The S&P 500 spent last week consolidating gains within its expected resistance zone of 2600-2650. Last Friday saw more than 70% of components reach a new 20-day high. Readings above 50% have historically been consistent with higher future returns. Another positive, the Russell 2000 has outperformed the S&P 500 by almost 4% since late-December, suggesting investors' buying hasn't been limited to safer, large-cap names. (LPL)
Initial jobless claims fell to 199K in the week ending January 18, the lowest print since 1969. (DOL)
LEI points to low recession odds. The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index (LEI), which is based on a composite of 10 economic indicators, grew 4.3% year over year in December. While LEI growth has tapered off recently, the index has risen year over year for 109 straight months, a sign to us that recessionary odds are low. Since 1970, the LEI has turned negative before every economic recession.
America's favorite Valentine's Day candy won't be available this year. Sweethearts, the conversation heart candy, is missing from shelves this Valentine's season after its original producer went out of business last year. (CNBC)
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.