Hello and welcome to this week’s Jones Financial Blog! Our goal at Jones & Associates is to help keep you up to date with interesting current economic/market happenings as well as some proprietary portfolio happenings. Knowledge is power and thought we would share some of ours with you. Enjoy!
All data is for the week ended April 23, 2021.
Equities were mixed last week after dipping midweek once President Biden proposed a higher individual tax on investments for households above $1 million in annual income. It was the tax rate that was exactly as shown in his campaign literature plus an additional amount for the Affordable Care Act taxes. The S&P 500 edged down 0.11%, the Russell 2000 added 0.41% while the NASDAQ was down 0.25%. International developed markets (MSCI EAFE) declined 0.38% as the emerging markets index (MSCI EM) added 0.35%. In the U.S., real estate and health care were the best performing sectors while energy and consumer discretionary were the laggards. (1)
The bond markets were quiet last week in anticipation of a Federal Reserve meeting this week in which the central bank may hint about when it could reduce its bond purchase activities, allowing interest rates to rise. The yield on the 10-year treasury was nearly unchanged for the week at 1.58%. (2)
The price of West Texas crude oil declined 1.7% last week to $62.14 per barrel. (3) Concerns for near term demand due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in India and Japan in particular pressured oil prices downward. (4)
Existing single-family home sales fell by 4.3% in March on a month-over-month basis due to a 28% drop in homes available for sale over the course of the last year. The median single-family home price increased 18.4%, the highest rate of growth on record. The West was the region with the largest decline in existing home sales; the median price there was $493,300 (up 17% year-over-year). (5)
New home sales rebounded in March by 20.7% month-over-month and 67% above sales in March 2020 to reach the highest in 14 years. Here also there is a shortage of inventory, but the median sales price was up only 0.8% from a year ago. Three of the four U.S. regions saw an increase in sales. (6)
Proprietary portfolio happenings:
Company News (7)
AT&T Inc. (T), a G50 and Core Select holding, beat on revenues and earnings due to strength in new subscribers for both their wireless and HBO streaming divisions. Shares rose 4.8% for the week. (8)
IQVIA Holdings Inc. (IQV), a G33, Contrarian Choice and Core Select holding, reported revenues and earnings that far exceeded expectations. Also, the research and development backlog for this life science service company rose 31% for the next twelve months and management raised financial guidance. Shares rose 7.7% for the week. (9)
Johnson & Johnson, a G50 holding, reported revenue and earnings that beat expectations and late Friday received approval from the CDC to resume its COVID vaccinations in the U.S. after the recent ten day pause (also recently approved in the European Union). (10,11) Management also announced a 5% dividend hike, marking the 59th consecutive year of dividend increases. (12) Shares rose 2.0% for the week.
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(2) US Treasury
(7) All weekly changes in company stock prices: Yahoo Finance