Markets, Economy

Weekly Kickstart (02/26/2018-03/02/2018)

2/26/18 8:00 AM

/iStock-841214812.jpgStocks continued to rebound last week, as the S&P 500 lifted by 0.55 percent to 2,747.30. That solid gain left the benchmark index up 2.76 percent year-to-date, and just 4.37 percent below the all-time closing high. The bounce back in equity values has been substantial, with many stocks even higher now than prior to the correction. However, several potential headwinds remain, such as the pace of interest rate normalization from the Federal Reserve. Indeed, one the excuses for the recent pullback in the market was the fear that monetary policymakers are going to hike faster than anticipated in response to rising inflation pressures.


The minutes from the latest FOMC meeting released last week generally confirmed that the Fed has noticed the “substantial underlying economic momentum” in America, but many traders are unconvinced by the hawkish rhetoric. Some even believe that additional selloffs could occur to test the Fed’s determination to hike. As a result, retirement investors must continue to focus on the long-term and remember that “time in the market is more important than timing the market.” Additional assistance is available for investors that are consistent participants in a tax-advantaged 401(k) plan, utilize dollar-cost averaging, and regularly consult with a professional financial advisor. As always, we are here to help with any questions you may have.


To recap a few of the things we learned about the economy last (holiday-shortened) week, the positives included that manufacturing activity in the Midwest region of the country improved, and the number of Americans making first-time claims for unemployment benefits held near a multi-decade low. As for the negatives, mortgage and refinance applications fell, and existing home sales unexpectedly declined. This week the pace of economic data picks up slightly, with a few important reports on manufacturing, housing, consumers, and inflation scheduled to be released.


**A more detailed snapshot of the U.S. economy can be found here.**

What To Watch:








Sources: Econoday, FRBG, Bloomberg, FRBSL

Post author: Charles Couch