Highlights of this Week’s Update:

  1. Social Security Workshops continue to be offered.
  2. Stock Indices notch best week so far in 2015.
  3. Commodity prices risk, including oil and gold.
  4. Interest rate inch higher.
  5. Global economies and U.S. economy-U.S. Exports drop, but what effect overall?

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

This Week’s Calendar-

October 12th:   Native American Day

October 15th:   Medicare and Health Care open enrollment begins

October 15th:   2014 Individual extended tax returns due

Social Security Workshops Available:

There are still seats available at the following Social Security educational workshops:

Tuesday, October 20th:            11:00am – 12:00 noon

Wednesday, October 28th:      10:00am – 11:00am

Thursday, October 29th:            1:00pm –   2:00pm

We cover various Social Security claiming strategies, when to file, benefits available, and other important information at each session.  We can also prepare a personalized analysis for you comparing the various claiming options for your own situation.  These workshops are conducted in our office conference room, so seating is limited.  Call today to reserve your spot and feel free to bring a friend or relative that could also benefit from this important information.

The Markets:

What a difference a week can make.  Last week the major stock indices had their best week of 2015 to date.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 3.72% for the week, and is now down 4.14% year-to-date as of Friday’s close.  The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index rose 3.72%, putting it 2.14% lower for the year. (MarketWatch)

Interest rates rose on the week, with the yield for the 10 year U.S. Treasury ending at 2.12%, up .13 from the previous week.(U.S. Treasury)  The average rate for a 30 year fixed mortgage inched higher to end last week at 3.83% and the 15 year fixed rate stood at 2.88%. (Bankrate.com)  Oil rose $3.90 a barrel to $49.56 for West Texas Intermediate Crude, and gold also rose $10.80 per ounce to end Friday at $1,151.55. (CNBC, St. Louis Federal Reserve)

Over the past several weeks, we have used the market volatility to try and take advantage of various opportunities and made certain adjustments to our client portfolios across all risk levels. We anticipate the possibility of continued market volatility over the coming weeks, but feel there is upside potential in the months ahead. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you advised.

The global economy vs the U.S. economy

Investors have turned their attention to the global economy over the last couple of months amid fears that sagging growth around the world will take its toll at home. But will the U.S. economy take a big hit because of problems in developing markets and China?  A high-level review of the data suggests it’s unlikely.

In its World Economic Outlook released last week, the International Monetary Fund said, “Downside risks to the world economy appear more pronounced than they did just a few months ago.” That’s not a surprise.

The IMF noted three factors are affecting its perspective:

  • China’s economic transformation away from export and investment-led growth and manufacturing, in favor of a greater focus on consumption and services,
  • Falling commodity prices, which are occurring primarily due to China’s economic slowdown, and
  • The impending increase in U.S. interest rates, which may have global repercussions and add to current uncertainties.

As Figure 1 highlights, U.S. exporters are feeling the pinch.

USExports

However, U.S. sales of goods and services overseas make up just 13% of total U.S. output. Consumer spending accounts for nearly 70% (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis), and it has been rising, albeit at a modest pace.

We wish you all a great week and appreciate the privilege to serve each and every one of you.  We look forward to working together in the years to come.

God Bless,

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