Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through January 31st

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

US Stocks sank over the week on disappointing earnings and concerns about economic growth.  The S&P 500 fell 2.8% and the Dow sank 2.9% for the week.  For January, the S&P 500 dropped 3.1% and the Dow was down 3.7% for the worst month since last January.  Internationally, Japan rose 0.9%, but Europe was down 0.9% for the week. While down for the week, Europe rallied 7.2% for the month and Japan edged up 1.2%.  The 10 year Treasury yield continues to plummet falling to 1.68%, its lowest level since early May 2013.  Oil rebounded slightly as some US production was cut to $48.24 a barrel.  Article

Leftist Greek party Syriza won about half the seats in Greek’s parliament.  The party is against the austerity measures that the country has had to endure over the last five years setting up a showdown between the country and the rest of the eurozone.

Russia’s credit rating was downgraded to junk status by S&P moving it below investment grade in the first time in over a decade  Russia’s central bank also cut its key interest rate by two percentage points.  The moves sent the ruble lower.

At the conclusion of the Fed’s most recent meeting it announced it still planned on keeping rates near zero until the middle of the year or later.  They viewed the economy as expanding at a “solid pace,” but still said that it could be “patient” in raising rates.  Article

Eurozone inflation declined still further with prices falling 0.6% in January compared to a year earlier.  Factoring out volatile food and energy prices the inflation rate was up 0.6% from a year earlier.  Article

Fourth quarter GDP rose 2.6% well below expectations bringing the total year growth rate to 2.4%.  US consumer spending rose strongly over the quarter, but corporations saw a decrease in exports, as the dollar rose, and cut spending.  Article

Microsoft, Pfizer, Dupont, Caterpillar, Alibaba, Google  disappointed investors with their quarterly report, while, AT&T, Apple, Samsung, Facebook, Blackstone, Deutsche Bank, Ford, Amazon, and Chevron topped or met expectations.

 

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Raffa Wealth Management is an independent investment advisor providing nonprofit organizations, high net-worth investors, and qualified retirement plans with a full range of investment consulting services.  We were established to fill the need for transparency, clarity, and vision in the professional management of investment assets.   Visit us at www.raffawealth.com

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