Is 50 Too Old To Start Investing?

Market Volatility is set at Neutral. The CBOE VIX reading of 17.33 is a neutral reading. Stock Price Strength is signaling Fear. The number of stocks hitting 52-week highs compared to those hitting 52-week lows is at the upper end of its range.

Put and Call Options are signaling Fear. In the last five trading days, put option volume has lagged call option volume by 52.54%. This is among the highest level of put buying in the past two years. Stock Price Breadth is indicating Extreme Fear, as advancing volume is 4.97% more than declining volume on the NYSE. This is at the lower end of its range over the past two years.

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Source: CNN Business

Economic News

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased to 109.7 (1985=100) in March, up significantly over February’s 90.4 reading. The reading marked the third consecutive monthly increase, and it is now at its highest level since March 2020. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months rose to 40.8%, while those expecting business conditions to worsen declined to 11.0%.

The survey showed consumer optimism about the labor market, with more saying jobs were “plentiful” rather than “hard to get,” with 36.1% expecting greater job availability in the next six months and 13.4% anticipating fewer jobs.

The Energy Information Administration report for the week of March 26 showed that U.S. crude inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) decreased by .9 million barrels to 501.8 million barrels. Crude oil inventories are running at a level 6% higher than the five-year average for this time of year. Refineries were operating at 83.9% of their operable capacity. Gasoline inventories dropped by 1.7 million barrels and are about 4% below the five-year average for this time of year.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that employers added some 916,000 nonfarm jobs in March, as the unemployment rate slipped to 6.0% from 6.2% in February. This is the best jobs report in seven months, showing optimism as the U.S. starts to climb out of the pandemic.

Job growth was widespread, led by gains in leisure and hospitality (+280,000), public and private education (+190,000), construction (+110,000), professional and business services (+66,000), and manufacturing (+53,000). In addition, February’s already strong employment figures were revised (+89,000) to a 468,000 gain, and January was revised (+67,000) to 233,000. The US economy is tracking at 8.4 million fewer jobs now than it did pre-pandemic.

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