Happy Valentines Day!

Valentine’s Day is special.  Whether its love for your spouse, your family, or friends, please take a moment to appreciate your relationships by letting them know you love them.

Michelle and I had the opportunity to attend the annual Samaritan Life Care Gala Celebration this Saturday evening.  Over 400 donors were in attendance.  For me, I can’t think of a more worthy Philanthropic cause.  Samaritan took amazing care of my mom, and literally as I’m typing on Sunday morning, they are visiting my best friend, who today is starting in-home hospice care.

On Valentine’s Day, make the special people in your life smile.  You’ll then be smiling for many more days ahead.

Market Melting Higher

Stocks climbed higher last week, ignoring Fed Chair Powell’s stance, he will not be cutting rates next month.  Investors entered 2024 fixated that Powell would cut rates 6 times. 

So why is the market moving higher?  As of now, its profits.  Corporate profits are the major input that determines the price of a company.  Approximately 2/3rds of the S&P 500 companies have reported fourth quarter profits with an average increase of 2.8%.  This is on top of the unexpected profit growth from the 3rd quarter of last year.  Let’s hope profit growth continues in the same direction!

Last week, the S&P 500 broke 5000 for the first time. 

For the week the Dow moved higher .13%, the S&P 500 1.35%, the Nasdaq 2.4% and the Russell 2000 2.38%. 

Foreign stocks rose .23% and emerging markets 2.51%.

The Bloomberg Aggregate Bond Index lost ground, (.73%) as the yield on the 10-year US Treasury ended the week @ 4.177%.

Year-to-date, the S&P 500 is up over 5%, however the equal weight S&P 500 is up only .72%.  So far this year, its technology continuing to drive the markets higher.

Small Cap stocks after outperforming in the 4th quarter of 2023, are flattish so far, down (.84%).

The Week Ahead

Inflation data will be front and center as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is released on Tuesday, followed by retail sales on Thursday. On Friday we’ll hear results for the Producer Price Index (PPI), building permits and housing starts. 

Please feel free to share our weekly retirement blog with family, friends, and colleagues.

Have an enjoyable week!!

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