The Week on Wall Street
Traders assumed that the week’s biggest news event would be Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech at the annual Jackson Hole banking conference. Instead, China seized the headlines by announcing new tariffs on U.S. goods.
Domestic stocks ended up lower for the week. The Nasdaq Composite fell 1.83%; the S&P 500, 1.44%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 0.99%. International stocks posted a weekly gain: the MSCI EAFE benchmark rose 0.96%.
Beijing Plans New Tariffs
Friday morning, China’s finance ministry stated it would levy import taxes of 5-10% on an additional $75 billion of American imports. One set of tariffs is slated to start September 1, targeting U.S. crops, meats, and seafood. A second set, effective December 15, will put tariffs on U.S.-made cars and car parts. In total, these taxes are scheduled for more than 5,000 American products.
Friday evening, the White House announced two rounds of 5% increases on existing U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, to be successively implemented on September 1 and October 1.
Powell Reflects at Jackson Hole
Friday, Jerome Powell delivered an address on monetary policy at the Kansas City Fed’s annual Jackson Hole symposium. He noted that the global economy currently presented a “complex, turbulent picture,” and added that the Fed was “carefully watching developments” and would “act as appropriate.”
Investors wonder if the central bank will consider another rate cut at its September meeting. Comments from other Fed officials at Jackson Hole did not indicate a consensus on that matter.
Leading Indicators Rise
The Conference Board, the business research group known for its monthly Consumer Confidence Index, also publishes a monthly Leading Economic Indicator (LEI) Index. The Conference Board LEI provides a forward-looking analysis of the health of the business cycle, looking at ten factors ranging from consumer expectations to stock prices to construction activity.
In July, the LEI rose 0.5%, following 0.1% descents in May and June. This sudden increase offers optimism at a time when investors are wondering about the momentum of the economy.
Bond prices have risen around the world, leading to lower bond yields. In some instances, yields have turned negative. While the yield on the 10-year Treasury has also declined, it is still above 1.5%, notably exceeding the yields of similar-duration bonds in France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
The Week Ahead: Key Economic Data
Tuesday: The Conference Board’s July Consumer Confidence Index.
Thursday: The Bureau of Economic Analysis presents the second estimate of second-quarter economic growth, and the National Association of Realtors publishes new data on pending home sales.
Friday: July consumer spending data from the Department of Commerce, and July’s final University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (a gauge of consumer confidence levels).
Source: Econoday / MarketWatch Calendar, August 23, 2019
The Econoday and MarketWatch economic calendars list 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
Tuesday: Autodesk (ADSK)
Thursday: Abercrombie & Fitch (ABF), Best Buy (BBS), Lululemon Athletica (LULU)
Source: Zacks, August 23, 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.
“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.”
Recipe of the Week
- 2 cups (or more) of fresh basil leaves
- 2 Tbsp. of pine nuts
- 2 cloves of garlic
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¾ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- Remove the stems from the basil leaves.
- Combine the basil, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor and process until finely minced.
- As the food processor continues to mix, slowly add in the oil until smooth.
- Add the cheese and process to combine.
Protect Your Financial Safety in the Case of a Natural Disaster
- Update your emergency plan.
- Create electronic copies of all important documents.
- Document your valuables. Documenting these items ahead of time makes it easier to claim insurance and tax benefits if a disaster strikes.
- You can call the IRS at 866-562-5227 with any natural disaster-related questions. They can provide copies of previous tax returns, order transcripts showing most line items, and more.
- Net personal, casualty, and theft losses may be deductible if they’re attributable to a federally declared disaster.
* 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 IRS.gov
Don’t Accelerate When Putting
Instead, try to let the length of your backswing dictate the length of the front of your swing. To practice this, try just moving the club in a constant pace, almost like a pendulum. The momentum of this constant pace should be the same throughout the swing.
Now, try it during a putt. You might notice that you’re able to be more consistent, which sets you up for success for your second putt. It almost feels like instead of hitting the golf ball, the ball is interrupting your club’s forward momentum. Hitting harder isn’t always your best option, but hitting evenly might be.
Tip adapted from Me and My Golf
The Scale Isn’t Everything: More Comprehensive Ways to Measure Your Health
Luckily, there are many other ways to measure your health. Put the scale away for a little while, and try these techniques to focus on your overall health rather than just a number:
- Keep a journal and track your healthy habits, such as working out or eating veggies with every meal. Celebrate these small victories!
- Take progress photos and compare them throughout your journey. Take your photos in the same pose, wearing the same outfit, at the same time every week (preferably in the morning before you’ve had breakfast).
- Check in on other parts of your health, such as your energy levels, skin, tummy health, and more. Developing a healthy routine does so much more for your body than just lower the number on the scale.
Tip adapted from Daily Burn
Supporting Environmentally Friendly Companies
Our purchases are our vote, which is why many people choose to support environmentally conscious companies to share the green love. Here is a list of some of the biggest companies in the world that are choosing to be green in 2019:
- IKEA – The Swedish furniture manufacturer is taking steps to be environmentally friendly in multiple ways, including sourcing nearly half their wood from sustainable foresters, all their cotton from Better Cotton farms, and having solar panels powering their stores.
- Allergan – Allergan is the parent company of many cosmetic brands, including Botox. They’ve taken great strides to reduce water and energy consumption, waste, and emissions. In 2016, they won the EPA’s Energy STAR award for the 5th time.
- Seventh Generation – Seventh Generation creates environmentally friendly household cleaners and other products. Not only has Seventh Generation done their part, but they’ve also pressured other brands to do the same.
Tip adapted from Virgin