Unemployment Rate Rose to 4.8%

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through February 4th

US Stocks were relatively flat for the week after seeing significant volatility driven by policy changes from the Whitehouse. The S&P 500 edged up 0.1%, while the Dow ticked down 0.1% for the week.  Abroad, Europe fell 0.6% and Japan sank 2.8% for the week.  The yield on the 10 year Treasury was roughly flat ending the week at 2.49%.

The Fed elected to keep rates unchanged after their most recent meeting and said it remained on track to raise them over the course of the year, but did not provide any additional clues about timing.

In January employers added 227,000 jobs, the best month since September, but the unemployment rate rose to 4.8% as more people joined the workforce as past months were revised down. Wage growth disappointed as they grew 2.5% over the past year compared to 2.9% in December.

The Fed’s preferred measure of inflation ticked up 0.2% in December and rose 1.6% for the full year, its largest increase in over 2 years.

After a strong fourth quarter Eurozone GDP rose 1.7% in 2016 slightly topping US growth of 1.6%. The jobless rate also fell to a seven year low.

Inflation is on the rise across the globe. The Eurozone saw prices rise 1.8% in January from a year earlier, Japan’s inflation expectations have risen from 0.45% to 0.61% and the US is at the fastest inflation pace in over two years.

The Case Shiller home price index rose 5.6% for the year ending in November.

President Trump signed an executive order that could undo much of the Dodd Frank financial law and sought to rollback the DOL fiduciary rule.

Apple, Facebook blew past estimates, while Exxon, Deutsche Bank and Amazon disappointed investors with their earnings releases.

Reposted from the Raffa Wealth Management Blog.

All the news you need to stay informed about what’s currently driving the market – courtesy of Raffa Wealth Management, LLC

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