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Market Recap Archive

July 23, 2021

The S&P 500 finished strong with a new high after initially selling off on Monday, resulting in a swing of over 4% from low to high this week. Stocks initially sold off on concerns of rising COVID, attributed to the more contagious Delta variant. Stocks gained each day thereafter as quarterly earnings reports came in generally better than expected. Earlier this week the National Bureau of Economic Research said the 2020 recession only lasted 2 months, with a trough in April 2020, making it the nation’s shortest downturn on record. This followed a 10+ year expansion that was the longest in records dating back over 150 years. The shortest recession before this was six months in 1980. Seemingly following the Fed’s playbook, the European Central Bank said it expects its rates to remain low until it sees inflation reaching 2% or more. Back in the U.S., housing starts and existing home sales came in above expectations; next week we look forward to the first read on Q2 GDP, which may show 8.5% growth in the quarter. If your needs are changing or if you would like more information on the markets or your portfolio, please contact your Buckingham advisor at https://mybuckingham.com/contact.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


July 16, 2021

With the second quarter now over, the major financial institutions have kicked off earnings season this week and we expect to see a large number of companies soon weigh in with their second-quarter earnings results. Fed Chair, Jerome Powell, addressed inflation concerns during the Beige Book summation and confirmed the central bank’s stance on recent inflationary pressures should prove temporary and transitory in nature as the economy continues to recover post-pandemic. We saw a number of reports this week, including the initial weekly jobless claims which fell to a pre-pandemic low of 360,000 and provided yet another sign that the economy is recovering. The Producer Price Index rose 7.3% year-over-year, and the Consumer Price Index for the month of June showed that inflation was up 5.4% from this time last year, the fastest pace since 2008. Retail sales came in stronger-than-expected with an increase of 0.6% following a drop in May as consumers continue to increase discretionary spending on dining out and non-essentials. Next week, we are looking forward to housing data including permits, existing home sales, mortgage applications and rates; along with initial jobless claims. If your needs are changing or if you would like more information on the markets or your portfolio, please contact your Buckingham advisor at https://mybuckingham.com/contact.

Emily M. Cozad
Portfolio Analyst

Commentary Disclosures


July 9, 2021

The S&P 500 hit a new high again today but only made a small gain for the week. Treasury yields were generally lower and the 30-year yield dipped below 2% for the first time since early February. The Federal Reserve continues to purchase bonds on a monthly basis, with its balance sheet having grown to $8.1T as of the most recent update. The ISM Services index, where any number above 50 shows growth, had a reading of 60.1. This is the fourth month in a row with a reading over 60, which is the longest streak in over 20 years. Oil nearly touched $77 per barrel on Wednesday, but closed lower for the week. Next week we look forward to updates on inflation, consumer spending, and consumer confidence. If your needs are changing or if you would like more information on the markets or your portfolio, please contact your Buckingham advisor at https://mybuckingham.com/contact

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research 

Commentary Disclosures


July 2, 2021

The first two trading days of July both closed at new record highs, marking 36 new closing highs for the S&P 500 year-to-date. On Tuesday, the U.S. Consumer Confidence Index rose to a 16-month high. Meanwhile, the housing market continues to be supporting low mortgage rates, as the average rate for a 30-year loan recently dipped back below 3.00%, according to Fannie Mae. The monthly employment report added 850,000 jobs, coming in higher than consensus for the month of June. Payrolls increased by 692,000 and initial weekly jobless claims fell to 364,000 this week, another post-pandemic low. ISM Manufacturing numbers came in within range and remain higher than average. Next week, we are looking forward to ISM Non-Manufacturing numbers, mortgage applications, along with initial jobless claims. In observance of the 4th of July holiday, the markets will be closed on July 5th. If your needs are changing or if you would like more information on the markets or your portfolio, please contact your Buckingham advisor at https://mybuckingham.com/contact. We are wishing everyone a safe and fun holiday weekend. 

Emily M. Cozad
Portfolio Analyst 

Commentary Disclosures


June 28, 2021

The S&P 500 notched a new high today after several days of gains this week; and volatility, as measured by the VIX index, hit a new year-to-date low. Federal Reserve Chairman Powell testified to Congress this week and reiterated that the Fed expects inflation pressures to be temporary, which the market interpreted as positive after last week’s concern about the Fed raising rates sooner than previously expected. Treasury rates increased slightly this week, while oil hit a new year-to-date high (and is within 5% of a 5-year high). Today’s read on consumer inflation was in-line with expectations at 3.4% higher than a year ago and next week we look forward to the monthly jobs report. If your needs are changing or if you would like more information on the markets or your portfolio, please contact your Buckingham advisor at https://mybuckingham.com/contact.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


June 18, 2021

While the S&P 500 touched a new high on Tuesday, stocks sold off the rest of the week after the Federal Reserve began discussions about reducing bond purchases in the future, as well as possibly starting to raise rates in 2023. A handful of Fed committee members also see one rate hike possible in 2022. Shorter-term bond yields, like the 5-year Treasury, rose, while 30-year Treasury yields fell. The dollar strengthened this week, which put pressure on commodities, some of which had already been selling off. The Materials sector and various metals such as silver and gold lost over 5% this week, while lumber futures lost about 15% this week and are down nearly half from the early May highs. Corn futures were down 12% for the week through Thursday, but recovered somewhat on Friday. Tuesday’s report on producer inflation showed core inflation (excluding food & energy prices) up 0.7% in the past month and up 4.8% in the past year, in-line with expectations. The 4-week moving average of weekly jobless claims dipped below 400k for the first time in over a year. If your needs are changing or if you would like more information on the markets or your portfolio, please contact your Buckingham advisor at https://mybuckingham.com/contact.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


June 11, 2021

This week the S&P 500 hit a new high for the first time in over a month; volatility fell to a new 1-year low and the growth style outperformed value. The weekly jobs report once again showed improvement while an inflation report was higher than expected: the May Consumer Price Index was up 5.0% from a year ago, or up 3.8% excluding food and energy prices. Paradoxically, Treasury yields fell to levels not seen in 3 months, with the 10-year Treasury touching 1.45% near the end of the week. The large spread between headline inflation rates over Treasury yields has our eyes on the Federal Reserve press conference next week on Wednesday afternoon. Will these numbers push the Fed into openly discussing the tapering of bond purchases? We will also get an inflation update at the producer level next Tuesday. If your needs are changing or if you would like more information on the markets or your portfolio, please contact your Buckingham advisor.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


June 4, 2021

The S&P 500 closed slightly higher during the holiday-shortened week, closing just shy of a  new all-time high. In focus for investors this week was May’s monthly jobs report. Analysts were expecting 671,000 new hires during the month, but the numbers came in below expectations for a second month in a row at only 559,000 new jobs. Still, the unemployment rate ticked down to 5.8%. Market participants were not discouraged by the disappointing numbers, as they believed that the Fed will now be more likely to continue their accommodating monetary policy. The 10-year treasury yield moved lower after the jobs report, finishing flat on the week. Crude oil continued to climb higher, nearing $70 a barrel, as demand globally has increased due to worldwide vaccination programs taking hold. Elsewhere, the Biden administration and the GOP are still far apart on negotiations over infrastructure spending. Next week, we are looking forward to additional reads on inflation and housing market data. The replays for our three-part webinar for business owners is now available at https://vimeo.com/channels/buckinghamvideolibrary.

Neal G. Davis, CFA, CFP®
Senior Portfolio Manager & Research Analyst

Commentary Disclosures


May 28, 2021

The S&P 500 gained over 1% this week and had a positive return for the month of May. Weekly jobless claims improved significantly, declining from 444k to 406k, which pushed the 4-week moving average down from over 500k to 459k. For reference, in 2019 the level was usually just above 200k, which was historically low. Travel stocks gained this week after the CDC gave Royal Caribbean approval to begin mock voyages (round trips at sea) in late June, which will sail out of Miami with fully vaccinated crew and passengers if they are over age 16. Next week we look forward to the monthly jobs report, which may show national unemployment under 6% for the first time in over a year. The third and final part of our three-part webinar for business owners is Tuesday June 1st. Please visit https://mybuckingham.com/events to register. Finally, we wish you safe travels if you are venturing out this Memorial Day weekend! 

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


May 21, 2021

The S&P 500 ended the week nearly unchanged, as did bond yields. Except for lower oil prices, many commodities rose this week as the dollar weakened slightly. Bitcoin hit its lowest price since February. Weekly jobless claims continue to improve; the U.S. may see further improvement as COVID restrictions are lifted and as many states cancel bonus unemployment benefits in the coming months. On Wednesday the Federal Reserve released the minutes, or notes, of their April 28th meeting. The path to higher rates may look like this: first talk about when to discuss reducing bond purchases (this week’s report), then discuss reducing bond purchases (June at the earliest), then reduce bond purchases, then stop bond purchases, then talk about raising rates, and then raise rates. The Fed has a long way to go before they raise rates to have any major effect on dampening the economy and containing inflation. The Fed is purposefully staying behind the curve during this cycle. Changes in tone or message are potentially more important to markets than when the Fed action actually occurs, because investors tend to look 6-12 months ahead. Next week we look forward to several consumer-related economic updates. The second part of our three-part webinar for business owners is Tuesday May 25th. Please visit https://mybuckingham.com/events to register.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


May 14, 2021

The Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed 35,000 for the first time this week, but stocks were generally lower by week’s end. Several stocks or themes that outperformed in 2020, particularly those at the most speculative edge of the market, underperformed this week. There were also sharp sell-offs in lumber and corn after those prices reached multi-year highs. Wednesday’s report on consumer inflation showed core inflation (excluding food & energy prices) up 0.9% in the past month and up 3.0% in the past year. Thursday’s report on producer inflation showed core inflation (excluding food & energy prices) up 0.7% in the past month and up 4.1% in the past year. All of these figures were higher than the average estimate. We would expect above-average inflation readings for several months to come, in part due to comparing to much lower prices a year ago (oil has more than doubled in the past 12 months, for example). The weekly jobless claims report on Thursday showed continued improvement, with 473,000 new jobless claims being filed. Friday’s reports on retail sales and consumer sentiment came in a bit below expectations, with inflation impacting both reports.  Starting on Tuesday May 18th, we are co-hosting a three-part webinar series for business owners. Please visit https://mybuckingham.com/events to register.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


May 7, 2021

The S&P 500 hit another new high despite a surprisingly weak monthly jobs report. Some expected a stronger jobs number, which could have put pressure on the Fed to reduce stimulus. When the opposite was reported, yields fell and stocks rose. Initially the 10-year Treasury dipped below 1.5% for the first time in 2 months, but yields later came back to unchanged around 1.58%. The weekly jobless claims report on Thursday showed continued improvement but the monthly nonfarm payroll report on Friday showed only 266,000 jobs being added in April, well below the nearly 1 million job estimate. The 916,000 jobs added in March were revised down by 146,000 to 770,000. Sector rotation in the market drove value to outperform growth this week, as the give and take seems to be changing by the month. Earlier in the week, reads on manufacturing and services for April remained strong. Next week we look forward to fresh reads on inflation at both the consumer and producer level. If your needs are changing or if you would like more information on the markets or your portfolio, please contact your Buckingham advisor.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


April 30, 2021

The S&P 500 again touched a new high but didn’t change much for the second week in a row. Year-to-date, the S&P 500 has gained over 11%. With 60% of large companies having reported first quarter results, the “beat” rate for companies reporting higher than expected sales and earnings is still well above the 5-year average level. Facebook and Alphabet (aka Google) gained this week but both are part of the Communication Services sector, while the Technology sector lagged. The White House announced that 100 million U.S. adults are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and guidelines continue to change towards a return to the pre-pandemic way of life. President Biden also released the American Families Plan, with its estimated $1.8 trillion cost to be paid in part with a higher tax bracket for the top 1% of earners, from 37% to 39.6%, and higher capital gains taxes for those earning over $1 million. The 3.8% Medicare tax would apply consistently to those making over $400,000 and other rules would change that affect estate taxes, real estate gains over a certain threshold, and carried interest. This week the initial read on first quarter GDP was +6.4%. This was a quarter-over-quarter comparison stated at an annualized rate. Next week we look forward to the monthly jobs report on Friday, which could be 5.7%. If your needs are changing or if you would like more information on the markets or your portfolio, please contact your Buckingham advisor.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


April 23, 2021

The S&P 500 set another new high this week, as positive economic news like lower jobless claims and strong PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) reads outweighed concerns about higher capital gains tax rates coming down the line. Higher taxes for those earning over $400,000 are expected to be proposed in the soon-to-be-released “American Families Plan”. This week the rotation within the market had a more defensive tilt, favoring the Healthcare sector, for example. First quarter earnings reports continue to roll in, with about a quarter of large companies having reported so far. The “beat” rate for companies reporting higher than expected sales and earnings is well above the 5-year average level. Next week we look forward to hearing from the Fed (rates should stay unchanged at very low levels) and getting the first read on Q1 GDP, which could be 6.5%. If your needs are changing or if you would like more information on the markets or your portfolio, please contact your Buckingham advisor.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures



April 16, 2021

The S&P 500 set several new record closing highs and extended its streak of positive returns for a fourth consecutive week. Strength continues as markets enter a “show me” period for economic growth and company earnings. The United States’ largest banks reported earnings this week, with most topping analyst expectations for revenue and earnings per share growth. Big bank earnings also signal the start of “earnings season” with the majority of publicly traded companies expected to release Q1 2021 earnings over the coming weeks. On the economic front, consumers are spending again with March retail sales growing 9.8%, well ahead of expectations for 5.6% growth. The employment picture continues to improve with weekly initial jobless claims at 576,000, beating expectations and marking the lowest weekly total since the beginning of the pandemic. Next week we’ll be watching more quarterly earnings reports, inflation, and employment data. If your needs are changing or if you would like more information on the markets or your portfolio, please contact your Buckingham advisor.

Brad T. Gregory
Senior Portfolio Manager & Research Analyst
Investment Operations Manager

Commentary Disclosures


April 9, 2021

The stock market momentum continued, with the S&P 500 gaining 2.6% and setting another new record high. Technology stocks did well, helping growth outperform value by over 2% this week. Still, the tech-heavy NASDAQ composite is below its all-time high set nearly 2 months ago. Other parts of the investment universe, such as metals, yields, and volatility were fairly quiet, while the price of oil declined 3%. One read on inflation increased from last month, in part due to a comparison against low energy prices from a year ago. For March, the Producer Price Index showed 4.2% annual inflation (3.1% excluding food and energy prices), up from 2.8% for February and 1.7% for January. Next week we will get several different reads on the consumer: inflation, retail sales, and sentiment. If your needs are changing or if you would like more information on the markets or your portfolio, please contact your Buckingham advisor.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


April 2, 2021

The S&P 500 crossed the 4,000 mark for the first time yesterday. The equity markets were not open today in observance of Good Friday, but today’s strong jobs report moved the futures market even higher. An estimated 916,000 jobs were added in March, bringing the national unemployment rate down to 6.0%. Other economic reads on consumer confidence and manufacturing were quite strong as well. Earlier this week, President Biden introduced at $2 trillion “American Jobs Plan” to upgrade the nation’s infrastructure, which he called a “once-in-a-generation investment in America”. Areas of focus include in-home care, affordable housing, electric vehicle incentives, repairing roads & bridges, electric grid & clean energy, and public schools, with spending focused on the next 8 years. This plan proposes increased corporate taxes over the course of 15 years. This follows the recent $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” that included $1,400 stimulus checks, while in the coming weeks the “American Family Plan” is expected to be unveiled, which will propose tax increases on wealthy individuals, possibly at an income level of over $400,000. To view our past videos, including one highlighting our MyBuckingham mobile app, please visit https://vimeo.com/channels/buckinghamvideolibrary.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


March 26, 2021

This week saw only slight changes: the S&P 500 rose, the dollar strengthened, and gold fell, but each by less than 1%. Yields fell slightly as well. The VIX, a measure of volatility, declined to the lowest level since February 2020. Under the surface, however, it felt more like a risk-off week with recent high-flyers such as SPACs, Bitcoin, small cap, and certain Media stocks seeing losses. The defensive sectors: Staples, Healthcare, Utilities, and REITs (SHUR) each outperformed the S&P 500. Weekly jobless claims improved significantly, declining from 781,000 jobless claims to 684,000 in this week’s reading. This could foreshadow a good monthly jobs report next Friday, where the unemployment rate may fall to 6%. To view our past videos, including one highlighting our MyBuckingham mobile app, please visit https://vimeo.com/channels/buckinghamvideolibrary.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


March 19, 2021

Although the S&P 500 touched a new high, the index declined slightly for the week. The Tech-heavy NASDAQ is still about 7% off its February high but this week Growth and Value had similar performance. Volatility, as measured by the VIX, hit a 1-year low. Treasury yields increased again this week, with the 5-year reaching 0.90% and the 10-year reaching 1.75%. On Wednesday the Fed reiterated that near-zero rates are here to stay, likely until 2023, despite expectations for higher inflation. The Fed seems to want to see inflation move above 2% and see unemployment fall much further before thinking about raising rates. Several economic indicators fell a little short of expectations including weekly jobless claims, February retail sales, industrial production, and housing starts. Next week we will get updates on several consumer data points. For more information on the markets or your portfolio, we encourage you to contact your Buckingham advisor.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


March 12, 2021

This week several stock indices reached new highs including the S&P 500, the small cap Russell 2000, and the Dow Jones Transportation Index. A recurring theme for several weeks, a higher 10-year Treasury yield, which touched 1.64%, again dampened performance of growth relative to value. The $1.9T stimulus bill was passed and direct deposits should start to hit bank accounts in a matter of days. Inflation reads for February increased from last month. The Consumer Price Index now shows 1.7% annual inflation (1.3% excluding food and energy prices), up from 1.4% last month. The Producer Price Index now shows 2.8% annual inflation (2.5% excluding food and energy prices), up from 1.7% last month. The next couple of readings could show even larger numbers, in part due to comparisons against low energy prices from March and April of 2020. Stock and bond market performance is now showing extreme 1-year readings as well, something that we will touch on in more detail in next week’s Market Insights newsletter. Next week the Fed will give an update, but the futures market is still not pricing in a change in the Fed Funds rate (currently an effective rate of 0.07%) in the next year. For more information on the markets or your portfolio, we encourage you to contact your Buckingham advisor.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


March 5, 2021

This week the S&P 500 traded in a 5% range but ended the week with a small gain. Momentum stocks had another rough week while small cap stocks gained more than large cap stocks. The 10-year Treasury yield again impacted markets, briefly touching 1.62% before closing around 1.55% this week. Inflation expectations are rising with the general economic recovery and due to the $1.9T stimulus bill being debated in Congress. Do you know if filing your 2020 tax return now or intentionally waiting will help you maximize your potential stimulus payout? You can contact your Buckingham advisor to discuss. The global economic recovery, along with a smaller-than-expected production increase from OPEC, sent oil nearly 4% higher this week. With real interest rates (interest rates – current inflation) increasing, gold and silver declined again this week. Today’s monthly jobs report showed another improvement with more jobs being added than expected and a slightly lower unemployment rate of 6.2%. Services and manufacturing updates earlier in the week showed expansion as well. Next week we will be watching consumer and producer inflation updates for the month of February. For more information on the markets or your portfolio, we encourage you to contact your Buckingham advisor.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


February 26, 2021

Higher Treasury yields moved markets this week. The 10-year Treasury yield went above 1.6% for the first time in nearly a year, before retreating to 1.45%. This led to a risk-off move in stocks. Volatility increased, the S&P 500 declined about 1.5% this week, and value outperformed growth. Still, the S&P gained over 3% this month and remains positive for the year. For reference, the yield on the S&P 500 is just under 1.6% and higher bond yields have pushed the average 30-year mortgage rate to over 3.1%, about 0.3% higher than it was just a few weeks ago. This has slowed mortgage applications, including refinancing activity. Gold fell nearly 3% this week, putting its price at levels not seen since June, while oil prices rose to the highest in over a year, to over $60/barrel. For the next several weeks, 1-year stock performance will be lapping the sell-off of 2020. From the March 23, 2020 closing low to now, the S&P 500 has gained over 70%, highlighting the importance of sticking with stocks for the long run and not trying to time the markets. Next week we look forward to the monthly jobs report and several other macro data points. To learn more about how we help business owners, please click here: https://mybuckingham.com/services/business-services-and-tax-preparation.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


February 19, 2021

The market experienced a slight decline this week, as higher dividend-paying stocks in real estate and utilities sectors underperformed due to the continued uptick in interest rates. Financials and energy experienced relative outperformance. Financials benefit from higher interest rates, and energy consumption increased due to frigid weather from unprecedented winter storms in areas such as Texas. Weekly jobless claims continue to remain at elevated levels (861,000). In the cryptocurrency market, Bitcoin crossed a notable milestone at over $1 trillion in market value. Next week, we look forward to data on durable goods, consumer confidence, and consumer spending. To learn more about how we help business owners, please click here: https://mybuckingham.com/services/business-services-and-tax-preparation.

Allen Thuma, CFA
Portfolio Manager & Research Analyst

Commentary Disclosures


February 12, 2021

The S&P 500 had a small gain this week, which was still heavy with quarterly earnings reports. Small cap, mid cap, and international stock indices set multi-year highs, gaining around 2%. The 10-year Treasury yield climbed to 1.20% for the first time since March. We are keeping a close eye on inflation data because higher inflation could push bond yields higher. This week’s update on consumer inflation, the Core CPI (Consumer Price Index) was still tame at 1.4%. Stock and bond markets will be closed on Monday in observance of Presidents’ Day (technically Washington’s Birthday per the NYSE). This Tuesday, February 16th, we will be hosting a webinar explaining SPACs (Special Purpose Acquisition Companies) and Bitcoin. You can register here: https://mybuckingham.com/events/the-year-of-the-spac-and-digital-currencies. If your needs are changing or if you would like more information on the markets or your portfolio, please call us at (937) 435-2742.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


February 5, 2021

The S&P 500 gained over 4% this week, fully reversing last week’s loss while notching another new high. Last week’s headliner, Gamestock, was down over 80% this week. Silver, a target of the Reddit crowd early in the week, initially climbed 11% but ended the week with nearly no gain. A measure of stock volatility, the VIX index, fell sharply this week, more than reversing last week’s move. Several prominent CEOs announced their departures this week, including Jeff Bezos from Amazon and the leaders of Merck and UnitedHealth. This could signal companies are getting closer to an “after COVID” mindset as the long-tenured CEOs feel comfortable enough to pass control to the next generation. Today the monthly jobs report was released and it showed 49,000 jobs being added, with an improvement in the unemployment rate, which now stands at 6.3%. Another economic indicator, the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), showed strength and the reading was better than expected. The PMI Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) is a survey from over 400 companies and is considered a leading indicator for private sector services. Lastly, with nearly 300 of the S&P 500 companies having recently reported quarterly results, the earnings “surprise” rate is above normal, which is helping sustain higher stock prices. To learn more about how we help business owners, please click here: https://mybuckingham.com/services/business-services-and-tax-preparation.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


January 29, 2021

Gamestonk!! No, that isn’t a typo, it references a tweet by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and it represents how this week the market and the media were consumed with the trading action in highly-shorted small cap stocks like GameStop (GME). A quick summary: thousands of individual investors drove the price of a handful of stocks into the stratosphere, as it forced short-sellers to buy the stocks (they thought would go down) at higher and higher prices, creating an upward spiral. We have not seen an impact on our individual holdings. With our eye on the long-run for your investments, we will continue to focus on quality factors such as end-market growth, innovation, profitability, debt, and valuation. In the short-run, this wild activity in a small part of the market may shake overall confidence a bit, which could lead to lower valuations/prices. It certainly will impact the possible range of outcomes for modeling short-selling and for options pricing. Reiterating our long-term focus, we would like to note that the range of historic stock market returns narrows, and skews positive, as time horizons lengthen. For example, over the past 30 years, the 1-year return of the S&P 500 has ranged from -38% to +34%, but the annualized rolling 10-year returns have ranged from -3% to +20%. The S&P 500 again hit a new high this week, but overall had a loss of around 3%, as volatility increased to the highest since before the Presidential election. To learn more about how we help business owners, please click here: https://mybuckingham.com/services/business-services-and-tax-preparation.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


January 22, 2021

In this 4-day trading week, due to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, stocks made fresh highs, gaining about 2%. Strength could be attributed to gains in large cap growth stocks such as Alphabet (Google), Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon. Large cap value and growth performance leadership has been going back and forth for several months after growth handily outperformed in 2020. Volatility fell this week while interest rates stayed fairly steady. Corporate earnings season has begun, with several banks having recently reported, but the volume of companies reporting ramps up significantly next week. This Thursday we will also get the first read on Q4 GDP, which could be 4.4%.To learn more about how we help business owners, please click here: https://mybuckingham.com/services/business-services-and-tax-preparation.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


January 15, 2021

The S&P 500 took a breather from the recent positive momentum and declined about 1% this week. Mid-cap and small-cap stocks, however, gained. On the economic front there were several reports released this week: weekly jobless claims and December retail sales disappointed, inflation remains contained though inflation expectations are increasing, and manufacturing saw strength. Federal Reserve Chairman Powell recently said that when the time comes to raise interest rates the Fed would, but that “is no time soon”. The Fed continues to buy at least $120 billion in bonds each month, which helps keep bond prices higher and interest rates lower. We had a webinar for small businesses this week and the replay can be found here: https://vimeo.com/channels/buckinghamvideolibrary. To learn more about our financial planning subscription service, please call (937) 435-2742.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


January 8, 2021

Welcome to the new year! The positive momentum in the stock market continued as the S&P 500 set new highs this week, despite political changes and unrest seen in the capital. Many investors are expecting another round of stimulus. Interest rates rose as inflation expectations increased; the 10-year Treasury yield rose to 1.1%, the first time it has been over 1% since March. Today’s monthly jobs report showed the first net loss of jobs in many months, but the unemployment rate stayed the same at 6.7%. Stocks may be susceptible to a pullback with so much positive sentiment in the market, but even a 10% sell-off from here would put the S&P 500 above the pre-COVID highs from February 2020. We had two webinars this week, one about Financial Planning and the other about Investments, and the replays can be found here: https://vimeo.com/channels/buckinghamvideolibrary. We have another webinar on January 12th: “ The Latest Relief Package: What it Offers for Small Businesses” and you can register for it here: https://mybuckingham.com/events. To learn more about our financial planning subscription service, please call (937) 435-2742.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


December 31, 2020

The S&P 500 ended the year on a high note, with a small gain this week and a total return of over 17% this year. Small cap and international stocks did well too with double-digit returns, on average. The latest government stimulus bill was finally passed and payments should be hitting bank accounts in the coming days. All eyes will be on Georgia Tuesday night for results from the special election to select the final two Senate seats, though official results may not be known for several days due to mail-in ballots. This week’s jobless claims figure was slightly better than expected but the 4-week moving average increased. This continues to make the case for a weaker monthly jobs report next Friday. We will have a trio of webinars to kick off the new year - please visit the Events tab on mybuckingham.com to sign up for any or all of the sessions that will cover topics for financial planning, investments, and small businesses. To learn more about our financial planning subscription service, please call (937) 435-2742.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


December 24, 2020

The S&P 500 was down slightly this week after a loss on Monday, which came from the news that a more contagious variant of COVID-19 was found in the U.K. This led much of Europe to close its borders to the U.K. and raised fears that this version of COVID-19 would spread more quickly around the globe. Despite what seemed like a done deal between the House and Senate, hope for a government stimulus bill continues into next week. Two consumer confidence surveys were released this week, but with mixed indications. The University of Michigan survey showed a notable decline from the month prior, led by a lower “present situation” component. The Conference Board survey barely declined, as its “current conditions” component was only slightly lower. Markets will be closed next Friday, and the monthly jobs report will be released on January 8. To learn more about our financial planning subscription service, please call (937) 435-2742.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


December 18, 2020

The S&P 500 declined about 1% this week as government stimulus talks continue to stall. Only a handful of companies (with off-cycle fiscal years) are expected to report earnings in the coming weeks. For fourth quarter results, most of which will be reported in January/February, sales and earnings are still expected to show year-over-year declines. 2021 is expected to show higher sales and earnings in each quarter compared to 2020. Inflation remains tame with core consumer inflation rising 1.6% year-over-year and core producer price inflation rising 1.4% year-over-year. Next week we look forward to the final Federal Reserve meeting of the year. Currently, the futures market is expecting the Fed Funds rate to stay near 0% through all of 2021. Lastly, we would like to highlight our recent quote in US News & World Report. To learn more about our financial planning subscription service, please call (937) 435-2742.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


December 11, 2020

The S&P 500 declined about 1% this week as government stimulus talks continue to stall. Only a handful of companies (with off-cycle fiscal years) are expected to report earnings in the coming weeks. For fourth quarter results, most of which will be reported in January/February, sales and earnings are still expected to show year-over-year declines. 2021 is expected to show higher sales and earnings in each quarter compared to 2020. Inflation remains tame with core consumer inflation rising 1.6% year-over-year and core producer price inflation rising 1.4% year-over-year. Next week we look forward to the final Federal Reserve meeting of the year. Currently, the futures market is expecting the Fed Funds rate to stay near 0% through all of 2021. Lastly, we would like to highlight our recent quote in US News & World Report. To learn more about our financial planning subscription service, please call (937) 435-2742.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


December 4, 2020

Once again the S&P 500 and other stock indices, like the small cap Russell 2000 and broad international benchmarks, made new closing highs today. The Dow closed over 30,000 on a weekly basis for the first time and a volatility index, the VIX, remains near its lowest levels since March, at just above 20. Stocks continue to focus on the promise of vaccines that could start to roll out in just a couple of weeks, though it will take many months for vaccines to become widely available. Longer-term Treasury yields continue to grind higher, with the 10-year yield just shy of 1%. In today’s monthly jobs report, the headline unemployment rate of 6.7% showed improvement, but the participation rate fell, meaning the gains were not very robust. Rising COVID-19 cases since mid-November (the reference week for the jobs survey ended 11/14) may lead to a weaker jobs report for the month of December. Next week we look forward to updates on inflation data. To learn more about our financial planning subscription service, please call (937) 435-2742.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


November 20, 2020

On Monday, the S&P 500 started off by making a new daily closing high, but the index declined slightly for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average made an intraday high and closing high on Monday, nearly touching the 30,000 mark for the first time. The small cap Russell 2000 Index also made new highs this week. The market initially rallied on news from Moderna that their COVID-19 vaccine trail was successful with 94.5% effectiveness. Later in the week Pfizer/BioNTech updated their data showing 95% effectiveness. Today, both companies applied for emergency use authorization with the FDA. Both companies expect approval of their vaccines as soon as mid-December. Next week should be fairly quiet, with the markets closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving and open only until 1pm on Friday. Our next Market Recap will be posted the following week on December 4th. We thank you for your continued trust and support, and we hope you have a great Thanksgiving. To learn more about our financial planning subscription service, please call (937) 435-2742.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


November 13, 2020

On Monday, Pfizer and partner BioNTech announced the successful results of their Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial, which showed 90% effectiveness. This is wonderful news for humanity. We hope and expect that several other successful vaccines will be announced in the coming days and months. The initial stock market reaction was very positive, sending the S&P 500 to a new intraday high. The S&P 500 went on to make a closing high on a weekly basis and is up about 12% this year. The markets and the economy are not always the same thing; we expect some difficult months ahead with rising COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations. The outlook for stocks seems to have already moved past politics and past the winter, with a focus on when we might start to enjoy a post-COVID-crisis world. Bond yields rose, with the 10-year Treasury moving as high as 0.97%, historically low but at the second-highest level seen since March. On November 17th we will have a very important webinar for business owners discussing Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness and the significant need for proper tax planning and treatment. If you or someone you know owns a business, please click on Events at the top of our website, www.mybuckingham.com, to register.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


November 6, 2020

Stocks made gains nearly every day this week and the S&P 500 climbed over 7%, more than making up last week’s loss. Today the S&P 500 made a new weekly closing high, but remains about 2% below all-time highs set on September 2nd. The Technology sector outperformed and the Healthcare sector hit new highs as the Senate is expected to remain in Republican control, which will lead to fewer regulatory changes than were expected in a “blue wave” scenario. International stocks, gold, and even bond prices gained, but the dollar weakened this week. The strong monthly jobs report for October showed a 1% improvement in the unemployment rate, which now stands at 6.9%. The Federal Reserve announced no changes to interest rates, as expected, and their press release language was nearly unchanged from mid-September. To learn more about our financial planning subscription service, please call (937) 435-2742.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


October 30, 2020

Stocks fell about 6% this week as additional fiscal stimulus was definitively put on hold and as coronavirus cases rose in the U.S. and abroad. Stock volatility rose to the highest since June, but bond yields and metals prices saw relatively small changes this week. Stock investors are concerned that additional shutdowns like the 4-week lockdown announced yesterday in France will lead to lower global economic activity. Third quarter earnings announcements are still rolling in, with about two-thirds of the S&P 500 having reported so far. While earnings are lower year-over-year, the reports are generally coming in above expectations. This week the first read on third quarter GDP was +33.1%. This was a quarter-over-quarter comparison stated at an annualized rate. Second quarter GDP, for reference, was -31.4%. Next week we expect volatility around the election, but we look forward to the monthly jobs report on Friday. To learn more about our financial planning subscription service, please call (937) 435-2742.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures


October 23, 2020

For the second week in a row, the bulk of the stock market’s movement for the week came on Monday. Unlike last week, this week the market declined as “significant disagreements” remained between Democrats and Republicans in fiscal stimulus talks. Stocks traded up or down several times this week on positive or negative headlines around these negotiations. It seems more and more likely that a fiscal stimulus bill will not be passed before the election and that these talks were just for posturing. Weekly jobless claims improved and continuing claims fell, again showing signs of a slowly improving jobs market. Next week we will get the first read on third quarter GDP, which should show a significantly positive number. This will be a quarter-over-quarter comparison stated at an annualized rate. Second quarter GDP, for reference, was -31%. To learn more about our financial planning subscription service, please call (937) 435-2742.

Ryan P. Johnson, CFA, CFP®
Director of Portfolio Management & Research

Commentary Disclosures