In this month’s recap: domestic and foreign shares (and many commodities) advance, as two major
investor anxieties ease for the moment.
You could say that Wall Street breathed a collective sigh of relief in February. Investors were encouraged by new developments in U.S.-China trade negotiations and by the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s most recent policy meeting. On Main Street, consumer confidence improved, while consumer spending kept pace. Home sales declined once more, but so did mortgage rates. Optimism about the potential of the markets seemed to outweigh pessimism about possible economic deceleration. The S&P 500 gained 2.97% for the month.1
Monetary policies executed by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) are designed to fulfill our central bank’s dual mandate: full-employment and price stability. What the heck do those terms mean?
In today’s job market, offering a low-cost, transparent retirement plan is essential, so here are three steps to get there.
As you approach retirement age, there are a lot of decisions to make. Should you retire ahead of or after the standard age of 65 years old? What about withdrawing from your private investment accounts? How much should you take out and how often? There are a lot of decisions to make, and many of those will involve adjusting your lifestyle to meet your new income streams.
In this month’s recap: equities rally here and around the world, economic fundamentals look solid, the pace of home sales slows, and oil surges.
THE MONTH IN BRIEF
During a month marked by political impasses in the United States and United Kingdom, equities performed well around most of the world. On Wall Street, the S&P 500 advanced 7.87% in January, with a new earnings season as well as trade and monetary policy developments providing tailwinds. Most of the economic data that rolled in was good; the partial federal government shutdown may have negatively impacted some of the numbers. Home sales fell off abruptly. Many commodities advanced. All in all, investors focused on the potential of the markets more than disputes.1