The Week on Wall Street
Domestic and international stocks rose last week. Risk appetite outweighed concerns about the state of U.S.-China trade discussions.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, Nasdaq Composite, S&P 500, and MSCI EAFE all ended the week with gains. Blue chips led the way, as the Dow added 1.22%. The Nasdaq improved 1.06%; the S&P, 0.85%. The EAFE, tracking developed stock markets away from North America, was up 0.76%. The Dow recorded its third straight weekly gain; the S&P, its fifth. 
Will Tariffs Phase Out or Remain?
Thursday, a spokesman for China’s commerce ministry said that U.S. and Chinese trade representatives had “agreed to remove” existing tariffs in “phases,” while working toward a new trade deal.
On Friday morning, President Trump told the media that he had not agreed to any such condition. President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are still expected to sign off on “phase one” of a new bilateral trade agreement.
Service Sector Activity Picks Up
A closely watched index of U.S. business activity posted an October gain. The Institute for Supply Management’s Purchasing Managers Index for non-manufacturing firms rose nearly two points last month to 54.7. ISM also noted an October increase for new orders.
As most U.S. companies provide services rather than manufacture products, this news is encouraging and suggests more momentum in that sector.
Monday is Veterans Day; the stock market will be open, but the bond market, plus all federal government offices, will be closed.
THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
- Wednesday: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell begins two days of testimony on the country’s economic outlook in Congress, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics presents new inflation data in the October Consumer Price Index.
- Friday: October retail sales figures arrive from the Census Bureau.
Source: Econoday, November 8, 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
- Tuesday: Praxair (LIN), Tyson Foods (TSN)
- Wednesday: Cisco (CSCO)
- Thursday: Applied Materials (AMAT), Nvidia (NVDA), Walmart (WMT)
Source: Zacks, November 8, 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.
“Brave men rejoice in adversity, just as brave soldiers triumph in war.”
-Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Recipe of the Week
WWII “Soldier Kisses” Cookies
These super simple cookies date back to WWII and are just as delicious today. Celebrate Veterans Day by honoring those who serve with these tasty treats.
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 2 cups of walnuts, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Beat the egg whites until light and frothy.
- Beat in the sugar slowly until combined.
- Continue to mix until the mixture is thick and shiny.
- Lightly fold in the walnuts.
- Scoop teaspoon-sized cookies onto the cookie sheet and bake for 40 minutes.
Recipe adapted from All Recipes
You’re Not Alone: The Many IRS Resources Available
The thought of filing taxes might be overwhelming to some, but the IRS has many resources available to help make it easier. These include their Frequently Asked Questions page, some basic tools about PTIN requirements, contact information, disaster relief resources, and more. In addition, they also make it easy to access some of their most-popular publications, including:
- Publication 5307, Tax Reform Basics for Individuals and Families
- Circular 230, Regulations Governing Practice Before the Internal Revenue Service
- Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data
- Publication 5293, Data Security Resource Guide for Tax Professionals
If you have questions before, during, or after filing your tax return, the IRS is happy to help. You can also reach out to enrolled agents and find out more information about what EAs are and how you can become one.
* 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
Play Smarter, Not Harder
If you’re trapped inside this fall and still want to work on your game, focus on strategy and think about those “dumb mistakes” you always seem to make. Chances are, with a little troubleshooting, you can avoid these mistakes next time you’re out on the green. Here are some common problem areas and how to fix them:
- Instead of aiming for the pin on the green, aim for the flat part of the green. Most greens are designed with trouble spots right around the hole, so if you aim right for the flag and miss it, you’ll be stuck with a tricky short game.
- Imagine your target as the bullseye on a dartboard, not the whole dartboard. There’s a reason why the pros are often quoted saying “aim small, miss small.”
- This one is kind of obvious, but know the course you’re playing. This includes knowing what’s in play, any potential hazards, and more.
You can get better at your game without even hitting the course by simply thinking about your strategy.
Tip adapted from Golf Tips Magazine
Get Your Daily Dose of Vitamin D, Even in the Winter
Vitamin D is the vitamin we produce when our skin is exposed to UV rays from the sun as well as certain dietary sources, and many people are actually vitamin D deficient (even if they live in a sunny part of the country). As winter approaches, it might seem hard to get your daily dose of vitamin D, but luckily, there are plenty of ways to get this important nutrient.
Eating vitamin D-rich foods is the best way to get the nutrient during the winter months. These foods include fatty fish (like salmon), mushrooms, eggs, and milk (and milk alternatives, such as soymilk) fortified with vitamin D. Just 4 ounces of salmon have 265% of the dietary reference intake (DRI) of vitamin D, which means that just 2.5 servings of salmon a week would get you all the vitamin D you need. If you don’t like fish, milk and eggs are another great option.
If you’re concerned that you might have a vitamin D deficiency, call your doctor and talk to them about how to get checked for one. They can provide you with more information and alternate methods to increase your blood levels of vitamin D, if needed.
Plastic-Free Shampoo and Conditioner
Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash often come in large, bulky plastic bottles. In fact, 80 billion bottles from shampoo and conditioner are used around the world every year. What happens to these bottles when you’re done with them? Too often, they end up in landfills or are sent to be recycled, which takes a lot of energy and multiple processes in order to repurpose the raw materials.
Instead, many people are switching to plastic-free shampoo and conditioner bottles. Some new options include:
- Buying shampoo and conditioner from bulk stores and refilling your bottles.
- Using a bar shampoo and conditioner, such as these ones by Ethique. Ethique even offers bar shampoo and conditioner for different hair types as well as corresponding body wash.
- Buying refillable shampoo and conditioner bottles, usually made out of glass.
Tip adapted from Treading My Own Path