The Financial Realities of Elder Care & Long-Term Care Insurance
January proved to be a bumpy ride for investors, with stocks ultimately ending higher to begin the new year, despite concerns that the economy may be headed toward a significant slowdown or even a recession. Nevertheless, each of the benchmark indexes listed here posted solid gains in January, led by the Nasdaq as tech stocks rebounded from a rough 2022. Stocks began the month by climbing higher over the first two weeks of January. However, equities lagged mid-month, only to rebound at the end of January closing out the month on a positive note.
Several market sectors posted solid gains in January. Consumer discretionary and communication services increased by about 14.0%. Real estate, materials, and information technology gained about 9.0%. On the other hand, health care, utilities, and consumer staples lost ground.
Recent economic data indicated that inflation may have peaked. The consumer price index and the personal consumption expenditures price index for December revealed a drop in the annual rate of price increases. However, the Federal Reserve and most central banks continued to stress further tightening. It is expected the Federal Open Market Committee will hike interest rates 25 basis points following its meeting on February 1. Wall Street remained hopeful that the economy can weather more interest-rate hikes. Fourth-quarter gross domestic product increased 2.9%, a slower pace of growth than in the third quarter. For 2022, GDP increased 2.1%. Several of the world's leading economic indicators slowed in the second half of 2022, curtailing momentum leading into 2023.
Manufacturing activity decelerated, with industrial production falling over the past several months. Durable goods orders rose in December, driven largely by a jump in transportation. Excluding transportation, durable goods orders decreased 0.1%. The purchasing managers' index declined as output levels fell amid weak customer demand. High interest rates and economic uncertainty led to reduced customer spending.
Fourth-quarter corporate earnings were generally favorable, however not as strong as the same period last year. Of the roughly 100 S&P companies that have reported Q4 results, total earnings are down about 6.0% compared to a year ago and are expected by be down 7.2% overall.
Bond prices rose in January, pulling yields lower. Ten-year Treasury yields fell 32 basis points. The Treasury yield curve is currently inverted, with the yield on the one-month bond at about 4.53%, while the 10-year bond yield sits at 3.52%. An inverted yield curve is often seen as an indicator of economic weakness. The dollar slid lower against a basket of world currencies. Gold prices rose nearly $114.00 per ounce in January, advancing for the second consecutive month.
Crude oil prices declined in January for the third straight month. Prices for U.S. and global crude oil notched their largest monthly decreases since November 2022. Oil prices were volatile in January, opening the month lower, but rising on optimism of China's increased demand. However, prices slipped lower toward the end of January as overall demand appeared to wane. The retail price of regular gasoline was $3.489 per gallon on January 30, $0.398 more than December's price, and $0.121 higher than a year ago.
|MARKET/INDEX||2022 CLOSE||PRIOR MONTH||AS OF 01/31||MONTHLY CHANGE||YTD CHANGE|
|FED. FUNDS||4.25%-4.50%||4.25%-4.50%||4.25%-4.50%||0 bps||0 bps|
|10-YEAR TREASURIES||3.87%||3.87%||3.52%||-35 bps||-35 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.
Eye on the Month Ahead
Inflationary pressures showed regression in January, which could prompt the Federal Reserve to scale back interest-rate hikes beginning on the first of February, following the Committee's next meeting. As inflation waned, so did the economy. Close attention will be paid to the labor report and other inflation data, including the consumer price index and the personal consumption expenditures price index. The world economy will get a boost if China remains open to trade, despite growing COVID cases.
Data sources: Economic: Based on data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (unemployment, inflation); U.S. Department of Commerce (GDP, corporate profits, retail sales, housing); S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Index (home prices); Institute for Supply Management (manufacturing/services). Performance: Based on data reported in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/Bloomberg.com Market Data (oil spot price, WTI, Cushing, OK); http://www.goldprice.org (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates). 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. 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 largest, publicly traded 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. The U.S. Dollar Index is a geometrically weighted index of the value of the U.S. dollar relative to six foreign currencies. Market indices listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.
Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. does not provide investment, tax, legal, or retirement advice or recommendations. The information presented here is not specific to any individual’s personal circumstances.
To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.
These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable — we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.
MMBB is not registered as an investment adviser with either the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities regulator. MMBB does not receive compensation with respect to non-MMBB plan assets from any party for any advice given, referral made or transaction ultimately undertaken on account thereof. Neither MMBB, any affiliate thereof, nor MMBB's [plans] are subject to registration, regulation, or reporting under the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 or state securities laws, and, therefore, plan participants and their beneficiaries and other persons receiving investment advice from MMBB will not be afforded the protections thereof. All persons should consider carefully the risks attendant to any investment as the value of such investments, and the income, if any, derived therefrom, may increase or decrease and may result in a loss of principal invested. The past performance of any investment or financial product is not a guarantee of future performance. You should consult with your own accountant or tax adviser as to the tax ramifications of entering into, holding or exiting any investment. MMBB is not offering or soliciting any transaction in any security nor is any information or advice intended for distribution to any person in any jurisdiction where doing so would result in contravention of any applicable laws, rules or regulations.
Translations of any materials into languages other than English are intended solely as a convenience to the non-English-reading public. We have attempted to provide an accurate translation of the original material in English, but due to the nuances in translating to a foreign language, slight differences may exist.
Las traducciones de cualquier material a idiomas que no sean el inglés son para la conveniencia de aquellos que no leen inglés. Hemos intentado proporcionar una traducción precisa del material original en inglés, pero debido a las diferencias de la traducción a un idioma extranjero, pueden existir ligeras diferencias.
You will be linking to another website not owned or operated by MMBB. MMBB is not responsible for the availability or content of this website and does not represent either the linked website or you, should you enter into a transaction. The inclusion of any hyperlink does not imply any endorsement, investigation, verification or monitoring by MMBB of any information in any hyperlinked site. We encourage you to review their privacy and security policies which may differ from MMBB.
If you “Proceed”, the link will open in a new window.