|Bid||253.70 x 800|
|Ask||253.72 x 900|
|Day's Range||252.88 - 254.67|
|52 Week Range||220.42 - 263.37|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Expense Ratio (net)||0.04%|
E*TRADE Financial Corporation today announced it has surpassed 250 commission-free ETFs with the addition of 46 ETFs from six providers to its Commission-Free ETF Pr
Eden Hazard and Dries Mertens of Belgium put pressure on Armando Cooper of Panama during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group G match between Belgium and Panama at Fisht Stadium on June 18, 2018 in Sochi, Russia. With the World Cup in full swing there are some important lessons for investors from this global soccer tournament. In the last World Cup, few expected Costa Rica to achieve much.
The markets responded negatively to the latest news of U.S. President Donald trump imposing a 25 percent tariff on up to $50 billion in Chinese goods by plunging over 200 points at the open. The measures by the Trump administration will affect Chinese goods "that contain industrially significant technologies" and that the action comes "in light of China's theft of intellectual property and technology and its other unfair trade practices," said Trump in a statement. In addition, Trump announced that the imposition of further tariffs could be on the horizon should China retaliate with tariffs of their own on American products, such as crops.
The United States Census Bureau releases a monthly report on retail sales in the United States. As per the notes on the bureau’s website, it conducts an advance monthly survey of retail trade and food services companies. According to the latest report, which was released on June 14, advance estimates of US retail (XRT) and food services sales for May were $502.0 billion, an increase of 0.8% from the revised April reading of $497.9 billion.
As expected, the Federal Reserve increased the interest rate by 25 basis points after its June meeting, which concluded on June 13. The committee increased the target range of the federal funds rate to 1.75%–2.00%, and the surprisingly hawkish tone of its statement was a far cry from the cautionary tone it struck in its previous policy statements. The decision to increase the US interest rate (AGG) was unanimous with an 8-0 vote.
Bonds can lose money, and having too much money in bonds can be a mistake. Owning bond funds isn't exactly the same as owning bonds.
There are clearly reasons to continue giving this bull market the benefit of doubt, but the risks are rising and that means a defensive approach is warranted. While we won’t rule out new bull market highs as the year progresses, one should be cautious in committing new or additional money to stocks, particularly over the near-term. Over the 58 years since 1960, the S&P 500 has averaged a gain of 6.8% for the winter period, while the summer average is only 1.0%.
For the week ending June 1, the S&P 500 Index closed at 2,734.62 and appreciated 0.49%. Among the S&P 500 sectors, the energy (XLE), IT (XLK), and real estate sectors drove the index higher, while the financial (XLF), telecom, and industrial sectors were a drag on the index in the previous week. The S&P 500 Index’s large speculators, including hedge funds, have reduced the number of net bullish positions to a ten-week low for the week ending June 1.
US markets (VOO) were surprisingly resilient for the week ending June 1 despite increased political uncertainty, Italy’s political drama, and renewed anxiety about trade tensions. US equity markets had a positive close in May. Tech and small caps leading the charge and this week’s price action will likely depend on how markets react to renewed trade tensions. Last week, the Trump Administration slapped tariffs on Europe, Canada, and China.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (or BEA) released its second estimate for the first-quarter real GDP on May 30. The report indicated that all four major components had a positive contribution to GDP growth in the first quarter. The service sector (IYC) was the second-highest contributor to US economic growth.
The Conference Board website explains that the consumer confidence index (or CCI) is a barometer of the health of the US economy (VOO) from the perspective of the consumer. The consumer confidence survey compiles consumer perceptions of employment and business conditions and their expectations for the next six months. The latest report indicated that the consumer confidence index has increased to 128.0 in May as compared to a downward revised April reading of 125.6.
Last week (ended May 25), the S&P 500 appreciated by 0.31% and closed at 2,721.3, helped primarily by reduced odds of a fourth rate hike this year. The US-North Korea summit took a new turn when Donald Trump canceled the summit, leading to some risk-off trading. However, the losses were limited for the S&P 500.
Global markets mostly fell last week (ended May 25) as political uncertainty kept investors at bay. Donald Trump calling off the North Korea summit and later saying that the summit could still happen, political disturbances in Spain and Italy, and volatile crude oil prices all dragged down equity indexes. US indexes (VOO), however, showed a reduction in concerns about higher rates after the Fed indicated at its May meeting that it is alright with inflation overshooting its 2% target in the short term.
Payment giant Visa (V) benefits from higher consumer spending due to lower unemployment, positive economic momentum, digital technology expansion, and higher prices. Higher oil prices and inflation help payment processors such as Visa and Mastercard (MA), boosting their financials.
This came as a surprise to the markets, as the president’s comments stood in stark contrast to those made by the US Treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, who is heading the negotiations from the US side. Mnuchin said that the United States and China (MCHI) were close to a deal after a joint statement from both the sides was released on May 19, and the stock markets (VOO) rallied at the beginning of this week as US-China trade tensions seemed to be cooling off. Why was Trump unhappy?
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (or LEI) has ten constituent indicators, and all but one of these forward-looking indicators is based on expectations. This economic indicator used in the construction of the LEI is based on consumer expectations. This economic indicator is based on two different consumer surveys.
The S&P 500 Index (SPY) continued its negative run with another lower close in April. The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (or LEI) uses the performance of the S&P 500 Index (VOO) as one of the constituents of the LEI. The inclusion of the S&P 500 performance in the Conference Board Leading Economic Index (or LEI) is supported by econometric evidence, as some economists would argue that the stock markets are not a true reflection of the state of the economy.
In the week that ended on May 18, the S&P 500 Index closed at 2,712.97, a fall of 0.54% compared to the previous week’s close of 2,727.72. With trade wars, geopolitical tensions, and most companies’ first-quarter earnings behind us, we can expect markets to start focusing on the threat from higher rates.
US equity indexes finished the week that ended on May 18 on a negative note despite reports indicating that US-China trade negotiations had resulted in China agreeing to reduce its trade surplus with the United States by $200 billion. In a joint statement released on May 19, the United States and China revealed that China would increase its imports of US products and that both sides would work to resolve their economic and trade concerns. Volatility in the equity markets (VOO) in the week, however, was influenced by higher bond yields and an appreciating US dollar, which were pushed higher by the increased economic divergence between the United States and other developed economies.
As per the latest Bank of America Merrill Lynch (or BofAML) Global Fund Manager survey released on May 15, growth expectations have slipped to the lowest level in the last two years. The report indicated that global fund managers expect a slowdown in global growth with only 1% of the respondents thinking that the global economy would strengthen in the next 12 months. Only 2% of respondents were expecting a recession in 2018, while most of the respondents expect the next recession by the first quarter of 2020.
The BofA Merrill Lynch global fund manager survey is a monthly survey conducted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch (or BofAML) that collects responses from approximately 200 institutional, mutual, and hedge fund managers around the world. The survey collects the views of global managers on equity markets (SPY), the most crowded trades for that month, and what managers consider to be risks to the global markets (VOO).
The April retail sales report was released on May 15, and the surprise reaction to this report was an increase in bond (BND) yields across the board. There are numerous ways to explain the spike in yields, and the retail (XRT) sales data only acted as a catalyst to the Treasury (GOVT) sell-off, which began a few hours before the retail sales data was released. With the US economy showing signs of continued improvements and other developed economies slowing down, chances are that the US could lead the tightening cycle, which could have led to an increase in bond yields on Tuesday.
US equity indexes finished the week that ended May 11 on a positive note as equity market bulls took control of the proceedings. Given the muted response to the Iran nuclear deal pullout, we can expect a further fall in volatility this week.