Weekly Market Commentary
July 17, 2017

Introducing John Liegl, CFA, CFP®, CLU, ChFC. 

At Counsel Wealth Management Inc. we have been blessed with fantastic staff throughout the years to serve our clients. We are currently welcoming our newest advisor: John Liegl. John has 10 years of experience in the financial services industry.  Throughout his ten years he has held prominent roles as a financial advisor and as a product expert for annuities and life insurance.  He graduated from the University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance.  He has also received the professional designations CFA, CFP®, CLU, and ChFC. We believe that John is going to serve you with the same care that you have come to expect from Counsel Wealth.

The Markets

It was a good week for a lot of stocks but not bank stocks.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) both finished at record highs last week. Barron’s indicated investors owe Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen a debt of gratitude:

“The main force behind the rally was the dovish performance by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in Congress on Wednesday and Thursday when she reiterated that rate hikes would most likely be gradual. On balance, her remarks were interpreted as evidence of continued accommodative monetary policy and, from there, stocks were off to the races. The ignition of the rally can almost be time-stamped to her appearance. Before her speech, the market was down for the week.”

Of course, some sectors of the stock market did better than others last week. In the S&P 500, Real Estate, Information Technology, and Consumer Staples stocks had the highest percentage gains at the close on Friday, while Financials, Telecommunications, and Consumer Discretionary stocks lagged, according to Fidelity.

In the Financials sector, banks were the weakest performers, finishing Friday almost a full percent lower. It was a bit of a mystery, wrote Financial Times (FT), since several banks beat earnings expectations. FT reported:

“Perhaps the most important factor that weighed on bank stock prices, however, had nothing to do with the comments from executives nor the quarterly financial results. Macroeconomic data published on Friday showed U.S. inflation at the consumer level cooled last month while retail sales fell short of estimates, pushing Treasury bond yields lower. Lower interest rates are bad news for banks, which make more money if they can charge borrowers more.”

Investors appear to believe there is smooth sailing ahead. The CBOE Volatility Index remained below 10.


Data as of 7/14/17

1-Week

Y-T-D

1-Year

3-Year

5-Year

10-Year

Standard & Poor's 500 (Domestic Stocks)

1.4%

9.9%

13.7%

7.6%

12.7%

4.7%

Dow Jones Global ex-U.S.

2.8

15.1

16.3

-0.4

5.9

-1.3

10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only)

2.3

NA

1.5

2.6

1.5

5.0

Gold (per ounce)

1.2

6.1

-7.8

-2.0

-5.0

6.3

Bloomberg Commodity Index

1.1

-5.5

-5.1

-14.0

-10.2

-7.0

DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index

1.4

5.1

-1.3

8.6

9.5

6.0

S&P 500, Dow Jones Global ex-US, Gold, Bloomberg Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; the DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index does include reinvested dividends and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods.

Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Barron’s, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.

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Paul S. McCready, CFP, CFS, RFC

President

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