Skip to main content

Stocks Volatile, Oil Rises

By April 21, 2015September 16th, 2023No Comments

Highlights of this Week’s Update:

  1. S. stock indices continue volatile and end last week in the red, bringing the year-to-date returns for the Dow down to less than 1%.
  2. Interest rates remain low and mortgage rates little changed.
  3. Oil Prices continued to rise last week, pushing West Texas Intermediate Crude to $56.14 per barrel.
  4. International events in China and Greece helped move the markets on Friday.
  5. Corporate earnings season for the first quarter is off and running.
  6. Portfolios for all risk levels are performing relatively well so far in 2015 given overall market results.
  7. Our focus remains on individual stock issues for equity exposure with an increase in number of holdings for each current stock model for further diversification.

READ ON FOR FURTHER DETAILS……………………………………………………

The Markets:

Stocks seemed to wander aimlessly through much of last week with no major catalysts to move the market in either direction. That was until Friday, which was a good reminder that international events can and do move stocks.  Down over 350 points at its low mark (MarketWatch), the Dow Jones Industrials managed to end the day off 280 points, with two international events in particular encouraging short-term traders to move to the sidelines.  It ended with week down 1.28%, and pushed the index to basically flat so far in 2015. (MarketWatch, Google Finance)

Then there was trading yesterday (Monday), which saw the Dow recover over 208 points in one day.  Volatility is once again creating day-to-day market swings, with the major U.S. stock indices basically moving sideways so far this year.

Interest rates continue to stay low with the yield for the 10 year U.S. Treasury now sitting at 1.87% and the average rate for a 30 year fixed mortgage is in the 3.625-3.875% range.  (U.S. Treasury,

Oil prices did jump last week, with West Texas Intermediate Crude rising $4.37 per barrel closing out the week at $56.14.  (CNBC)

 International Events to Close out the Week:

China garnered the headlines Friday by tightening margin lending rules and issued its strongest warning yet about the country’s soaring stock market. In addition, the country’s two stock exchanges will make it easier to bet against a drop in equities (Wall Street Journal). Stocks in China have been soaring recently, with a major market index in China up nearly 15% since the start of April (Wall Street Journal) and over 30% since the start of the year (CNBC).

Greece: the seemingly never ending story. Greece hasn’t defaulted but it has yet to get a firm handle on its finances. International creditors signaled that a lack of progress between the troubled nation and its lenders has substantially increased the risk of default and exit from the euro-zone (Wall Street Journal). In response, yields on Greek debt have jumped (Bloomberg), highlighting the growing angst among its creditors.

Early start to earnings – cautious optimism

With barely more than 10% of all S&P 500 companies having reported first quarter earnings, 75% have posted profits that have topped analysts’ estimates, ahead of the long-term average of 63% (Thomson Reuters). It’s not unusual for firms to exceed analysts’ expectations.  It’s a different story on the revenue side. Given the strong dollar, just 46% have exceeded forecasts, below the long-term average of 61% (Thomson Reuters).

What’s likely happening to explain the revenue-profit disconnect – firms continue to keep a sharp eye on expenses, which aids the bottom line.  Many companies are blaming the strong dollar for weaker-than-forecast sales (FactSet Research/CNBC). Simply put, companies that sell goods or services overseas in the local currency are forced to translate those sales back into stronger dollars.  It’s still very early in the season, but the next couple of weeks will help fill in some of the missing pieces to the earnings puzzle.

Our Outlook:

As we said early in the year, we expected increased volatility within the markets for 2015 and a possible sideways movement for the major stock indices.  So far, that has generally been the case for stocks this year.  In light of this, we have continued to focus our stock/equities holdings on individual stocks of specific companies vs. stock/equity mutual funds.  We have increased the number of stock issues held in each stock model this year in an effort to further diversify our equity exposure and hopefully assist in dealing with increased volatility.  Overall, we are pleased with the relative net performance for all three stock models and client portfolios across all risk levels so far in 2015.  We will continue to monitor and keep you posted

We wish you all a great week and as always, call us if you ever have any questions, or if we can be of further service in any way.

God Bless,

Your TEAM at F.I.G. Financial Advisory Services, Inc.



It is important that you do not use this e-mail to request or authorize the purchase or sale of any security or commodity, or to request any other transactions. Any such request, orders or instructions will not be accepted and will not be processed.

All items discussed in this report are for informational purposes only, are not advice of any kind, and are not intended as a solicitation to buy, hold, or sell any securities. Nothing contained herein constitutes tax, legal, insurance, or investment advice.

Stocks and bonds and commodities are not FDIC insured and can fall in value, and any investment information, securities and commodities mentioned in this report may not be suitable for everyone.

U.S. Treasury bonds and Treasury bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and guaranteed principal value. U.S. government bonds are issued and guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by the federal government. Treasury bills are certificates reflecting short-term (less than one year) obligations of the U.S. government.

Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance. Different investments involve different degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any investment, security, commodity or investment strategy that is referenced will be profitable or be suitable for your portfolio.

The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation.

Before making any investments or making any type of investment decision, please consult with your financial advisor and determine how a security may fit into your investment portfolio, how a decision may affect your financial position and how it may impact your financial goals.

All opinions are subject to change without notice in response to changing market and/or economic conditions.

1 The Dow Jones Industrials Average is an unmanaged index of 30 major companies which cannot be invested into directly.  Past performance does not guarantee future results.

3 The S&P 500 Index is an unmanaged index of 500 larger companies which cannot be invested into directly.  Past performance does not guarantee future results.

5 New York Mercantile Exchange front-month contract; Prices can and do vary; past performance does not guarantee future results.

6 London Bullion Market Association; gold fixing pricing at 3 p.m. London time; Prices can and do vary; past performance does not guarantee future results

View Form ADV 3

F.I.G. Financial
14642 Bogert Pkwy
Oklahoma City, OK 73134

T: +1(405)844-9826