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December 14, 2015 - Global Growth Worries Weigh on Markets

| December 14, 2015
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Markets ended a volatile week sharply down after oil hit near-seven-year lows and a major corporate merger highlighted global growth woes. For the week, the S&P 500 fell 3.79%, the Dow dropped 3.26%, and the NASDAQ lost 4.06%.[1]

Worries about the global economy took center stage last week as oil prices skidded to multi-year lows on warning of a supply glut. U.S. crude oil futures dropped over 10% lower for the week on expectations that oil prices may suffer from declining demand, high production volume, and a warm weather forecast.[2]

Also underscoring the global weakness was the news that two of America's largest corporate behemoths - Dow Chemical [DOW.WD] and DuPont [DD] - have agreed to combine in one of the largest mergers in U.S. history.[3]

All this gloom and doom about the global economy complicates the upcoming Federal Reserve decision about raising interest rates. In August, when a surprise move by the Chinese to devalue the yuan sent shockwaves through financial markets, the Fed declined a rate hike.[4] Now, the Chinese are loosening the yuan again, raising concerns about the health of the world's second-largest economy.[5]

Will global woes derail the Fed's intent to raise rates? We'll have to see.

Official statements from the Fed have emphasized that the Fed is closely weighing the strengthening domestic economy against global concerns in their rate decisions. Currently, Wall Street odds strongly favor a December rate hike, with one firm putting the probability at 79%.[6]

In the week ahead, all eyes will be on the Fed's meeting, and investors will focus on the official announcement and Janet Yellen's press conference on Wednesday afternoon. Investors will also look carefully at manufacturing and industrial production data to see whether global woes are affecting critical domestic industries.

ECONOMIC CALENDAR:
Tuesday: Consumer Price Index, Empire State Mfg. Survey, Housing Market Index, Treasury International Capital
Wednesday: Housing Starts, Industrial Production, PMI Manufacturing Index Flash, EIA Petroleum Status Report, FOMC Meeting Announcement, FOMC Forecasts, Fed Chair Press Conference
Thursday: Jobless Claims, Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey


Notes: All index returns exclude reinvested dividends, and the 5-year and 10-year returns are annualized. Sources: Yahoo! Finance and Treasury.gov. International performance is represented by the MSCI EAFE Index. Corporate bond performance is represented by the DJCBP. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.

HEADLINES:

Retail sales rise in November. Americans boosted their spending in November, offering retailers hope for the season. Excluding gasoline, whose price has declined sharply, retail sales are up 0.3%.[7]

Consumer sentiment ticks upward in December. Consumers regained some confidence this month, which hopefully bodes well for the critical holiday shopping season.[8]

Business inventories flat in October. After a tiny increase in inventory purchases in September, businesses left their stockpiles flat in October as total business sales fell. The weakness could impact growth in the fourth quarter.[9]

Jobless claims jump to five-month high. Weekly claims rose 13,000 last week though the increase doesn't necessarily indicate worsening conditions. Claims tend to be volatile around the holidays and underlying data remains positive.[10]


These are the views of Platinum Advisor Marketing Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named representative, Broker dealer or Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named representative nor the named Broker dealer or Investment Advisor gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your financial advisor for further information.

Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.

Diversification does not guarantee profit nor is it guaranteed to protect assets.

The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. The DJIA was invented by Charles Dow back in 1896.

The Nasdaq Composite is an index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market and is considered a broad indicator of the performance of stocks of technology companies and growth companies.

The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) that serves as a benchmark of the performance in major international equity markets as represented by 21 major MSCI indexes from Europe, Australia and Southeast Asia.

The Dow Jones Corporate Bond Index is a 96-bond index designed to represent the market performance, on a total-return basis, of investment-grade bonds issued by leading U.S. companies. Bonds are equally weighted by maturity cell, industry sector, and the overall index.

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are the leading measures of U.S. residential real estate prices, tracking changes in the value of residential real estate. The index is made up of measures of real estate prices in 20 cities and weighted to produce the index.

The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.

Google Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.

Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

You cannot invest directly in an index.

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  1. http://finance.yahoo.com
    http://finance.yahoo.com
    http://finance.yahoo.com
  2. http://www.cnbc.com
  3. http://www.usatoday.com
  4. http://qz.com
  5. http://www.cnbc.com
  6. http://www.cmegroup.com
  7. http://www.foxbusiness.com
  8. http://www.foxbusiness.com
  9. http://www.foxnews.com
  10. http://www.foxbusiness.com
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