Amidst the backdrop of continued political controversies, an IRS glitch, and positive momentum with North Korea, three classy women stood out last week. Barbara Bush, wife to one president and mother of another, passed away at the age of 92. Tammie Jo Shults was piloting the Southwest Airlines plane that was forced to make an emergency landing after an engine failed and shrapnel punctured the plane. One of the Navy’s first female fighter pilots earlier in her career, she was praised for her calm and swift actions during the crisis. The nation also remembered a passenger who sadly lost her life on that flight, Jennifer Riordan – banker, community leader, and mother of two.
U.S. stocks started off the week strong with fresh earnings reports, but faltered on Thursday and Friday to net a small gain. Small cap stocks fared better, up 1% for the week and 3.3% year-to-date. Both U.S. and developed international stocks benefited from easing geopolitical and trade tensions. Bond funds, however, had a tough week as oil prices continued to rise – in part due to temporary supply bottlenecks. The bellwether Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index was down almost a percent as inflation concerns, led by increasing oil prices, caused rates to rise. The 10-Year Treasury is now nearing the 3% level that it has yet to break.