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Newsletter: In the Markets – Week-Ending April 21st , 2017

by Peter J. Creedon

Newsletter: In the Markets – Week-Ending April 21st, 2017

Crystal Brook Advisors

We Make Financial Planning Crystal Clear™

United States: The LEI increased 0.4 percent in March, its seventh consecutive month recording a gain. Six of the components were added to the topline figure, while two were subtracted from it. (1) The labor market, which has recently been viewed in a positive light, contributed negatively to the index. Manufacturing hours worked and initial jobless claims subtracted 0.13 percentage points and 0.09 percentage points from the topline figure. (1)

Europe: The French presidential election campaign of unprecedented twists and turns is saving its biggest surprise for last. With French voters in a rebellious mood and many hesitant to the end about their choices, the identities of the two candidates who will progress to a winner-takes-all May 7 runoff remains anyone’s guess heading into Sunday’s first-round ballot. With 11 contenders – from far-left to far-right – for the 47 million registered voters to choose from, the election is a high-stakes test for the European Union and for populist leaders who would tear it down. (2)

Asia: Singapore ranks the highest in Asia in attracting and developing talent, reflecting not only its world-class education system but how it’s adapting skills in the digital era. The city-state also took the No 2 spot behind Switzerland on the Global Talent Competitiveness Index, published on Tuesday (April 18) by the French business school, Instead. Australia was the only other Asia Pacific country ranked in the top 10. The index assesses a country’s ability to enable, attract, grow and retain talent, as well as develop global knowledge and vocational and technical skills. High-ranking countries share some key advantages: employment policies that favor flexibility, good education systems, and technological competence. (3)

Latin America: Brazil’s President Michel Temer has an approval rating that is now worse than his predecessor Dilma Rousseff’s. Scandal and slow recovery following two years of recession have made Brazil the slowest economy in the region. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres) It might be the most diversified economy in Latin America and home to the best equity market south of the Rio Grande. But Brazil, when it comes to growth, is a slow poke. Back-to-back years of economic recession, coupled with double-digit inflation and interest rates as recently as last year, have hit the country’s prospects for a real rebound. As it is, Brazil is still mired in a corruption scandal involving its most important state-owned- enterprise Petrobras. That scandal led to the impeachment of their first female president, Dilma Rousseff, and now her successor Michel Temer has an approval rating that is at least as bad as hers, if not worse. On March 30, a poll by Ipsos revealed that 90% of Brazilians believe the country is going in the wrong direction. Some 78% disapproved of the president’s job. (4)

Monday 4/17

The Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, +0.03%  ended down 0.7%, while Singapore’s

Straits Times Index was last off 0.9% and Taiwan Taiex ended down 0.2%. The Shenzhen

Composite Index ended down 1.4%. (5)

Tuesday 4/18

The Dow fell 0.7%, while losses in the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite were around 0.4%.

Volume on the NYSE and Nasdaq was tracking higher than Monday’s levels. (6)

Wednesday 4/19

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) declined 0.6% to close at 20,523.28. The S&P 500 fell

0.3% to close at 2,342.19. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 5,849.47, declining

0.1%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) declined 1.6% to 14.42. A total of around

3.2 billion shares were traded in NYSE on Tuesday. Decliners outpaced advancing stocks on the

NYSE. For 50% stocks that declined, 46% advanced. (7)

Thursday 4/20

Among the Dow industrials, American Express (AXP) boosted the blue-chip index with a near

5% jump after reporting its Q1 earnings late Wednesday. The credit card company cleared both

earnings and sales estimates, causing shares to surge back above the 50-day line. The two energy

components in the Dow Jones industrials, Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX), followed

up with 1% advances apiece as crude oil prices rebounded 0.1% after Wednesday’s 3% fall. (8)

Friday 4/21

The S&P 500 index SPX, -0.22%  was down 3 points, or 0.1%, at 2,352, after an earlier 11-point

deficit. Eight of the 11 main sectors were trading lower. Telecoms and financial shares were

leading losses, down 1.5% and 0.5%, respectively. (5)

Contributor: Thomas Padula


(1) Wells Fargo Economic Group 

(2) CBS 

(3) The Straits Times

(4) Forbes

(5) Market Watch 

(6) Investor Business Daily 


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