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 December 24, 2021
US markets continued to rally despite a worsening data set for COVID based on the Omicron variant and a potential step back in the spending agenda out of Washington. The S&P 500 was up 1.25% last week and is now up 27.59% year to date. Small cap stocks (Russell 2000) outperformed during the week and were up 4.15%. International stocks were less positive, with the developed markets (MSCI EAFE) up 0.64% while the emerging markets (MSCI EM) was down 0.30% for the week. (1)
US Aggregate bond performance was down 0.22% last week as US treasury rates rose. The 2-year US Treasury rate increased by 5 basis points to end at 0.71% while the 10-year US Treasury rose 9 basis points to end the week at 1.50%. (1)
Oil prices were up slightly, with WTI crude ending the week at $73.79 per barrel. Gold prices continued their rally off the early December bottom, with prices ending at $1,811.70 per ounce. (2)
Consumer confidence numbers increased in December and November was revised upward. Expectations regarding short term growth improved as well, despite COVID data that is causing some businesses to scale back plans due to labor shortages. (3)
Proprietary portfolio happenings:
Company News (4)
Paychex (PAYX), a G50 holding, reported earnings that beat expectations. Revenue growth was up 13% year over year while earnings growth was up 21%. The stock was up 8.35% for the week. (5)
Did You Know? Millions of couples—and total strangers—use the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve as an excuse to swap kisses. How this trend got started is a mystery, although we do know that kisses were part of the Roman Festival of Saturnalia (held in December), and midnight kisses were traditionally thought to bring good luck in England and Germany.
(4) Stock prices from Seeking Alpha.com