AAM Weekly Market Wrap – April 18 – 2011

April 17, 2011

Weekly Market Wrap:  Equity markets moved lower for the third straight week mixed economic data and the start of 2nd Quarter earnings season sent the S&P 500 slightly lower.  For the week the S&P 500 index finished 0.64% lower to close at 1,320.  Oil was also lower on the week trading down about 3% ro $109.39 per barrel.  Gold finished the week almost 1% higher to $1,487 per oz. and closing in on $1,500 per oz.  The dollar was slightly weaker against other major world currencies dropping 0.15% to $74.87.

Year-To-Date the major indexes are at: The S&P index 4.93%, The Dow Jones Index +6.60%, The NASDAQ +4.21%, The Russell 2000 Small cap Index +6.55%, EAFE International +3.82%.  In the Bond market the 10 year treasury is currently yielding 3.41% up 0.12% on the year and the 30 year is yielding 4.47% up 0.14%.

Monday the index dropped almost 4 as the IMF lowered global economic growth estimates and rumors of Qaddafi entering into a cease fire sent oil prices lower by almost 3%.

Tuesday’s market slumped over 10 points as earnings season kicked off on a sour note, small business confidence decreased, import prices rose, the US trade deficit narrowed less than expected and Japan upgraded the severity of their nuclear crisis. 

Wednesday the market was basically flat adding less than one point as President Obama unveiled his deficit reduction plan, the Fed’s Beige Book on economic activity was positive, retail sales were better than expected but mortgage applications were lower.

Thursday’s market was flat again, gaining 0.11 points as Greece and Euro-debt concerns, and increase in jobless claims and mixed results within the Producer Price Index kept a lid on any market gains.

On Friday the market found something to cheer about as the market ended the week by gaining 5 points.  News on the day included increased manufacturing activity, positive consumer sentiment and Consumer Price Index numbers that were better than expected.

More mixed economic reports and the start of earnings season were not enough to push the market much in either direction this week.  It was a pretty quiet trading week as traders prepared for earnings season to kick into gear.  Gold neared the $1,500 level at the close of the week but Oil settled a few points lower than its recent high of $112 per barrel set last week Friday.

Mortgage rates moved lower this week.  The Schwab Bank 15-year rate is now at 4.22% and the 30-year rate is at 4.93%. These rates are as of 04/15/2011 and assume no points, no origination fee and a $250,000 conforming rate mortgage.

The Week at AAM (to highlight what I do for clients and how I am different than most advisors):

Some of the highlights of my last two weeks include:

  • Learned about a document portal that I can use to post documents for clients to retrieve that will be a more secure option than email.
  • Met with many existing clients to review and help them work towards their financial goals.
  • Began a new financial planning relationship with a client referral.
  • Attended a Grandville Jenison Chamber luncheon to help my “social media skills” and wrap up the last six weeks of learning.
  • Had an article that I contributed to appear in the Wall Street Journal!
  • Continued to help clients prepare for tax completion and work with their tax preparer to make sure the taxes are done right.

I hope you had a great few weeks as well.  Please let me know if there is ever anything I can do for you or if something has changed in your financial situation to warrant a meeting or a change of investment policy.

Ronald J. VanSurksum, CFP®

Advanced Asset Management, LLC

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