May Ends with a Retreat

The Week on Wall Street

Stocks struggled during a 4-day market week as the U.S.-China trade standoff continued to weigh on the minds of market participants. From the Friday, May 24 close to the Friday, May 31 close, the S&P 500 retreated 2.62%; the Nasdaq Composite, 2.41%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 3.01%. The MSCI EAFE index of overseas stocks dipped just 1.47% in a week.[1][2]

Trade is dominating the conversation in the financial markets, with developments steadily unfolding. Wednesday, China’s state media suggested that the country could soon cut off exports of rare earths to the U.S. Late Thursday, the Trump administration announced 5% tariffs on all imports from Mexico, effective June 10; these taxes could rise in the coming months.[3][4]

Meanwhile, on Main Street…

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index soared to 134.1 in May, its highest reading since November; the consumer view of present economic conditions was the best since the end of 2000. Additionally, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index ended May at 100.00, near the 15-year peak of 102.4 seen earlier in the month.[5][6]

Spring also brought a solid advance in consumer spending. April’s gain was 0.3%, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.[7]

Final Thought

While Wall Street remains cautious and concerned about trade, consumers appear to be upbeat, sensing widespread economic prosperity. This underscores the fact that the state of the economy does not necessarily correspond to the state of the stock market (and vice versa).

The Week Ahead: Key Economic Data

  • Monday: The Institute for Supply Management releases its latest factory purchasing manager index, which takes the pulse of the U.S. manufacturing sector.
  • Tuesday: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks on monetary policy at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • Wednesday: Payroll giant ADP releases its May private-sector employment snapshot.
  • Friday: The Department of Labor presents its May employment report.

Source: Econoday / MarketWatch Calendar, May 31, 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: Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (CBRL), Salesforce (CRM)

  • Thursday: Beyond Meat (BYND), J.M. Smucker (SJM)

Source: Morningstar.com, May 31, 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.

“If you’re not stubborn, you’ll give up on experiments too soon. And if you’re not flexible, you’ll pound your head against the wall and you won’t see a different solution to a problem you’re trying to solve.”

– Jeff Bezos


Recipe of the Week

Hot Ramen Bowls

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 to 4 tsp. ginger, freshly grated
  • ½ cup carrots, shredded
  • ½ cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced (you can use other available mushrooms)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (you can use chicken, pork, or beef stock as well)
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar (optional)
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce, to taste
  • 1 to 3 Tbsp. Sriracha sauce, to taste
  • Two 3-oz. portions of ramen (you won’t need the packets)

Toppings

  • Sliced chicken, beef, or pork
  • Seaweed or nori
  • Sliced scallions
  • Asian pickles
  • Corn
  • Bean sprouts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Shredded carrots
  • Soft-boiled egg

Directions:

  1. Place a pan on medium heat and add the sesame oil and olive oil. Add garlic and ginger, and simmer until fragrant, being careful not to brown the garlic.
  2. Add the carrots and mushrooms, and simmer until they soften, about a minute, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the broth, Sriracha sauce, rice vinegar (if using), and soy sauce. Stir, and bring to a simmer; let it go for about five minutes. Taste, then adjust heat and flavor to your liking, adding more Sriracha and soy sauce, if needed.
  4. Carefully place the ramen noodles into the pot of simmering broth and cook approximately 2 to 3 minutes, until tender.
  5. Carefully transfer the soup and noodles to bowls and allow to cool. At this time, make your soft-boiled egg.

Soft-Boiled Egg

  1. Boil water in a small saucepan. Add the egg(s) and let them boil for five minutes.
  2. Have an ice bath ready, and when the time is up, transfer the eggs into the ice bath for about a minute to stop the cooking process.
  3. Gently crack the egg and roll on a flat surface, then peel, slice in half, and place on top of your soup.

To Serve

  1. Garnish with your toppings of choice and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Killing Thyme[8]


Tax Tips

Hobby or Business?

You may make jewelry, sell baked goods, or do some carpentry. When you start selling these goods, the IRS may need for you to report this income. So, how do you know when it remains a hobby or becomes a business? When your hobby becomes profitable, it may be a business. The IRS offers some factors for you to consider, including:

  • Do you carry on the activity in a businesslike manner and maintain books and records?
  • Does the time and effort you put into the activity indicate you intend to make it profitable?
  • Do you depend on income from the activity for your livelihood?
  • Are your losses due to circumstances beyond your control (or are normal in the startup phase)?
  • Have you changed your methods of operation in an attempt to improve profitability?
  • Do you or your advisors have the knowledge needed to carry on the activity as a successful business?
  • Were you successful in making a profit in similar activities in the past?
*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[9]

Golf Tip

Mental Fortitude

The best golfers know that successful shots are as much mental as they are physical. A common way to increase your focus is to keep your mind centered in the moment. What type of shot are you playing? What is your target? Do you have a strategy for your swing?

At the same time, try to block those negative thoughts we all have on the course. But if you find yourself unable to maintain your focus, regroup by taking a few breaths and listening to your heartbeat. Don’t feel rushed into a swing when you’re not entirely focused on your goal. Here’s a quick routine:

  1. Give yourself a quick timeout to regroup.
  2. Use your eyes to refocus on your target.
  3. Use self-talk to tell yourself where your attention should go.
  4. Take a few calming breaths to relax and get your mental game back on track.

Tip adapted from Golf Tips Magazine[10]


Healthy Lifestyle

How to Make New Friends

Everyone feels lonely at times. Making friends can beat these lonely feelings and may also bring some fun and companionship to your life. Here are some friendship-making tips to try:
  • What about you? Work on your great qualities that give you confidence. They will shine and attract likeminded folks.
  • What are you passionate about? Golf, crafts, the outdoors, swimming, cooking? Try volunteering at places that relate to whatever floats your boat.
  • Meetup. You could try the Meetup app for local social groups, but literally, “meetup.” If you meet a potential friend, meet for coffee in a neutral place. Think about some things to talk about and questions to ask in advance. You’ll learn a lot, and possibly, make a new friend.

Tip adapted from The Guardian[11]


Green Living

Start a Community Garden

With so many benefits to starting a community garden, it’s amazing that you haven’t yet! Not only will you get to know your neighbors and feel great about working toward a common goal, but you’ll get to reap the benefits of what you sow (literally). Check out how to begin:

  • Organize members and pick a leader: You might want to start a Facebook group or email list of folks who are interested. Choose a leader (if it’s not you). This person should have experience in gardening or farming.
  • Choose some land: This may take a little research, but check with churches, schools, local groups, business associations, or the local government for available land.
  • Not all soil is ready for a garden: Be sure to have your soil tested. Samples can be sent to The University of Massachusetts’ Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Lab for testing.
  • Plan: Plan how you’ll share the gardening space, what to grow in which season, and create some seating and tables for people to chat and enjoy the bounty and space.

Tip adapted from Sunset[12]


[1] www.wsj.com/market-data
[2] quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/990300/historical-prices
[3] apnews.com/af8ed9e6b95f4d14b32e6e0135949159
[4] www.foxbusiness.com/markets/us-stocks-wall-street-may-31-2019
[5] www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-28/u-s-consumer-confidence-tops-forecasts-rises-to-six-month-high
[6] www.investing.com/economic-calendar
[7] www.investing.com/economic-calendar
[8] www.killingthyme.net/2015/10/30/easy-homemade-ramen-bowls/
[9] www.irs.gov/faqs/small-business-self-employed-other-business/income-expenses/income-expenses
[10] www.golftipsmag.com/video/full-swing/learn-to-focus/
[11] www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/apr/30/how-to-make-new-friends-adult-lonely-leap-of-faith
[12] www.sunset.com/garden/garden-basics/community-garden