Economic Update, July 31, 2017

Untitled Document Phillip Allen Inc.   WEEKLY ECONOMIC UPDATE     “Time sneaks up on you like a windshield on a bug.” – John Lithgow WEEKLY TIP               Are you short on retirement savings? One response may be to work longer. Even part-time work could lessen the pressure to draw down your retirement assets. WEEKLY RIDDLE              They had weight in their stomachs, tall trees on their backs, nails in their ribs, yet feet they lacked. The world saw thousands of them centuries ago. What were they?         Last week’s riddle: After badly losing an away game, a college football team doesn’t want their coach to come in and yell at them, so they put 1,000 pounds of weights against a locker room door to prevent him from opening it. He comes in and yells at them face-to-face anyway. Why are they unable to keep him from coming through the doorway?    Last week’s answer: The door opens outward.           July 31, 2017     HOUSEHOLDS ARE FEELING OPTIMISTIC Unemployment is at a 16-year low, and the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index is near a 16-year high. It reached 121.1 in July, rising 3.8 points; analysts polled by MarketWatch expected a reading of 116.9. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index rose to 93.4.1,2   HAVE HOME SALES REACHED A PLATEAU? Last week, the National Association of Realtors announced a 1.8% June retreat for existing home sales. New home buying only advanced 0.8% for June by Census Bureau calculations. Analysts point to tight supply limiting resales and a scarcity of affordably priced new developments discouraging new home shoppers.3    ...

Economic Update, July 24, 2017

Untitled Document Phillip Allen Inc.   WEEKLY ECONOMIC UPDATE     WEEKLY QUOTE                “Freedom is a possession of inestimable value.” – Cicero WEEKLY TIP               Business owners can waste hours chasing late payments. If you have clients or customers who constantly pay late, ask yourself whether keeping them is worth the headache. It may not be. WEEKLY RIDDLE              After badly losing an away game, a college football team doesn’t want their coach to come in and yell at them, so they put 1,000 pounds of weights against a locker room door to prevent him from opening it. He comes in and yells at them face-to-face anyway. Why are they unable to keep him from coming through the doorway?         Last week’s riddle: Multiply all the numbers on your phone’s keypad. What number do you get?    Last week’s answer: Zero.           July 24, 2017     WILL STOCKS GET AN EARNINGS BOOST? While the first full week of the Q2 earnings season saw no pronounced rallies, there were also no shocks. By Friday’s closing bell, 20% of S&P 500 member firms had reported calendar Q2 results, and a FactSet analysis showed 77% had topped sales projections and 73% had beaten earnings-per-share forecasts – a good sign in an earnings-driven market climate. The Nasdaq Composite gained 1.19% last week and settled at 6,387.75 Friday; the S&P 500 rose to 2,472.54 after a 5-day gain of 0.54%. As blue chips fell 0.27% across five trading days, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 21,580.07 Friday. All three indices hit record highs during the week.1,2   CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY SURGED IN...

Economic Update, July 17, 2017

Untitled Document Tony Dale Inc.   WEEKLY ECONOMIC UPDATE     WEEKLY QUOTE                “Competition is a painful thing, but it produces great results.” – Jerry Flint WEEKLY TIP               Disability insurance can help to protect your income if you are too sick or hurt to work. If employer-provided disability insurance is absent or inadequate, look at buying a personal policy. WEEKLY RIDDLE              Multiply all the numbers on your phone’s keypad. What number do you get?       Last week’s riddle: What goes up and down stairs without moving in many homes and offices?    Last week’s answer: Carpet.           July 17, 2016     INFLATION PRESSURE WEAKENS The Consumer Price Index was unchanged in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That left its yearly advance at only 1.6%, nearly half a point below the Federal Reserve’s target (the core CPI was up 1.7%). After the announcement, some economists and market strategists wondered whether the Fed would rethink its plans for a third interest rate hike in 2017. The Producer Price Index rose 0.1% in June, leaving its yearly increase at 2.0%.1,2     RETAIL SALES, CONSUMER SENTIMENT INDEX DECLINE For the second month in a row, households scaled back their retail purchases – retail sales were down 0.2% in June following a 0.1% May decline. Core sales fell 0.2% after a May retreat of 0.3%. The University of Michigan’s preliminary July consumer sentiment index lost 2.0 points off its final June mark to a reading of 93.1.1,2   OIL RALLIES A projection of rising demand and news of a pipeline shutdown in Nigeria sent the price of...

Economic Update, July 10, 2017

Untitled Document TPhillip Allen Inc.   WEEKLY ECONOMIC UPDATE     WEEKLY QUOTE                “To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person.” – Bruce Lee WEEKLY TIP               Many life and auto insurance policies offer the buyer the option to pay premiums on a month-to-month or quarterly basis. While this option is convenient, these fractional premiums sometimes prove more expensive than a lump-sum premium paid annually. WEEKLY RIDDLE              In many homes and offices, this can go up and down stairs without moving. What is it?       Last week’s riddle: I have an eye, yet cannot see the ground around me. I take time to generate, yet in seconds I can dissipate. What am I?    Last week’s answer: A tornado.           July 10, 2016     HIRING PICKS UP AGAIN The Department of Labor announced some good news Friday: the creation of 222,000 net new jobs in June, the largest hiring gain in four months. Approximately 4.7 million people reentered the labor force and found work in June, a peak unmatched in 27 years of monthly data. Wages rose 0.2% for an annualized gain of 2.5%. The main unemployment rate ticked north to 4.4% as more Americans joined the job hunt; the U-6 rate, including the underemployed, increased 0.2% to 8.6%, its first rise since January.1     ISM FACTORY PMI HITS 3-YEAR PEAK In June, the Institute for Supply Management’s globally watched manufacturing purchasing manager index improved 2.9 points to 57.8, its highest reading since August 2014. ISM’s non-manufacturing PMI rose to 57.4 after a half-point gain; its June reading signaled the 90th straight...

Economic Update, July 3, 2017

Phillip Allen Inc.   WEEKLY ECONOMIC UPDATE     WEEKLY QUOTE                “Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.” – Jane Goodall WEEKLY TIP               Millennials who create a budget can get a clear picture of their cash flow and income and thereby figure out exactly how much they can afford to contribute to retirement savings accounts. WEEKLY RIDDLE              I have an eye, yet cannot see the ground around me. I take time to generate, yet in seconds I can dissipate. What am I?       Last week’s riddle: Tom tells Phillip that a faded, worn ten-dollar bill is worth more than a newer one. In what way is he correct?    Last week’s answer: A ten-dollar bill will always be worth more than a newer one (a one-dollar bill).           July 3, 2016     HOUSEHOLD EARNINGS OUTPACE SPENDING According to newly released Department of Commerce data, personal incomes improved 0.4% in May, but personal spending advanced just 0.1% after a 0.4% gain in April. Core consumer prices (minus food and energy costs) rose only 1.4% during the 12 months ending in May.1,2,3     WERE CONSUMERS MORE CONFIDENT IN JUNE? By the looks of the University of Michigan’s monthly household sentiment index, no – that gauge fell 2.0 points to a mark of 95.1. On the other hand, the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose 1.3 points to a reading of 118.9.2,3   PENDING HOME SALES WEAKEN A National Association of Realtors report showed housing contract activity declining by 0.8% in May. This follows a 1.7% dip for pending home...

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