The Week on Wall Street
Stocks treaded water last week amid fading prospects for a stimulus bill, fears of a second wave of COVID-19 cases, and increasing political and regulatory pressures on Big Tech companies.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added just 0.07% while the Standard & Poor’s 500 eked out a gain of 0.19%. The Nasdaq Composite index picked up 0.79% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slid 2.08%.
The stock market began the week by posting strong gains on hopes of a fiscal stimulus bill. Also, investors were optimistic that earnings season would reflect an improving picture of corporate performance.
But stocks stumbled midweek on a mixed bag of early earnings results, and an increase in COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and Europe. Disappointing news on some key COVID-19 treatment trials also weighed on the market, as did a jump in new jobless claims and a continued stalemate on a fiscal stimulus package.
Stocks attempted to rally on Friday, emboldened by strong retail sales, but lost momentum as trading came to a close.
Earnings Season Kicks Off
Earnings season began on an upbeat note as major banks mostly beat on revenue and profit expectations. Banks attributed the strength to rising consumer deposits, a drop in the amount of money set aside for failing loans, and strong results from their investment banking and trading units.
Airlines fared less well. Investors were disappointed with the quarterly reports even though the average daily cash burn at these companies generally improved. Airline management uniformly accompanied their earnings announcements with warnings of continued near-term weakness due to COVID-19.
THIS WEEK: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Tuesday: Housing Starts.
Thursday: Jobless Claims. Existing Home Sales. Index of Leading Economic Indicators.
THIS WEEK: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Monday: Halliburton (HAL), PPG Industries (PPG), International Business Machines (IBM)
Tuesday: Netflix (NFLX), Lockheed Martin (LMT), Procter & Gamble (PG), Snap (SNAP), Texas Instruments (TXN)
Wednesday: Verizon (VZ), Abbott Laboratories (ABT), CSX Corp. (CSX), Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG)
Thursday: AT&T (T), Intel Corp. (INTC), Coca Cola Co. (KO), American Airlines (AAL), Southwest Airlines (LUV)
Friday: American Express (AXP)
“It is always the simple that produces the marvelous.”
– Amelia Barr
Recipe of the Week
The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever
- 1 cup salted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon natural sea salt
- 2 cups chocolate chips (or more for your preference!)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Mix the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder together in a bowl and set aside.
- With a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until fluffy.
- Add the chocolate chips and mix well.
- Scoop about 2-3 tablespoons of dough into balls on a lined cookie sheet.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. They are done when the edges are just turning brown.
- Let sit for 2 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
Deductions for Teachers
Examples of expenses the educator can deduct include:
- Professional development course fees
- Computer equipment, including related software and services
- Other equipment and materials used in the classroom
* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.
The Golden Rules of Putting
- Make sure you have your thumbs down the shaft. This helps keep both your putter and your wrists straight.
- Have your eyes directly over the ball. In fact, if you were to drop another golf ball from where your eyes are in a straight line down, the ball should land directly on the ball you’re about to put. That’s one drill to know whether your eyes are really directly over the ball.
- Make sure to keep your wrists and arms straight, even during the follow through. When you’re able to hold this straight angle, you’ll be able to do more consistent putts.
Tip adapted from Today’s Golfer
The Health Benefits of Writing
- Writing about emotionally-charged events may help put the events behind you and relieve symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
- Writing may help provide mental clarity when making other decisions and dealing with emotions.
- Writing may reduce stress and improve sleep.
Energy Saving Tips in the Kitchen
- Leave the faucet on the cold side when using small amounts of water. When the lever is in the “hot” position, it still draws hot water, even though it may not reach the faucet.
- If you’re shopping for a new stove, look for a natural gas model with an automatic, electric ignition system. It saves gas since a pilot light is not burning continuously.
- Your natural gas appliances should have blue flames; yellow flames indicate the gas is burning inefficiently. If you see yellow flames, consult the manufacturer or your local utility provider.
- Be sure to keep range-top burners and reflectors clean; they will reflect the heat better, while saving energy.
- Cover your kettle or pan or use an electric kettle to boil water. It’ll brew faster and will use less energy.
- Eating for one? Use a toaster, microwave, or convection oven rather than your large stove or oven. Doing this will save up to half the energy of a full-sized oven.
Tip adapted from Energy.gov