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Market Update - May 29, 2014

Stocks are showing modest gains thus far today, as the S&P 500 pushes further into record territory.

Investors were digesting the latest economic data that included a drop in jobless claims to near 2007 lows. This seems to suggest continued improvement in the labor market.   We also saw a downward revision in gross domestic product that showed the economy contracted 1% in the first quarter.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note continued to fall, dropping to 2.41% from 2.44% late Wednesday. Long-term interest rates are at their lowest for the year.

Market Update - May 22, 2014

This morning we are seeing a slight uptick in the markets primarily due to hopeful signs for the housing market. Existing homes sales jumped 1.3% in April, the National Association of Realtors said. It was the first monthly gain of the year. We also got some positive earnings news from some retailers, contrary to those reported earlier this week.

Ahead of the open, the Labor Department reported initial claims for jobless benefits rose by 28,000 to 326,000 last week; with the four-week average down 1,000 to 322,500.

The Conference Board announced its index of leading indicators, a measure designed to gauge the economy's future health, rose 0.4% in April.

The Memorial Day weekend is upon us. The bond market will close early at 2 p.m. ET this Friday, and the stock and bond markets will be closed on Monday May 26th. Loveless Wealth Management will be closed on Monday May 26th in honor of the holiday. We will resume normal business hours on Tuesday May 27th.  Have a great weekend!

Market Update - May 20, 2014

This morning we are seeing a weaker overall market with GM announcing an additional recall of 2.42 million vehicles, and some less than expected earnings from several big name retailers.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note dropped 2.53% from 2.54% late Monday.

Investors will be looking ahead to the minutes of the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting to be released Wednesday, followed by data on jobless claims and sales of existing and new homes later in the week.

Market Update - May 16, 2014

As we close in on the midpoint of today’s trading, the market is remaining relatively flat with some mixed choppy trading. Earlier this week, we saw the Dow start off strong, with an upward revision of March’s retail sales data and encouraging small-business sentiment. Investors were enthused by the upward revision of March’s retail sales data from 1.1% to 1.5%, which marked the biggest gain in four years. The past two days we have seen some weakness in the market, with some fault due to Wal-Mart’s earnings and revenues, which failed to meet expectations.

The Commerce Department announced that housing starts in the U.S. jumped more than 13% in April to an annual rate of 1.07 million, with all four parts of the nation seeing improvement. Even more extraordinary, the 8% rise building permits to 1.08 million marked the best level in almost six years. Unlike housing starts, which are more weather-dependent as they reflect actual building activity, permits should theoretically not have been as influenced by weather conditions, and that has economists more excited about what the increase implies for future homebuilding.

Have a good weekend, and enjoy some time outdoors!

Market & Earnings Update - May 12, 2014

The market opened strongly this morning with hopes that after a decent first quarter of earnings, and winter weather woes in the rear view mirror, the economy and corporate earnings will show some slow and steady growth going forward. As we closed in on the last hour of trading, we saw the indexes hold on to their gains. The DJIA ended up 112.13 points to close at a new record high of 16,695.47. The Nasdaq closed up 1.24 % and the S&P 500 also touched on a new record closing at 1896.65.

Index

Weekly Return %

thru May 9, 2014

YTD Return %

thru 5.9.14

DJIA1

+0.4

Unch

NASDAQ Composite2

-1.3

-2.5

S&P 500 Index3

-0.1

+1.6

Bond Yields

May 9 Yield   & Weekly Change

Yield - %   a/o Dec 31, 2013

3-month T-bill

0.05           Unch

0.07

2-year Treasury

0.40             -0.02

0.38

10-year Treasury

2.62           +0.02

3.04

30-year Treasury

3.47             +0.10

3.96

Commodities

May 9 Price &   Weekly Change

Year end 2013

Oil per barrel4

   $99.71     +0.54

   $98.42

Gold per ounce5

$1,291.24+10.00

$1,201.50

Here are some highlights from Q1 earnings season:

  • Q1 earnings are expected to grow 5.4% over Q1 2013
  • With 90% of S&P 500 companies having reported, 69% have reported earnings above analyst expectations, beating the long-term average of 63% and above the average over the past four quarters of 66% (Thomson Reuters)
  • 53% of companies have reported Q1 2014 revenue above analyst expectations, below the long-term average of 61% and below the average over the past four quarters of 54%. Q2 guidance is still a bit weak but the early read is much better than recent quarters.

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