Highlights of this Week’s Update:
- Fun “special” events for the upcoming week.
- Additional Social Security educational workshops offered.
- Major U.S. stock indices end last week down slightly with continued volatility.
- Oil, gold end higher, interest rates dip lower.
- Fed opts for “no change” after two day meeting.
READ FURTHER FOR ADDITIONAL DETAILS………………………………..
Fun for the Week Ahead: Did You Know?
This week, September 20-26 is National Dog Week. Give your furry friends a special treat!
September 22nd: National Ice Cream Day
September 26th: National Pancake Day
Social Security Educational Workshops Offered:
Several of you have attended our recent workshops covering important information regarding Social Security benefits, when to file, how to file, and much more. Due to the feedback we have had from these workshops, we plan to continue to offer them periodically in the future. At present, we have scheduled the workshops for the following dates:
Wednesday, September 30th: 10:30AM-11:30AM
Tuesday, October 6th: 3:00PM-4:00PM
We will conduct these sessions in the conference room in our office and seating is limited. Be sure to call today to reserve your seat(s) and feel free to bring a friend or relative that would benefit from this valuable information. Call us today: 405-844-9826.
The major U.S. stock indices continued to be volatile last week, with most rising ahead of the Fed meeting on Wednesday and Thursday then falling off sharply on Friday to close out the week. After all was said and done, however, the Dow dropped just .3% last week, little changed from the prior week’s close. The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was basically flat for the trading week, dipping just .15% overall. Year-to-date, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is now down 8.07%, while the broader S&P 500 is off 4.9% through Friday’s close. (MarketWatch)
Interest rates ended slightly lower last week, with the yield on the 10 year U.S. Treasury ending at 2.13%, down .02 from the previous week’s close. The yield started the year at 2.17%. (U.S. Treasury) The average rate for a 30 year fixed mortgage closed Friday at 3.84%, and the 15 year rate ended the week at 2.97%. (Bankrate.com)
Oil prices inched higher, with the price for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate Crude ending Friday at $44.98, up .20 for the week. Gold rose, climbing $41.25 per ounce to close out last week at $1,141.50. (CNBC, St. Louis Federate Reserve).
The Fed Announces No Change (again)
The economy “has been performing well and impressing us by the pace at which it is creating jobs and the strength of domestic (U.S.) demand.” So said Fed Chief Janet Yellen at the press conference that followed the conclusion of the Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting.
Yet, there wasn’t enough economic acceleration for the Fed to pull the trigger on the first rate increase in the fed funds rate in almost 10 years. In a 9-1 vote, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC – the committee that decides monetary policy) decided to hold the target for the fed funds rate at 0 – 0.25% (FOMC statement). The lone dissenter opted for a 0.25% boost in the fed funds rate.
China and emerging market risks were the primary culprits for the current decision along with low inflation still giving some Fed officials the jitters and worries over a stronger dollar.
When might we finally see a rate hike? Projections from each Fed official-see chart below- suggest a 2015 rate increase is still in the cards. In fact, 13 of the 17 voting and non-voting Fed members still favor a move this year.
What’s the big deal about the fed funds rate?
The fed funds rate is a key short-term rate the Federal Reserve controls. It has an enormous influence on short-term savings rates, including T-bills, short-term Treasury bonds, CDs, money market rates, and bank savings accounts.
In addition, the fed funds rate also affects the prime lending rate and the lesser known LIBOR rate. In turn, a number of U.S. lending rates are pegged to the prime rate and LIBOR, including many credit cards and adjustable-rate mortgages. We will keep you posted.
We wish you a great week ahead, and look forward to working with all of you in the years to come. Please call or email if we can ever be of further service or if you have any additional questions or concerns.
Your TEAM at F.I.G. Financial Advisory Services, Inc.
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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.