Blog Post

Weekly Market Update – Southwest Michigan

While the Dow 30 industrials had substantial gains last week, the broader S&P 500 saw much more modest gains and the Nasdaq was largely unchanged.  Foreign stocks were generally lower.  Treasury yields rose.  The dollar finished slightly higher against most currencies and commodities were generally lower.

The IRS announced it is increasing the limit for contributions to 401ks by $500 in 2018.  So the maximum is now $18,500 for participants under age 50 and $24,500 for those over age 50.  IRA contribution limits did not change.

In the numbers, last week:

  • The Federal Reserve reported that U.S. Industrial Production rose 0.3% in September despite the effects of the hurricanes.  From a year earlier industrial production was up 1.6%.
  • China reported 6.8% growth in the third quarter, down from 6.9% in the second quarter.  The growth was attributed to increased industrial activity and higher commodity prices as well as increasing global demand for Chinese made goods.  Still China needs to address industrial overcapacity and excessive debt which could slow growth in the future.
  • The Labor Department reported
    • Initial claims for unemployment in the prior week fell 22,000 to a seasonally adjusted 22,000 as the U.S. recovers from the hurricanes.  This is the lowest number of people filing first time claims for unemployment in 44 years when the workforce was much smaller.
  • The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales rose 0.7% in September from August but fell 1.5% from September last year.  The weakness in existing home sales was attributed to lack of inventory.
  • The Commerce Department reported:
    • Housing starts fell 4.7% in September, largely due to hurricanes.  For the first nine months of the year starts were up 3.1% from 2016.
    • Building permits, which signal future housing starts, fell 4.5%.
  • The Energy Information Administration’s Weekly Petroleum Data report is here wpsrsummary (6).
  • The Energy Information Administration reported
    • Weekly field production of crude oil fell 1,074 thousand barrels per day in the prior week.
    • Natural gas in storage rose 51Bcf last week from the prior week.
  • Baker Hughes reported that oil drilling rigs fell 7 to 736.  Gas drilling rigs fell 8 to 177.

Please call us if you have any questions.

Best Regards,

Loren C. Rex, CFP®, AIF®, MA                                                              Erik Smith

President                                                                                                      Managing Partner

Generations Financial Planning & Wealth Management                   269-441-4143

77 E. Michigan Ave, Suite 140

Battle Creek, MI  49017

Tel:  269-441-4090

Carrie Fuce, Assistant 269-441-4091

Toll Free: 800-513-8180

Fax:  866-381-2301

Visit our Website:

Registered Representative of and securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC.  Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.  Cambridge and Generations Financial Planning & Wealth Management are separate companies and are not affiliated.

These are the opinions of Loren Rex and Erik Smith and are not necessarily those of Cambridge, are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed or acted upon as individualized investment advice.


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