Weekly Economic & Market Update 6/15/2015

Week in review

Global stocks closed mixed this past week with the US almost flat and international markets moving up. A significant undercurrent moving markets is the continuing discussion over Greek debt. Throughout most days in the last few months there have been conflicting rumors and news bites about the tone of the talks. Last week the tone was hopeful, but it continues to shift often.

On the economic data point side of things, it was a slow week. The most significant release in the US was retail sales data ex-autos. For the month of May, US retail sales ex-autos were up 1% on a month-over-month basis. While this is a positive report, the recent trajectory of retail sales, exceeding autos, has been lower. The chart below shows the year-over-year change in retail sales. These sales are important as 70% of economic activity is consumerism.

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Additionally, from the US, we had the release of the May National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) Small Business Optimism Index that came in at 98.3 versus 96.9 the month prior. Small business is the driving force of US employment and the NFIB monthly report gives a good reading on the small business environment. The NFIB optimism index had been moving sideways for the last few years, but is beginning to move up and out of being range bound.

Getting Technical with Market Charts

In this section we present charts of the S&P 500 Stock Index and the US Bond Market Index relative to their 50 day (blue line) and 200 day (red line) moving averages. In addition, we have added the blue shaded area which represents the recent trading channel. The 50 and 200 day moving averages are widely followed market trend indicators that provide a general picture of the health of the broad indexes.

Chart 1 – S&P 500

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Chart 2 – Aggregate Bond

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Disclaimer – Information contained herein is taken from sources believed to be reliable, but cannot be guaranteed as to its accuracy. Market opinions contained herein are intended as general observations and are not intended as specific investment advice. The Standard and Poors 500 Index is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. The Barclays Aggregate Bond Index represents securities that are SEC-registered, taxable, and dollar denominated. The index covers the U.S. investment-grade fixed rate bond market, with index components for government and corporate securities, mortgage pass-through securities, and asset-backed securities. Contact your investment professional to discuss suitability for your particular circumstances. This article does not constitute an offer of sales of any securities. Securities trading is speculative and involves the potential loss of investment. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. Lighthouse Financial Advisors, Inc., dba Lighthouse Wealth Management, is registered as an investment advisor with the SEC and only transacts business in states where it is properly registered, excluded or exempted from registration requirements. SEC registration does not constitute an endorsement of the firm by the Commission nor does it indicate that the advisor has attained a particular level of skill or ability.