As the holiday season progresses, the markets continue to impress. Last week, many energy, financial, and industrial sector stocks helped drive performance.1 Hitting record highs yet again, the S&P gained 0.35%, and the Dow jumped 0.40% for the week.2 Meanwhile, the NASDAQ fell slightly by 0.11%, and the MSCI EAFE rose 0.08%.3
Solid labor market conditions and a rebounding retail climate are helping to support the economy as the year closes.4 Here are some developments that stood out last week:
Promising Labor Market Numbers
Encouraging news came on Friday when we learned that nonfarm payroll jobs rose more than expected in November, coming in at 228,000.5 Manufacturers have created almost 200,000 new jobs in the last 12 months and 1 million new factory jobs since 2010.6 We have now had 86-straight months of job gains, the longest stretch in U.S. history.7
This growth in new jobs has helped to keep unemployment down, which remains at a 17-year low of 4.1%.8 Additionally, average hourly wages have increased by 2.5% for the year.9
Retail Climate in Positive Territory
As the job market expands and people have more spending power, we’re experiencing a robust retail climate. Retail stocks are rebounding after a long market lag, and holiday shopping is strong this season with predicted growth from 3.6% to 4% over last year. Further, brick-and-mortar shops are even feeling the shopping strength, emerging as some of the best performing retail investments, despite their general drop in 2017.10
What Lies Ahead
Now that Congress has avoided a government shutdown—at least for a few weeks—the Senate and the House can focus on the tax bill.11 While progress has been made, they still need to negotiate the financial bill’s terms.12
Next week, investors will follow the Fed to see if it raises interest rates, as expected. In addition, the Fed could also comment on inflation expectations and address concerns about potential asset bubbles.13
As the holidays wind up, we will continue to monitor the markets and focus on the fundamentals. If you have questions about how this news affects your financial life, we’re here to talk. Feel free to contact us and find the answers you need.
INVESTING RISK DISCLOSURE
Keep in mind that investing involves risk. The value of your investment will fluctuate over time and you may gain or lose money. Before investing, consider the funds’ investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Contact Mahoney Asset Management for a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus containing this information. Read it carefully.
IMPORTANT CONSUMER INFORMATION
This web site has been prepared solely for informational purposes. It is not an offer to buy or sell any security; nor is it a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security.This site and the opinions and information therein are based on sources which we believe to be dependable, but we can not guarantee the accuracy of such information.
Representatives of a broker-dealer or investment adviser may only conduct business in a state if the representatives and the broker-dealer or investment adviser they represent: (a) satisfy the qualification requirements of, and are approved to do business by, the state; or (b) are excluded or exempted from the state’s licenser requirements.
An investor may obtain information concerning a broker-dealer, an investment advisor, or a representative of a broker-dealer or an investment advisor, including their licenser status and disciplinary history, by contacting the investor’s state securities law administrator.
SECURITIES: ARE NOT FDIC-INSURED/ARE NOT BANK-GUARANTEED/MAY LOSE VALUE
This information is intended for use only by residents of CA, CT, DC, FL,, MA, MD, MN, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, and VA. Securities-related services may not be provided to individuals residing in any state not listed above.
The financial calculator results shown represent analysis and estimates based on the assumptions you have provided, but they do not reflect all relevant elements of your personal situation. The actual effects of your financial decisions may vary significantly from these estimates–so these estimates should not be regarded as predictions, advice, or recommendations. Mahoney Asset Managment does not provide legal or tax advice. Be sure to consult with your own tax and legal advisors before taking any action that would have tax consequences.