Markets "In a Nutshell" for March 13, 2018Mar 13, 2018
Investment Week at a Glance
Stocks were up last week. The Dow Jones Industrial average was up 3.2% while the S&P 500 gained 3.5%. The New York Stock Exchange Composite (2,000 stocks) increased 2.8% and the “average investor’s index” (Value Line index) was up 3.4%. Foreign stocks (DJ Global ex U.S.) bounced 1.7% and interest rates stayed steady last week as the 10 year Treasury yield ended at 2.86%. (Data sources: Barron’s Financial, Wall Street Journal)
Blowout jobs gain
The U.S. Labor Dept reported that 313,000 new jobs were created in February, the biggest monthly jobs gain since mid-2016. Wages were up 2.6% from the prior year, lower than expected but still a decent gain. The unemployment rate remains at 4.1%, lowest since 2000. While the 300,000 plus jobs number is not likely to repeat month after month, strong jobs growth portends continued strength in the U.S. economy. Even into its 9th year, this economic expansion still chugs along.
Are we done with the stock correction?
BMO Capital Markets published a chart showing U.S. stock market corrections since 1998 (stock market corrections are defined as declines of 10-20% within a bull stock market). Our most recent correction in late January/early February took 13 days, the shortest correction on record and certainly shorter than the last one in 2015 which lasted 266 days. So some analysts see further drops ahead. While we may be in for some short term market choppiness, strong corporate earnings still point to further longer term gains.
Working longer and later
An Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) survey on “Retirement Confidence” revealed some interesting results. Nearly 8 in 10 (80%) plan to work for pay in retirement while nearly four in ten (38%) expect to retire at 70 or beyond. While some may say “ugh” at the thought of working longer, many of the clients we work with do work “in retirement,” more to keep productive than anything else. Better diets, heath care and lifestyle have meant longer life expectancy and thus the notion of 65 as retirement age may be changing.
According to the above referenced EBRI survey, how many hours per week on average do men aged 65 to 74 work? a. 8 b.12 c. 18 d. 26. E. 35...Answer is below…
Have a good week!
Answer to quiz:
b. 12 hours per week.