Growth Report – Monday, March 5, 2018

The Conference Board’s monthly consumer confidence index soared to 130.8 in February – the highest reading seen since November 2000. In January, the gauge was at 124.3. (In the middle of the Great Recession, the index hovered near 25.)1

Further fundamental economic data released last week looked strong. Personal incomes improved 0.4% in January, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis; that matched the December increase. Personal spending advanced 0.2% last month. The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing purchasing manager index reached 60.8 in February, up 1.7 points from its impressive January level. Lastly, the BEA made its third, concluding estimate of Q4 GDP last week: 2.5%.2

This decline occurred even as new home inventory reached a 9-year high. With mortgage rates reaching 4.4% and the median new home price up 2.5% in a month to $323,000, prospective buyers were deterred. The Census Bureau says the rate of new home purchases was down 1.0% year-over-year through January.3

All three of Wall Street’s big benchmarks fell as February gave way to March. Losing 1.08% for the week, the Nasdaq Composite settled at 7,257.87 Friday. The S&P 500 retreated 2.04% in five days, ending the week at 2,691.25. Hit hardest, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 3.05% across the week to 24,538.06.4

THIS WEEK: ISM releases its latest service sector PMI on Monday. Tuesday, earnings announcements arrive from Autodesk, H&R Block, Ross Stores, Target, and Urban Outfitters. Wednesday, the Street reviews earnings from Abercrombie & Fitch, Caesars Entertainment, Casey’s General Stores, Costco, Dollar Tree, Thor Industries, and Vivint Solar; in addition, the Federal Reserve offers a new Beige Book, and ADP provides its February payrolls snapshot. A new Challenger job-cut report comes out Thursday, along with the latest initial jobless claims figures and earnings results from Dell Technologies, Hovnanian, Global Partners, Kroger, Navistar, Stage Stores, and Verifone. Friday, investors will consider the Department of Labor’s February jobs report and Q4 results from Revlon.

DJIA -0.73 +16.83 +14.83 +10.02
NASDAQ +5.13 +23.83 +25.79 +22.13
S&P 500 +0.66 +12.99 +15.45 +10.21
10 YR TIPS 0.74% 0.48% -0.67% 1.08%

Sources:,, – 3/2/184,5,6,7
Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation.


“Prejudice is the child of ignorance.”

– William Hazlitt


If you are on the verge of retiring, you may want to defer some income until you do retire (and presumably find yourself in a lower tax bracket). That choice could lead to tax savings.


It can hold back cattle, pets, and even people, but never with an order or a command. What is it?

Last week’s riddle:
You can crack it, share it, tell it, make it, play it. What is it, can you name it?

Last week’s answer:
A joke.

1 – [2/27/18]
2 – [3/2/18]
3 – [2/26/18]
4 – [3/2/18]
5 – [3/2/18]
5 – [3/2/18]
5 – [3/2/18]
5 – [3/2/18]
5 – [3/2/18]
5 – [3/2/18]
5 – [3/2/18]
5 – [3/2/18]
5 – [3/2/18]
6 – [3/2/18]
7 – [3/2/18]

This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. Market indices discussed are unmanaged. Investors cannot invest in unmanaged indices. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., for Mark Lund, Mark is known as a Wealth Advisor, The 401k Advisor, Investor Coach, The Financial Advisor, The Financial Planner and author of The Effective Investor. Mark offers investment advisory services through Stonecreek Wealth Advisors, Inc. a fiduciary, independent, fee-only, Registered Investment Advisor firm providing investment and retirement planning for individuals and 401k consulting for small businesses. Cities served but not limited to are: Park City, Salt Lake City, Murray City, West Jordan City, Sandy City, Draper City, South Jordan City, Provo City, Orem City, Lehi City, Highland City, Alpine City, and American Fork City in Utah.

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About the Author ()

Mark K. Lund is the firm's founder, CEO and author of The Effective Investor, a #1 Best Seller. He has written articles for or been quoted in: The Wall Street Journal, The Salt Lake Tribune, The Enterprise Newspaper, The Utah Business Connect Magazine, US News & World Report, and, just to name a few.  Mark publishes two newsletters called, “The Mark Lund Growth Report” and “Mark Lund on Money.”  Mark provides CPE (continuing professional education) courses for CPAs.  You may also have seen him on KUTV Channel 2, or as a guest speaker at a local association or business. Mark provides investment and retirement planning services for individuals and 401(k) consulting for small businesses. In his book, The Effective Investor, Mark exposes the false narrative magazines, media, big Wall Street firms, and most advisors want you to believe. The good news is that Mark will show you that you don’t need their speculative ways of investing in order to be successful. Get a free copy when you schedule your initial consultation.

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