Markets were relatively flat this week, despite a lot of news and activity. On Wednesday the Fed raised rates again by a quarter percent, as expected by most analysts. With continued reports of solid job growth, consistent economic growth,
fastest wage growth in nearly ten years
, and bullish stock markets, it’s expected that rates will continue to increase on this predictable path. Chairman Powell and crew plan to commit to this strategy to protect the markets and economy from overheating. Look for another rate increase by the Fed in December. It’s anyone’s guess what 2019 will bring, but we will likely continue on a similar path, assuming the economy remains strong.
Last week, global equities rose despite continued trade discussions between the US and China. Additionally, value stocks rallied and the US Treasury curve steepened. This week, Amazon and Apple drove a lot of the positive activity, as both companies continue to break previous records for size and market cap.
In summary, the economy is healthy but may be in the later stages of the economic cycle. Still, growth can continue with the ongoing effects of the tax cuts, increases in capital spending, and high consumer confidence.
Financial Advisor Magazine Feature
Recently, my efforts to attract and keep younger clients was featured in Financial Advisor Magazine. I explored the changing fintech landscape, the needs of many younger clients and the efforts of MainLine Private Wealth to stay current these trends.
Here is an excerpt linked to the full article.
“The world has changed due to the advancements in technology, as new digital tools come onto the marketplace, disrupting entire industries and the way we communicate and live our lives. For instance, 10 years ago, you likely had a Blackberry in your pocket, building an asset allocation model was a differentiator, investment data was on a quarterly delay, you never heard of “the cloud,” and texting was a secondary form of communication. Fast forward to today where a smartphone is an everyday necessity, client documents and materials can be securely backed up on the cloud, robo-advisors have turned diversification into a cheap commodity, information is instant and you are expected to be available 24/7.”
Consumer Confidence Hits 18 Year High
According to The Conference Board
, its index of consumer confidence rose to the highest level since September 2000. At that time, Gladiator was #1 at the Box Office, the worst of the dot com bubble was yet to come, and Amazon traded at just over $40 dollars a share. A lot has happened since.
The current lofty consumer sentiment level is fueled by exceptional economic output and GDP growth. Additionally, the low jobless rate (3.9%) and continued wage increases leave consumers optimistic about the future. In fact, according to The Conference Board’s survey, 45.7% of respondents said jobs were plentiful compared to 13.2% who said jobs w