Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through December 20th

All the news you need to stay informed about what’s currently driving the market – courtesy of Raffa Wealth Management, LLC.

US Stocks closed a volatile week up on Fed comments that they will remain “patient” with future interest rate increases.  The S&P 500 rose 3.4% and the Dow rose 3.0% for the week.  Internationally, Japan rose 1.4% and Europe jumped 3.0%.  The 10 year Treasury yield ended the week up at 2.17%.  Oil sunk still further finishing the week at $56.52 a barrel.  Article

The Fed announced it would remain “patient” in raising interest rates while “beginning to normalize the stance of monetary policy” after its most recent policy meeting.  They expect to begin raising rates around the middle of 2015.  Article

Russia’s central bank intervened to try to prop up the plummeting Ruble by raising interest rates 6.5% to 17%.  The Ruble has lost roughly half its value compared to the dollar over 2014.  The combination of sanctions and falling oil prices is severely damaging the Russian economy.  Article

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won a decisive victory in emergency elections recently called.  A signal of support for the expansionary monetary policies the country has undertaken.

US Factory output rose 1.1% in November and was revised up to a 0.4% gain in October to put it above its prerecession peak.

New housing starts fell 1.6% in November, but overall the housing trend in promising.

The CPI dropped 0.3% in November from October.  Core prices rose 0.1%.

Oracle’s earnings fell 2%, but adjusted profits and revenue topped analysts’ estimates for the first time in a year.

FedEx posted a profit gain that fell short of expectations.

The Treasury sold its position in Ally financial its last major position from the TARP program.



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