Holbrook Insights

Weekly Market Update - April 20, 2020

On Thursday, the U.S. initial jobless claims for the week ending April 18 will be released. Economists expect to see sales decline by 7.3 percent during the month, due to the headwinds created by efforts to contain the coronavirus. Thursday will also see the release of April’s IHS Markit Flash U.S. Composite Purchasing Managers' Index reports.  Manufacturing confidence is anticipated to fall from 48.5 in March to 36 in April, while service sector confidence is set to drop from 39.8 to 31.3. New home sales are expected to fall by 15 percent during the month, following a 4.4 percent decline in February. On Friday, March’s preliminary durable goods orders report will be released.  Finally, we’ll finish the week with Friday’s release of the second and final reading of the University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey for April.

Weekly Market Update - April 13, 2020

Tomorrow, the retail sales report for March will be released. Sales are projected to fall by an eye-catching 6 percent during the month, following a 0.5 percent decline in February. Wednesday will also see the release of March’s industrial production report. Predictions are for a 4.1 percent drop in production during the month, following a better-than-expected 0.6 percent gain in February. The third major data release on Thursday will be April’s National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index. This measure of homebuilder sentiment is set to show a steep fall from 72 in March to 59 in April. Speaking of construction, on Thursday, March’s housing starts and building permits reports will be released. Both are expected to show significant declines for the month, with starts and permits slated to fall by 17.5 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively. 

Weekly Market Update - April 6, 2020

Global indices sold off last week, as President Trump extended social distancing guidelines through April 30 due to the continued spread of COVID-19. Small-caps in particular were hit the hardest, as shelter-in-place orders and stay-at-home advisories continued to hamper business. On Friday, Bank of America reported that 85,000 customers applied for $22.2 billion in small business loans in the first day of the small business relief program. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index both held up relatively well, with Chinese manufacturing ramping back up.​

Scam Alert! Protecting Yourself and Your Finances

The number of stories about fraudsters taking advantage of unsuspecting victims seems to grow by the day. Of course, it’s easy to think, “This will never happen to me!” But to keep your money and personal information safe, it’s vital to stay abreast of the latest scams.

3 Reasons to Stay Invested in Volatile Times

Selling your investments when markets appear to be in crisis mode may feel like the right thing to do. However, decades’ worth of market data show that staying invested through volatile times has been a smart route to take to pursue long-term financial goals. For Millennial investors who may not have experienced the sharp market declines of the Financial Crisis of 2008–2009, today’s extremes may be even more unsettling. But if you’re investing for goals 5, 10 or 30 years away, here are three reasons why you should avoid emotion-based investment decisions.

Q&A: Understanding the New CARES Act

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act) into law. The CARES Act has been enacted as a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic and is intended to provide immediate and ongoing economic relief to individuals and businesses affected by the crisis.

The following Q&A covers key questions you may have about the legislation.

April 2020 Market Update

Brad McMillan, Commonwealth’s CIO, recaps the market and economic news for March. It was a terrible month for the financial markets, with the coronavirus driving the volatility. In the U.S., markets were down by double digits. Further, the economic damage began to emerge, with three million jobs lost in a week. In response, the government quickly stepped in with a $2 trillion stimulus package. The markets took comfort in these measures, showing a slight bounce at month-end. What should we expect in April? Stay tuned to find out. 

Tips for Stress Management

During a public crisis, such as the health pandemic we’re currently experiencing, heightened feelings of stress and anxiety are normal. But, if left unchecked, stress and anxiety can lead to many health problems. That’s why, in times like these, we need to place a priority on reducing stress. Fortunately, there are small things we can do every day that can relieve anxiety and bring us greater peace of mind.

To help you cope with the current challenges and uncertainties, I’d like to share some tips for managing stress. By focusing on a few small changes, you could be helping yourself stay healthy—in mind and body.

Are We on Our Way to Solving the Coronavirus Problem?

It goes without saying that the coronavirus pandemic is a serious problem, on many levels. But is it a solvable one? One way to find some answers is to look at the actual data. Let’s start with what we know.