December 20, 2016
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Fed Raises Rates

Last week was mixed for the markets, as the Dow increased by 0.44%, while the S&P 500 lost 0.06%, the NASDAQ dropped 0.13%, and the MSCI EAFE gave back 0.55%. We also saw a variety of data released, giving a similarly mixed view of recent economic activity. Retail sales and the Consumer Price Index showed modest gains, while industrial production and housing starts both declined. The biggest headline from last week, however, was a development the market anticipated for quite some time: The Federal Reserve decided to raise its benchmark interest rates – for only the second time since 2006.   Why did the Fed raise rates? The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the group of Fed officials who meet to determine interest rates and other policies choices, has a mandate to “foster maximum employment and price stability.” In its quest to uphold this mandate, the FOMC aims to keep inflation at 2%, as this level can help support accurate financial forecasting and decisions while preventing harmful deflation. The act of adjusting interest rates can help control inflation and support economic strength. At its most basic, when the Fed lowers rates, they are indicating that the economy is contracting – […]
September 20, 2016
April Jobs Report Shows Slower Pace of Growth

After Summer Slumber, Volatility is Back

WEEKLY UPDATE – SEPTEMBER 19, 2016 This article is about Volatility is Back. After Summer Slumber, Volatility is Back, Volatility picked up last week due to pressures from lower oil prices and speculation about the timing of the Federal Reserve’s next rate hike. This summer has been historically calm for markets, leading markets to trade without big intraday gains or losses.[1] However, Friday broke that streak, possibly ushering in a period of greater volatility as uncertainty looms. For the week, the S&P 500 gained 0.53%, the Dow grew 0.21%, the NASDAQ added 2.31%, but the MSCI EAFE dropped 2.49%.[2] After Summer Slumber, Volatility is Back The market is facing a dilemma based on mixed information and an uncertain political landscape. On the one hand, economic data is neither weak nor strong enough to make the choice to raise interest rates easy for policymakers. On the other hand, the unpredictable nature of the presidential race contributes to market volatility. Though Fed economists have repeatedly stated their intentions to raise rates soon, no one is certain about the timing of this hike. The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee will meet this week to decide whether or not to raise interest rates for the […]
August 18, 2016

VIDEO: August Educational Stock Market Update ~ Why we don’t panic!

August Educational Stock Market Update ~ Why we don’t panic! Hey Guys, this is Justin Goodbread from Heritage Investors with an educational economic update for August 2016. In this month’s video, we’ll talk about some of the events that influenced markets in July, and give you some insight into what they could mean for you as an investor. Please stay tuned at the end for a required disclosure statement. Markets had a lot to think about in July. A British exit (BREXIT), interest rates, and earnings season all affected market movements last month. After dropping sharply at the end of June following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, markets regained steam and rallied for four straight weeks, pushing the S&P 500 and Dow to new records. We often talk about the importance of not overreacting to market declines. This is the reason why. We can’t predict how markets will perform after a shock, but the biggest market days often come shortly after a pullback. Calmly assessing the situation and avoiding emotional responses is a smart strategy for long-term investors. Ok, let’s talk about some of last month’s economic events. The Federal Reserve held another Open Market Committee meeting at […]
May 16, 2016

VIDEO: May 2016 Educational Economic Update

May 2016 Educational Economic Update Justin Goodbread, Knoxville Tennessee Wealth Manager & Financial Planner discusses current market conditions. Heritageinvestor Hello folks, this is Justin Goodbread, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ from Heritage Investors with our May 2016 educational economic update. In this video, we’ll talk about some of the economic events that influenced markets in the last month, and give you some insight into what they could mean for you as an investor. Please stay tuned at the end for a required disclosure statement. The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee met in late April and, unsurprisingly, decided to leave interest rates where they are. Though the Fed still expects to raise rates this year, central bankers clearly intend to move carefully. Though the Federal Reserve seems ready to raise interest rates as soon as economic growth picks up, the latest economic data doesn’t support their narrative. Before the meeting, many investors were expecting a June rate hike; however, the Fed’s cautious tone and the November election make it more likely that the next rate hike won’t come until December. Investors also got a look at fresh economic growth numbers. The advance estimate of first-quarter Gross Domestic Product showed that economic growth stumbled, […]