Call Us Today at 
(504) 520-8048



Key Dates/Data Releases

2/17: Empire State manufacturing survey, international capital flows

2/18: Housing starts, wholesale inflation, industrial production, FOMC minutes

2/19: Philly Fed manufacturing survey

2/20: Options expiration

The Markets

Domestic equities continued to shake off their winter chill as the S&P 500 and Russell 2000 squeaked into record territory once again. The Dow industrials rose above 18,000 for the first time since New Year’s Eve, and the Nasdaq’s 3% gain put the index at its highest level since March 2000. Meanwhile, oil prices that remained above $50 a barrel and not-terrible European economic data provided some reassurance about the state of global growth.

Market/Index 2014 Close Prior Week As of 2/13 Weekly Change YTD Change
DJIA 17823.07 17824.29 18019.35 1.09% 1.10%
Nasdaq 4736.05 4744.40 4893.84 3.15% 3.33%
S&P 500 2058.90 2055.47 2096.99 2.02% 1.85%
Russell 2000 1204.70 1205.46 1223.13 1.47% 1.53%
Global Dow 2501.66 2506.99 2555.19 1.92% 2.14%
Fed. Funds .25% .25% .25% 0% 0%
10-year Treasuries 2.17% 1.95% 2.02% 7 bps -15 bps

Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.

Last Week’s Headlines

  • Greece’s relationship with the rest of the eurozone remained a source of uncertainty after a meeting of finance ministers on Monday. Greece’s newly elected government, which promised to ease austerity measures, reportedly rejected a joint statement announcing a six-month extension of the existing bailout agreement, which is set to expire on February 28.
  • A 0.7% increase in German economic growth helped the eurozone’s gross domestic product rise 0.3% (0.4% for the full 28-member European Union) during Q4 of 2014. Both were improvements from Q3, and represented annual growth of 0.9% for the eurozone and 1.4% for the EU.
  • Germany, Russia, France, and Ukraine appeared to have reached a cease-fire agreement designed to end the struggle for control over eastern Ukraine. However, reports of fresh equipment and fighting immediately afterwards raised questions about whether the EU would impose additional economic sanctions against Russia next week.
  • U.S. job openings in December finally surpassed their prerecession high. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, there were 5 million openings and 5.1 million new hires (the most since November 2007). Higher turnover and a willingness to change jobs suggests that workers are increasingly confident about the economy.
  • After a strong Q4, retail sales dropped off in January. However, the Commerce Department said that some of the 0.8% decline was the result of lower gas prices cutting into total sales at gas stations. Excluding gas, sales were basically flat.

Eye on the Week Ahead

In a holiday-shortened week, reaction to the showdown between Greece and the rest of the eurozone is likely to remain a focus. U.S. manufacturing and housing data as well as minutes of the most recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting also are on tap.

Data sources: News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e. wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations. Market data: Based on data reported in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/ Market Data (oil spot price, WTI Cushing, OK); (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates). All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighted index composed of 2,000 U.S. small-cap common stocks. The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide. Market indices listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.