Benchmarks End Week Lower

The Week on Wall Street

Stocks retreated last week. Traders worried that the formal impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump might distract White House officials from their pursuit of a trade deal with China, and shift the focus of Congress away from consideration of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Also, news broke Friday that the White House was considering restricting levels of U.S. investment in Chinese firms.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost less than the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500. Blue chips declined 0.43% week-over-week, while the S&P fell 1.01% and the Nasdaq dipped 2.19%. The MSCI EAFE index, tracking developed overseas stock markets, lost 0.89%.[1][2][3]

Incomes Grow, Spending Slows

Data released Friday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis showed household incomes rising 0.4% in August. Consumer spending improved just 0.1%, however; that was the smallest personal spending advance in six months.

Another BEA report noted that “real” consumer spending (that is, consumer spending adjusted for inflation) rose 4.6% during the second quarter.[4][5]

A Slip in Consumer Confidence

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index fell to 125.1 for September. That compares to a reading of 134.2 in August. Lynn Franco, the CB’s director of economic indicators, wrote that “the escalation in trade and tariff tensions in late August appears to have rattled consumers. However, this pattern of uncertainty and volatility has persisted for much of the year and it appears confidence is plateauing.”

In contrast, the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index ended September at 93.2, an improvement from a final August mark of 89.8.[6][7]

What’s Ahead

On October 10, the Social Security Administration is scheduled to announce the 2020 cost of living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security retirement benefits. Earlier this month, Bureau of Labor Statistics yearly inflation data pointed to a possible 2020 COLA in the range of 1.6%-1.7%.[8]

The Week Ahead: Key Economic Data

  • Tuesday: The Institute for Supply Management presents its September Purchasing Managers Index for the factory sector, a barometer of U.S. manufacturing health.
  • Wednesday: ADP, the payroll processor, releases its September National Employment Report.
  • Thursday: ISM’s non-manufacturing PMI arrives, reporting on the state of the U.S. service sector.
  • Friday: The Department of Labor’s September jobs report appears, and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell gives a keynote speech at a Fed event in Washington D.C.

Source: Econoday, September 27, 2019
The Econoday economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.

The Week Ahead: Companies Reporting Earnings

  • Wednesday: Lennar (LEN), Paychex (PAYX)
  • Thursday: Constellation Brands (STZ), Costco (COST), PepsiCo (PEP)

Source: Zacks, September 27, 2019
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.

 

“Singing in the shower is all fun and games until you get shampoo in your mouth. Then, it’s a soap opera.”

– Unknown


Recipe of the Week

Slow Cooker Ziti

Usually, this classic comfort meal is baked, but you can make a more-delicious ziti in the slow cooker, while you set it and forget it. This warm recipe makes the perfect family dinner and can be portioned out for leftovers throughout the week.

[8 servings]

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. of ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1½ tsp. garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 28-oz. can tomatoes, diced
  • 2½ cups pasta sauce
  • 2½ cups water or chicken broth
  • 4 cups ziti pasta
  • 1¼ cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

 

  1. Cook the meat in a skillet with the garlic, salt, and pepper.
  2. Add the cooked meat, basil, parsley, oregano, tomatoes, and pasta sauce to a 4-quart or larger slow cooker and stir.
  3. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.
  4. At the end of the cook, turn the slow cooker to high and add the pasta. Stir to combine, and continue cooking for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the pasta is soft.
  5. Sprinkle with cheese and cook for another 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

Recipe adapted from The Recipe Rebel[9]

 


Tax Tips

Be on the Lookout for Tax Deduction Carryovers

There are many tax deductions and credits that taxpayers should be aware of, but what if you can’t reap the full benefits of a deduction in the given filing year? Some deductions and credits may be eligible to roll over into future years. These tax carryovers could save you money on your tax return.

Some deductions or credits may not be fully used in one tax year and are eligible to be carried over into future years, including:

  • When you have a net operating loss
  • When your total expense for a permitted deduction exceeds the amount you’re allowed to deduct in a given year
  • When a credit you qualify for exceeds the amount of tax you owe in a year
  • Adoption tax credits
  • Foreign tax credits
  • Credits for energy efficiency
Track these (or have your software do it), so you don’t forget them from one year to the next.

* 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.

Tip adapted from Credit Karma[10]

Golf Tip

Backyard Chipping Drills

Take advantage of the last few weeks of great weather outside before winter comes, and practice your chipping right in the backyard. You don’t need to go to the country club to practice this important shot.

One of our favorite drills helps you eliminate the “flick” many golfers do when chipping. All you need to set up is about 10 balls and a chipping mat, if you have one (if not, doing the drill on the grass works as well). Simply set up your shot as you normally would, with your front grip (left arm for right-handed golfers, right arm for left-handed golfers) nice and low on the club. Then, you are going to use a pendulum motion to hit the ball and keep your arm completely straight throughout the whole swing, including the follow through. This “tick-tock” motion will teach you not to keep your wrist completely straight. Don’t focus on getting rid of the ball; just focus on that motion.

Tip adapted from The Lady Golf Teacher[11]


Healthy Lifestyle

Know Your Numbers

According to The American Heart Association, adults should know their key health numbers, including total cholesterol, HDL (good cholesterol), blood pressure, blood sugar, and body mass index. These core data points can help health care providers determine whether an individual is at risk for cardiovascular disease, a heart attack, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other concerns.

If you’re not sure what your “numbers” are, schedule a visit with your doctor to monitor them and understand why each is important. Here’s a quick definition of each metric:

  • Cholesterol – Cholesterol is a lipoprotein found in our body’s tissues and plays a role in forming and maintaining cell membranes. There is “good” cholesterol, which our body needs, and “bad” cholesterol, which puts us at a higher risk for heart disease.
  • Body Mass Index – Your BMI is calculated by your height and weight and can help measure if you are underweight, a healthy weight, or overweight.
  • Blood pressure – Blood pressure refers to the amount of force the heart must use to pump blood throughout the body. It is measured by the resulting pressure exerted onto blood vessel walls, during work and at rest.
  • Blood sugar – Blood sugar measures the concentration of glucose in the blood.
Tips adapted from The American Heart Association[12]

Green Living

Repurpose Your Furniture to Save Money and Natural Resources

The change of season is the perfect time to spruce up your home. Whip out all the fall decorations, and get ready for a new look! These tips will help you repurpose your furniture for a refreshed style. Instead of buying new pieces, take full advantage of the ones you already own!

The first go-to when repurposing furniture is to add a fresh coat of paint. Merely painting a piece can do wonders to make it look clean, modern, and frankly, give it a whole new life. In addition to painting, you can also change out the hardware on dressers and drawers to really make a piece stand out.

Another great tip when repurposing furniture is to add some contact paper or texture to a piece. You can buy contact paper at your local craft store and use it to spruce up cabinets, as an accent to a bookcase or dresser, or just to give a colorful, new look to anything in your home. Similarly, wallpaper is really easy to install and can completely transform a room for fall.

Tip adapted from My Repurposed Life[13]


[1] www.cnn.com/2019/09/27/investing/dow-stock-market-today-oil/index.html
[2] www.wsj.com/market-data
[3] quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/990300/historical-prices
[4] www.marketwatch.com/story/consumer-spending-barely-rises-in-august-as-americans-save-more-2019-09-27
[5] www.investing.com/economic-calendar
[6] www.conference-board.org/data/consumerconfidence.cfm
[7] www.marketwatch.com/story/consumer-sentiment-rebounds-in-september-but-americans-more-anxious-2019-09-27
[8] finance.yahoo.com/news/3-events-could-push-social-100600194.html
[9] www.thereciperebel.com/slow-cooker-baked-ziti/
[10] www.creditkarma.com/tax/i/tax-carry-forward/
[11] www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0XpUKBf35w
[12] www.heart.org/en/know-your-risk/know-your-numbers
[13] www.myrepurposedlife.com/250-repurposed-projects/