Weekly Update – April 2, 2018
“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill
Markets were closed on March 30 for Good Friday, but in the four days of trading, stocks recovered some of this year’s losses. For the week, the S&P 500 added 2.09%, the Dow gained 2.67%, and the NASDAQ increased by 1.03%. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE grew 0.81%.
Last week also marked the end of the year’s 1st quarter. Our next market update will share a recap of key performance details and events from January through March.
In this report, we will consider findings from last week and offer some perspective on the data.
What We Learned Last Week
The Economy Expanded More Than Thought
We received the final reading of 4th quarter 2017 Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and the numbers were higher than expected. Between October and December last year, GDP grew at a 2.9% annualized rate. In particular, consumer spending contributed significantly to our economic growth.
Consumers Remained Confident
Consumer Sentiment readings reached a 14-year high in March and may be a sign that spending was also on the rise last month. Meanwhile, the Consumer Confidence report showed slightly lower readings than in February but continued to stay high. Though respondents’ confidence in the stock market wavered, their strong assessments of the labor market helped maintain solid numbers.
Personal Incomes Rose
Personal income grew 0.4% in February and has increased 3.7% over the past 12 months. Consumers also spent more money, and data on personal debt and financial obligations indicates that they still have more room to spend.
Examined together, this data seems to indicate that consumers are confident about the economy and their job prospects – and are continuing to earn and spend more. Considering that approximately 69% of the U.S. economy comes from consumer spending, these developments should be positive news.
That said, every market environment has risks, and no economy is perfect. We are here to help you navigate your finances and make sense of developing news. If you have any questions, contact us any time.
Monday: PMI Manufacturing Index, ISM Mfg Index, Construction Spending
Tuesday: Motor Vehicle Sales
Wednesday: ADP Employment Report, Factory Orders, ISM Non-Mfg Index
Thursday: Jobless Claims
Friday: Employment Situation
Notes: All index returns (except S&P 500) exclude reinvested dividends, and the 5-year and 10-year returns are annualized. The total returns for the S&P 500 assume reinvestment of dividends on the last day of the month. This may account for differences between the index returns published on Morningstar.com and the index returns published elsewhere. International performance is represented by the MSCI EAFE Index. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.
Berry Coconut Crumble
- ¼ cup room temperature unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
- 1 cup almond flour
- ½ cup old-fashioned oats
- ½ cup pecans, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 4 cups frozen raspberries
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon cane sugar
- ⅓ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Apply butter to a 2-quart casserole dish or 6 mini dishes.
- Create the crumble by mixing almond flour, oats, pecans, cinnamon, and salt with maple syrup and ¼ cup butter in a large bowl until the mixture is no longer dry and forms large clumps. Set aside.
- In a second bowl, toss together raspberries, pomegranate seeds, cornstarch, and sugar. Transfer the mix to the prepared dish.
- Put the crumble mix on top and sprinkle with coconut flakes.
- Bake. Rotate the dish halfway through. Crumble is done when it is bubbling around the edges and the topping is golden brown, 35-40 minutes.
Recipe adapted from Good Housekeeping
How to Never Miss the Short Putt
|You’re 6 inches from the hole. Easy, right? No problem. One little tap, and you’re done, and on to the next hole. But oops! There goes the ball, rounding the lip of the hole, seemingly defying gravity, only to remain above ground. It was the easiest shot in the world, and you missed it! Your first thought: You’ll never golf again. Your second thought: How do you avoid this mistake in the future?
Here are 4 tips from the pros on how to avoid the most obvious blunder:
Putting that extra effort into the short putts can save you from those disastrous occasions of missing the easiest shots.
Tip adapted from Golf Digest
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