Blog Post

Weekly Market Commentary – Southwest Michigan

U.S. Stocks ended the week slightly lower.  A good jobs number provided near certainty that the FED will raise short term rates at the meeting March 15th.  European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said further stimulus to support the Eurozone economy has become less likely due to improving economic conditions.  Foreign stocks generally performed better than U.S. stocks.  Treasury yields rose while most commodities were down with the exception of natural gas.  The U.S. Dollar strengthened against a basket of currencies.

In the numbers this week:

  • The Commerce Department reported that the U.S. trade deficit grew a seasonally adjusted 9.6% in January.  Exports rose but imports grew faster.  The increase was attributed to stronger growth and a stronger U.S. dollar.
  • The Energy Information Administration’s Weekly Petroleum Data report is here wpsrsummary (8).
  • The Energy Information Administration reported
    • Weekly field production of crude oil increase 56,000 barrels per day in the prior week.:
    • Natural gas in storage fell 68 Bcf from the prior week but is still above the five-year average.

  • Baker Hughes reported that oil drilling rigs rose 8 to 617.  Gas drilling rigs rose 5 to 151.
  • The Labor Department reported
    • Initial claims for unemployment rose 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 243,000.  The four-week moving average of claims, designed to smooth out weekly fluctuations, rose 2500 to 236,500.
    • Productivity of U.S. workers rose 1.3% in the fourth quarter.  However, for the year productivity only grew 0.2%.
    • The U.S. created 235,000 jobs in February and the unemployment rate declined to 4.7%.
    • Average hourly earnings in the private-sector rose 0.2% in February and 2.8% from a year ago.


Please call us if you have any questions.

Best Regards,

Loren C. Rex, CFP®, AIF®, MA                                                          Erik 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.  Indices mentioned are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results


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.