July 31, 2010
Weekly Market Wrap: A flat week in the markets finished off the best month in over a year. The S&P fell slightly to finish the week at 1,102. The Dollar, Gold and Oil were mostly flat on the week as well. The Dollar finished at $81.62, down about 1% against other major world currencies. Oil finished flat at $78.86 per barrel and Gold was down about ½% at $1,181 per oz. For the month the S&P 500 was up almost 7% and is now down about 1.2% on the year.
Home sales kicked off the week on a positive note sending the stock indexes higher on Monday. Tuesday home prices gave the market a boost but a decrease in consumer confidence resulted in a pull back. Further evidence of a slower recovery (but still a recovery) moved the markets lower on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday 2nd quarter GDP was lower than expected but the markets managed to basically break-even.
The data continues to point to a slow-down in the economic recovery but still a recovery. At this point a double-dip recession appears to be unlikely but it will probably be a slower recovery than most would like. We are still waiting for the job situation to make substantial improvements and until it does the markets may continue to trade in this range.
Mortgage rates actually moved lower on the week. The Schwab Bank 15-year rate is now at 4.18% and the 30-year rate is at 4.67%. These rates are as of 7/30/2010 and assume no points, no origination fee and a $250,000 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 week include:
- Met with a few different computer monitoring and maintenance companies to develop a technology plan appropriate for my company.
- Worked with a few clients who are nervous about the current markets and the possibility of a double-dip recession. We discussed some strategies to reduce portfolio risk while still allowing for some growth potential if the recovery continues.
- Met with two new prospects to show them how I can help them achieve their goals through the financial planning process.
- Set up a client so that their portfolio will make their mortgage payment and they can eliminate another to-do on the list.
- Attended a Pensco Trust webinar to learn how they can help my clients hold alternative assets in their IRA accounts such as notes, mortgages, rental real estate and more.
I hope you had a great week 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.