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The Markets

Volatility Continued to rule the domestic equities markets.  After losing ground in January, the major indices had a strong February.  March saw early losses, then solid gains, with the Dow industrials, S&P 500, and Russell 2000 all hitting closing highs, and the Nasdaq closing above 5000 for the first time in 15 years, just shy of its all-time high.  But these gains were tempered by a late-month downturn, with all the major indices losing ground in five of the last seven trading days as investors, jittery about corporate earnings, took profits.  The small caps of the Russell 2000, which are seen as having less international exposure, saw March's only gains, and also led all indices for the quarter, up almost 4% with the Nasdaq right behind at 3.5%.  The S&P and Global Dow trailed, up .4% and .7% respectively, while the Dow industrials slipped into negative territory for the year.

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1st Quarter Market Review

Our Muncie office will be hosting its 3rd Annual ITC Hoops Open House from noon until 5 p.m. Friday, March 20th with basketball on two TVs, networking and great food.

James Whitford, Head Coach of Ball State University’s Men's Basketball team will join us for the Open House at 1:00 p.m. Coach Whitford will spend a few minutes talking about what lies ahead for Ball State basketball.

We look forward to having you with us this Friday!

Click on the Link below for more information

ITC Hoops

 

The Markets

After a disappointing January, equities rebounded in fine style in February.  The S&P 500 and Russell 2000 hit new all-time highs, and the S&P had its strongest month since October 2011.  The Nasdaq continued to be the strongest year-to-date performer, while a temporary bailout extension for Greece helped benefit the Global Dow.

Oil prices stabilized around $50 a barrell, which helped boost consumers' spending power.  The U.S. dollar gained strength, though not as much as it did in January, while gold fell below $1,200 per ounce before rebounding to roughly $1,212.  And as investors regained confidence in equities, the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield rose as prices fell.

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Market Month: February 2015

Ever since a legal secretary named Ida May Fuller received the first retirement benefit check in 1940, women have been counting on Social Security to provide much-needed retirement income.  Social Security provides other important benefits too, including disability and survivor's benefits, that can help women of all ages and their family members.

1.  How does Social Security protect you and your family?

When you work and pay Social Security taxes, you're paying for three types of benefits:  retirement, disability, and survivor's benefits.

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Women & Social Security

The Markets

(Un) Happy New Year:  Fresh uncertainties in Europe, slowing economic growth, anticipation of a looming Federal Reserve rate hike, and a stronger dollar all contributed to a volatile month for equities.  The losses weren't good news for believers in the January Effect (the idea that equities' behavior in January suggests what might happen during the rest of the year).  However, it might also be useful to remember that the S&P 500 lost 3.6% last January but ended 2014 up 11.4%.

Oil prices fell below $50 a barrell, but that seemed to be a mixed blessing.  Lower gas prices boosted consumers' spending power, but the sharp declines also raised questions about whether prices would fall so far that energy companies would cut back on jobs and/or ongoing operations.  And as investors sought out the safety of U.S. Treasuries, the benchmark 10-year yield lost roughly half a percent in January as prices rose.

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Market Month: January 2015