Stocks Up, Signals Mixed

WEEKLY UPDATE – May 29, 2018

Geopolitical uncertainty affected stocks last week, as the historic summit between the U.S. and North Korea began to look less likely. On Thursday, May 24, President Trump announced that the summit was off, and stocks stumbled in reaction. The next day, Trump said the meeting might still occur next month, leaving investors questioning the eventual outcome.[1]

Also on the geopolitical front, an announcement that Saudi Arabia and Russia would consider easing back oil supply restrictions affected stocks. U.S. crude oil prices dropped in response, pulling energy stocks down with them.[2]

Despite these developments, major domestic indexes increased last week. The S&P 500 gained 0.31%, the Dow added 0.15%, and the NASDAQ grew by 1.08%. [3] International stocks dropped, with the MSCI EAFE decreasing by 1.60%. [4]

What kept U.S. stocks in positive territory for the week?

Solid corporate earnings helped drive upward movement.

A number of companies experienced double-digit stock growth last week after releasing their latest data. This strong performance helped balance the declines and uncertainty that the week’s geopolitical headlines created. [5]

What other economic perspectives did we receive?

From durable goods to home sales, various data came out last week: [6]

  • The factory sector could drive economic growth, as steel and aluminum tariffs are contributing to rising value of orders and inventories for metals.
  • Business confidence and 2nd-quarter investment could increase, as strong core durable goods orders may indicate good news for companies.
  • Housing is underperforming, as growth in home sales volume and prices have softened recently.

Overall, last week provided a mix of insight about the current economic strength and geopolitical environment. In this week’s 4 trading days, we’ll gain more perspectives on consumer confidence, Gross Domestic Product, manufacturing, and employment. We will use this data to continue building our understanding of what may lie ahead in the markets – and how to prepare our clients for the future. If you have any questions, we are here to talk.

Monday: U.S. Markets Closed for Memorial Day
Tuesday: Consumer Confidence
Wednesday: GDP, ADP Employment Report
Thursday: Jobless Claims
Friday: Employment Situation, PMI Manufacturing Index, ISM Mfg Index, Construction Spending
Notes: All index returns (except S&P 500) exclude reinvested dividends, and the 5-year and 10-year returns are annualized. The total returns for the S&P 500 assume reinvestment of dividends on the last day of the month. This may account for differences between the index returns published on and the index returns published elsewhere. International performance is represented by the MSCI EAFE Index. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.
Quote Of The Week
“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.”
– David Brinkley
Recipe Of The Week
Philly Cheesesteak
Yields 4
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 1 small green pepper
  • 1½ pounds sirloin steak
  • 4 ounces sliced American or provolone cheese
  • 4 hoagie or hero rolls


  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Put in onions, add ¼ tablespoon each of salt and black pepper. Cover and cook for 8 minutes while stirring occasionally.
  2. Add sliced peppers. Cook, uncovered, until golden brown and tender, stirring occasionally, 6-8 minutes. Put vegetables in a bowl.
  3. Wipe out the skillet. Heat the rest of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Put steak in skillet.
  4. Use a ½ teaspoon each of salt and black pepper to season steak. Toss occasionally in the skillet until it is brown and cooked through, 3-4 minutes.
  5. Put the cheese on the steak. Cover and cook until the cheese melts, 2 minutes. Take the skillet off the heat and carefully mix cheese into the steak.
  6. Make sandwiches with the hoagie rolls, the steak mixture, and the onions and peppers.

Recipe adapted from Good Housekeeping [7]

Golf Tip

How to Begin Your Golf Swing

Everyone knows you have to start at the tee to play a round of golf. It’s where the game begins. It’s the same with your swing. Players don’t just grab a club, step up, and whack the ball, hoping it lands in a nice place.

The golf swing takes some planning and some focus.

Here is a good exercise to get you thinking about one of the most important aspects of golf:

Take a club, lay it on the ground, and point it in the direction of your swing.

This part of the exercise helps you align your swing with your target. Since you won’t actually be hitting a ball in this part of the exercise, you may choose whatever target you’d like.

Put your feet in line with your club. Place your feet shoulder-width apart. After grabbing another club with both hands, extend your arms fully and stand up straight.
Bend your knees to lower the club as if you were preparing to address the ball.
Here’s where it gets tricky. Don’t move for a few moments. Listen to your breathing and your heartbeat.
Are you breathing too quickly? Is your heart racing? Now inhale deeply; close your eyes. Why monitor your breathing? Slow, steady breathing helps you maintain your tempo.
Open your eyes. Focus on the spot you were expecting to address the ball. This is the point where you can start thinking about your swing – the quiet, confident moment.
Professionals understand – almost intuitively – when the time comes to hit the ball. Amateurs, on the other hand, spend too much time staring at the ball and overanalyzing the swing.
When the time comes, hit the ball. Don’t second-guess yourself.
Tip adapted from Golfweek[9]
Green Living
The Secrets to a Green Picnic
Looking to have a green picnic – under a bright, blue sky, against the backdrop of a lush, green landscape?
How do you make that outdoor meal more environmentally sensitive? Here are 8 steps for making your picnic fit perfectly into Mother Nature:
  1. Pack lots of local, in-season fruits, vegetables, and organic meats.
  2. Make your canvas grocery tote into a picnic basket.
  3. Find a picnic site accessible by biking, walking, or public transportation.
  4. Toss the bottles or cans and go with a cooler or a keg. Take along cups, reusable tins, or canisters.
  5. Take along washable cloth napkins or tablecloths. Old bed sheets work well.
  6. Use sunscreen and insect repellents made with fewer chemicals.
  7. Turn your picnic plans green. Take along nature and wildlife field guides and some binoculars.
  8. Take your waste with you. Park animals may be attracted to leftover food in trashcans.

Tip adapted from EarthShare[11]

Zack Alkhamis CRPC, CFS
Matthew Jarrell, CFS, AIF
Timothy A. McAfee, CPA, CFP, PPC, MST
The Retirement Wealth Management Group 
7900 Kirkland Court 
Portage, MI 49024 
Copyright © 2018. All Rights Reserved. 
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.
International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors.

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 indices from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia.
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.
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.
Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.
Fixed income investments are subject to various risks including changes in interest rates, credit quality, inflation risk, market valuations, prepayments, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.
These are the views of Platinum Advisor 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.
By clicking on these links, you will leave our server, as the links are located on another server. We have not independently verified the information available through this link. The link is provided to you as a matter of interest. Please click on the links below to leave and proceed to the selected site.