Economic Update July 27, 2015

Phillip Allen Inc.   WEEKLY ECONOMIC UPDATE     WEEKLY QUOTE                “The highest result of education is tolerance.” – Helen Keller WEEKLY TIP               If your company matches your retirement plan contribution, put enough into your account each pay period to earn the match. If you do, your account value may still rise nicely even when markets retreat. WEEKLY RIDDLE              They are captured by mud and snow, left behind but never taken, and rarely seen in isolation. What are they?   Last week’s riddle: Live without it and you will not prevail, but if you have too much of it, you will surely fail. What is it?   Last week’s answer: Confidence.           July 27, 2015     EXISTING HOME SALES UP, NEW HOME SALES DOWN According to the National Association of Realtors, residential resales increased 3.2% in June with the median home value hitting an all-time peak of $236,400, 6.5% higher than a year ago. New home buying subsided 6.8% last month with the median sales price at $281,800, representing a 1.8% year-over-year decline. Even so, the pace of new home sales improved 21.2% across the first six months of 2015.1      LEADING INDICATOR INDEX RISES 0.6% This June advance for the Conference Board’s LEI followed its 0.8% May gain; the LEI has risen at least 0.6% for the past three months. Six of its 10 indicators improved in June; only one declined.2   TRYING WEEK FOR STOCKS, GOLD & OIL Earnings letdowns sent the Dow down 2.86% last week, the Nasdaq down 2.33%, and the S&P 500 down 2.21%. Friday, the Dow settled at 17,568.53, the...

Economic Update July 20, 2015

Phillip Allenc Inc.   WEEKLY ECONOMIC UPDATE     WEEKLY QUOTE                “Have regard for your name, since it will remain for you longer than a great store of gold.” – Ecclesiasticus WEEKLY TIP               Savings should be the bedrock of any college financing strategy, not gifts, student loans or student income. WEEKLY RIDDLE              Live without it and you will not prevail, but if you have too much of it, you will surely fail. What is it? Last week’s riddle: Jacquie and her daughter Amanda walk past a man in a café. Amanda says “Hello, father” – and a split-second later, so does Jacquie. How are they both able to make this remark to him without any confusion or embarrassment?   Last week’s answer: The man is a priest.           July 20, 2015     CONSUMER & WHOLESALE PRICES INCREASE The Labor Department announced a 0.3% June rise in the headline Consumer Price Index, following the 0.4% advance for May. This left annualized consumer inflation positive for the first time in six months (+0.1%). June brought a 0.2% gain for the core CPI, which is now up 1.8% across the past year. Last month also saw the Producer Price Index ascend 0.4%; in May, it climbed 0.5%.1,2      HOUSEHOLD SENTIMENT, RETAIL SALES COOL Retail sales fell 0.3% last month after a 1.0% rise in May, according to the Commerce Department. Analysts polled by MarketWatch felt sales would pick up 0.2% in June. The University of Michigan’s initial July consumer sentiment index slipped 2.8 points to a 93.3 reading.2   LAST MONTH SAW A JUMP IN CONSTRUCTION Census Bureau data...

Economic Update July 13, 2015

Phillip Allenc Inc.   WEEKLY ECONOMIC UPDATE     WEEKLY QUOTE                “The wisest mind has something yet to learn.” – George Santayana WEEKLY TIP               Do you have any idle money around – money parked in an account that is basically forgotten or earning little or no interest? It may be time to explore other options for those dollars. That money could be working harder for you. WEEKLY RIDDLE              Jacquie and her daughter Amanda walk past a man in a café. Amanda says “Hello, father” – and a split-second later, so does Jacquie. How are they both able to make this remark to him without any confusion or embarrassment? Last week’s riddle: What has no arms, legs or form, yet goes up without ever coming down?   Last week’s answer: Your age.           July 13, 2015     GREECE GIVES IN, STOCKS RALLY In an about-face development, the Greek government acceded to the demands of its creditors Thursday night. Prime minister Alexis Tsipras submitted a bailout proposal similar to the one the Greek people had rejected by referendum on July 5, including sales tax hikes, pension spending cuts and debt restructuring. Leaders of the European Union will discuss the new proposal at a Sunday summit. A 3-year, €53.5 billion relief package depends on their approval, and the approval of Greece’s parliament. Wall Street certainly approved the turn of events on Friday, with the S&P 500 rising 1.23%. For the week, the S&P went -0.01% to settle at 2,076.62, the Dow +0.17% t0 reach 17,760.41, and the NASDAQ -0.23% to descend to 4,997.70.1,2      A GAIN FOR THE ISM...

Economic Update July 6, 2015

Phillip Allen Inc.   WEEKLY ECONOMIC UPDATE     WEEKLY QUOTE                “Whatever you fear most has no power – it is your fear that has the power.” – Oprah Winfrey WEEKLY TIP               If you and your child are visiting some prospective colleges this summer, ask if you can chat with someone in their financial aid offices. The contacts you make (and the notes you take) could prove important for the future. WEEKLY RIDDLE              What has no arms, legs or form, yet goes up without ever coming down? Last week’s riddle: Constantly hungry, I must always be fed – and any finger I touch will soon turn red. What am I?   Last week’s answer: Fire.           June 29, 2015     WALL STREET HANGS ON AS GREECE DEFAULTS When Greece revealed it would miss its July 1 debt payment to the International Monetary Fund last Tuesday, the Dow lost 2% for the day while the CBOE VIX gained more than 35%. (To add to the drama, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico stated that its debts were “not payable” on the same day.) Any further bailout of Greece may hinge on its July 5 national popular vote, in which Greeks will decide whether or not to stay in the euro. Stocks did rebound mildly, resulting in the following weekly performances for the major indices: DJIA, -1.22% t0 17,730.11; NASDAQ, -1.90% to 5,009.21; S&P 500, -1.29% to 2,076.78.1,2,5       ANOTHER SOLID JOBS REPORT, WITH AN ASTERISK Employers added 223,000 more jobs in June, Labor Department data revealed Friday. The headline jobless rate fell to 5.3% and the U-6...