The Week on Wall Street
The stock market staged a broad rally this week, buoyed by the prospect that COVID-19’s grip on the nation may be easing and news of another Federal Reserve program to help stabilize businesses.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 12.67%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 climbed 12.10%. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 10.59% for the week. The MSCI EAFE Index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, advanced 6.32%.
A Change in Sentiment
Market sentiment took a more hopeful turn on news of an apparent peaking of cases in Italy and New York State. Investors also welcomed comments by Dr. Anthony Fauci that the start of a turnaround in the outbreak is close at hand.
The S&P 500 Index surged 7.03% to start the week and added to gains as the week progressed. Positive trends in COVID-19 cases, an agreement between Russia and Saudi Arabia to cut oil production, and the Fed’s unveiling of a $2.5 trillion loan program to assist small and midsize businesses fueled the rally.
Credit Markets Stabilize
As the economy shut down in March, credit markets began to exhibit deep stresses. A functional bond market is essential to economic and financial health, which is why the Federal Reserve initiated a number of actions aimed at helping them to operate.
Intervention by the Fed appears to have helped. A raft of new bond offerings may be signaling that investors are now willing to take on more risk. Last week, 11 investment-grade companies sold nearly $20 billion in bonds.
A stable credit market helps the stock market, and while the bond market is not yet out of the woods, its improving health is a positive sign.
One of the major challenges for investors in the last month has been determining realistic stock valuations amid uncertainty over corporate earnings. With earnings season about to unfold, investors may be able to better gauge the impact of the pandemic on company profits. Investors will get to hear from corporate leaders about the state of their businesses and possibly their outlook for the next few quarters. This may help fill in the gap that currently exists but what remains uncertain is whether that information proves to be positive or negative for the market.
THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Wednesday: Retail Sales. Industrial Production.
Thursday: Housing Starts. Jobless Claims.
Friday: Index of Leading Economic Indicators.
THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Tuesday: Johnson and Johnson (JNJ), JP Morgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC)
Wednesday: Bank of America (BAC), UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Citigroup (C), Goldman Sachs (GS)
Thursday: Blackstone Group (BX), Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM), Abbott Laboratories (ABT)
Friday: Schlumberger (SLB), Kansas City Southern (KSU)
“A good compromise is one where everybody makes a contribution.”
– Angela Merkel
Recipe of the Week
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1¼ lbs. scallops, fresh
- 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
- 1½ Tbsp garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup broth or dry sherry
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- Remove side muscle from scallops, if attached.
- Pat dry with paper towels.
- Heat oil over medium-high heat until sizzling.
- Add scallops in batches without overcrowding.
- Season with salt and pepper and cook until lightly browned on each side, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Transfer seared scallops to plate.
- In the same pan, melt 2 Tbsp. of butter, mixing with browned leftovers from scallops.
- Add garlic and cook for one minute.
- Pour in broth/sherry and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add remaining butter and lemon juice, then stir.
- Remove pan from heat, return the scallops and gently toss in butter mixture.
- Garnish with parsley and serve over rice, pasta, or steamed vegetables.
Recipe adapted from cafedelites.com
You May Be Able to Deduct Childcare Expenses
- You can only deduct expenses for the care of a qualifying dependent, such as a child under age 13.
- You must be paying for care that allows you or your spouse to work.
- Qualifying care includes home care, daycare, or a day camp. Overnight camps, summer school tutoring, or care by other dependents do not qualify.
- You must have earned income in the year that you incur childcare expenses. The expense limit is $3,000 for one qualifying dependent or $6,000 for two or more.
Tip adapted from IRS.gov
Where’s Your Golf GPS Watch?
Powered by Plants
- Soy products. Tofu, tempeh, soy milk, and edamame are all great options, and they’re rich in unsaturated fats, vitamins, and minerals.
- Legumes. Beans, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts are packed with protein, high in magnesium and other micronutrients, and full of fiber.
- Nuts and seeds. Almonds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds – just to name a few.
- Some whole grains. Quinoa, amaranth, and teff are all good choices.
- Wheat gluten. If you can tolerate gluten, seitan can be a fantastic substitute for meat.
Tip adapted from MedicalNewsToday.com