AJA Weekly Recap

2024 | January 16

John,

Here is your weekly market commentary. We hope you enjoy receiving our newsletters. If you have any questions about the following content, please let us know!

- The AJA Team

This Week….

  • The Markets
  • Inclement Weather & Office Hours
  • Rising Prices

The Weekly Focus


Think About It

“How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live ’em. How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give ’em.”

 

— Shel Silverstein, A Light in The Attic



The Markets

Stocks Rebound


The major U.S. stock indexes posted gains, rebounding from declines the previous week that snapped a year-end 2023 streak of nine positive weeks in a row. At Friday's close, the S&P 500 was within 0.3% of the record closing high that the index set on January 3, 2022.


Two monthly price reports extended the recent trend of uneven progress to curb inflationary pressures. The Consumer Price Index posted a month-to-month rise of 0.3% in December—slightly above most economists’ expectations and the third monthly increase in a row. However, the Producer Price Index—which tracks prices that factories charge wholesalers—slipped 0.1%.


U.S. banks kicked off earnings season, with three of the biggest institutions reporting that fourth-quarter net income fell relative to the same quarter a year earlier. After Friday’s initial reports, analysts were forecasting that earnings for companies in the S&P 500 will slip by an average of 0.1%, according to FactSet. Such an outcome would mark the fourth quarter out of the past five with a negative earnings growth rate.   


Mixed reports on inflation trends and shifting market views of the interest-rate outlook fueled a bumpy week in the bond market. After closing the previous week at 4.04%, the yield of the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond rose as high as 4.07% on Thursday before pulling back to 3.96% at Friday's close.


A Japanese stock index surged more than 6% for its biggest weekly gain since March 2020. The surge left the index at its highest level since February 1990, when an asset price bubble in Japan began to pop, leading to a long slump for Japan’s economy and the nation’s stock market.  


The price of Bitcoin, the most widely traded cryptocurrency, faded on Friday after jumping to the highest intraday level since March 2022. Bitcoin briefly eclipsed $48,000 on Thursday, up from a recent low of around $25,000 in September 2023. On Friday, the cryptocurrency was trading below $44,000. 


Heightened geopolitical tensions in the Middle East fueled a modest rally in oil prices on Friday. U.S. crude was trading around $73 per barrel—up from a recent low of around $68 on December 12 but far shy of its mid-October level of around $87.


A report scheduled to be released on Wednesday will provide an update on U.S. retail sales activity during the holiday shopping season. The data on December sales follows a November report that recorded an unexpectedly strong 0.3% sales increase compared with the previous month’s 0.2% decline.

 

Source: John Hancock Investment Management

Inclement Weather & Office Hours

Yesterday, Nashville received close to 8” of snowfall. Our office will be closed today (January 16th), and we will be reassessing on a day-by-day based on how the roads are looking. If you need to come by the office, please call ahead of time (615-709-8709) to ensure the office is open. Since we are at the end of a cul-de-sac, it is often one of the last roads in Berry Hill to be salted. In the meantime, we are fully operational and are accessible by phone and Zoom. Be safe and stay warm!

What Do You Know About Rising Prices?

When it comes to inflation, the United States is doing better than many countries around the world. In the U.S., prices were up 3.4% in 2023. In Argentina, prices rose 25.5% in December and were up 211% for the full year. See what you know about global inflation by taking this brief quiz.


1. Since the 1950s, the highest U.S. inflation rate was 14.6%. In what year did inflation rise that high?

a.1951

b.1974

c.1980

d. 2022


2. Hyperinflation occurs when prices rise so fast that the cost of a cup of coffee could double from one morning to the next. Hyperinflation tends to result from wars and poor central bank policy decisions. Which of these places experienced a monthly inflation rate of 79,600,000,000% (causing prices to double about every 25 hours)?

a. Zimbabwe

b. Yugoslavia

c. Germany

d. Greece


3. Companies sometimes try to hide rising costs by holding prices steady while making packages or serving sizes smaller. Consumers pay the same price and receive less for their money. What is this practice called?

a. Miniaturization

b. Shrinkflation

c. Downsizing

d. Camouflage sales


4. In the United States, the price of eggs more than doubled from 2022 to 2023. Which of the following caused the eggs to become more expensive?

a. Omelets were in high demand.

b. 8.1 million people became vegetarians.

c. An outbreak of the bird flu killed 5 million egg-laying hens.

d. Videos of parents cracking eggs on their children’s heads became popular on social media.


Answers: 1) c; 2) a; 3) b; 4) c

AJ Advisors
www.ajadvice.com

Phone: (615) 709-8709

Fax: (615) 505-3306

eMoney

Charles Schwab

Advyzon

John Stauffer, CFP®
Partner

Andrew Quinn, CFP®
Partner

Emily Triano

Operations Manager


emily@ajadvice.com

Maya Laws

Operations Associate


maya@ajadvice.com

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product made reference to directly or indirectly in this newsletter (article) (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by AJ Advisors), will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), or be suitable for your portfolio. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this newsletter (article) serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from AJ Advisors Please remember to contact AJ Advisors, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you want to impose, add, to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services, or if you wish to direct that AJ Advisors to effect any specific transactions for your account. A copy of our current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees continues to remain available for your review upon request.