lowest since 2009.
    • The non-Manufacturing services index fell to 55.3 in December from 55.9 in November.  Keep in mind that anything over 50 represents expansion, albeit at a slower pace.
  • S. Car and light truck sales set an all-time record in 2015, surpassing the previous record set in 2000.  At 17.5MM units sales were 6% higher than in 2014.
  • The Energy Information Administration reported that crude oil stockpiles unexpectedly fell by 5.1 million barrels in the previous week.  Crude inventories still remain close to their 80 year high.  Gasoline stockpiles, however, rose by 1.8 million barrels.
  • The Federal Reserve reported
  • The Labor Department reported:
    • Initial jobless claims fell by 277,000 in the prior week.  The four week moving average of claims fell to 275,750.
    • The US created 292,000 jobs in December much better than expected.  October’s and Novembers jobs numbers were both increased by 50,000 jobs to 307,000 and 252,000 respectively.  The unemployment rate in December stayed at 5.0 percent a sign of more people entering or re-entering the workforce.
    • The average hourly earnings of all private sector workers fell $.01 to $25.24.  However, over the past year average hourly earnings rose 2.5%.

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Best Regards,

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

President                                                                                                           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  269-441-4093

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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.


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