New Infections Increase Anxiety

The Week on Wall Street

Despite news of another COVID-19 vaccine candidate, stocks were mixed amid investor anxiety over an increase in new infections and economic lockdowns.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.73%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 declined 0.77%. The Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.22% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, gained 1.42%.[1][2][3]

Groundhog Week

The announcement of another potential COVID-19 vaccine ignited strong gains to begin the week. But, like the week that preceded it, the gains sparked by the vaccine news were eroded in the following days as worries over the economic impact of new infections moved to the fore.

The market has been grappling with conflicting narratives. One is the optimistic view that, with COVID-19 vaccines apparently near at-hand, the return to economic normalcy grows ever closer. That hopeful outlook has been offset by anxiety over new infections, rising hospitalizations, and some local and state lockdowns.

These crosscurrents kept stocks range bound for the week, with the technology sector and small and mid-size stocks lending support to the overall market.

Powell Sounds A Warning

In a speech last week, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned that the nationwide increase in COVID-19 cases could hamper economic activity in the upcoming months. He expressed concern that consumer spending may trend lower despite efforts to control the spread of infections.[4]

Powell once again voiced his support for additional fiscal stimulus to assist small businesses, state and local governments, and the unemployed. He also said that even after full economic recovery, some businesses and workers may wrestle with an economic landscape altered by the coronavirus..

THIS WEEK: KEY ECONOMIC DATA

  • Tuesday: Consumer Confidence.
  • Wednesday: Durable Goods Orders, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Jobless Claims, Consumer Sentiment, New Home Sales.
Source: Econoday, November 20, 2020
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.

THIS WEEK: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS

  • Tuesday: Best Buy (BBY), Medtronic (MDT), Dollar Tree (DLTR), Dell Technologies (DELL), VMware (VMW), Analog Devices (ADI)
  • Friday: Deere & Company (DE)
Source: Zacks, November 20, 2020
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. 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.


“”Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.”

-Jim Davis


Recipe of the Week

Sweet Potato Casserole

6-8 servings
Ingredients:
For the Filling
  • ½ stick of unsalted butter, melted
  • 3-4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
For the Topping
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ stick unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans
Directions:
  1. Boil the sweet potatoes for about 15-20 minutes or until very tender. Drain, let cool, and mash.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2-quart baking dish.
  3. Whisk together the butter, sweet potatoes, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and eggs and transfer to the baking dish.
  4. For the topping, combine all the topping ingredients in a medium bowl until the mixture is moist and clumps together. Spread the topping over the sweet potatoes in an even layer.
  5. Bake for about 25-30 minutes.
Recipe adapted from Food Network[5]

Tax Tips

Tips to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

Tax-related identity theft is when someone uses your personal information to file a fraudulent tax return. They can use information like your Social Security number and other personal details.
Here are some tips to protect yourself:
  • Always use security software on your computer, including anti-virus protection.
  • Use a strong and unique password for each of your online accounts.
  • Look out for spam calls, emails, and texts and report them to the IRS.
  • Protect your information and any of your dependents’ info, as well.

Today’s identity criminals are getting more creative, but you can protect yourself by taking these important steps. Always be careful of who you give your information to.

* 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[6]  

Golf Tip

How to Get Out of an Uphill Bunker Shot

Landing in the bunker is hard enough, but landing in the bunker and navigating an uphill lie is a tricky shot for even the most seasoned golfers. There are a few tricks to follow, though, that can help with this shot.
First, make sure you angle your shoulders to match the slope, rather than trying to go in with your normal set up. If you do this, you’ll be more likely to get your club stuck in the sand. Instead, put a little weight on your front foot and then lean back into the slope.
The second tip is to make sure you choose the right club. You need less club, like a sand wedge, to help the ball roll more.
Tip adapted from PGA Tour[7]

Healthy Lifestyle

Wake Up With This Morning Breathing Exercise

We’re back at it with one last breathing exercise for stress management! This one is perfect to do first thing in the morning to help relieve muscle stiffness and clear your breathing passages.
From a standing position, bend forward at the waist, slightly bend your knees, and let your arms hang loosely toward the floor. As you inhale slowly and deeply, slowly roll up to a standing position, lifting your head last. Hold your breath for a few seconds in this standing position, then exhale slowly as you bend back down from the waist. Repeat as needed.
Tip adapted from University of Michigan Medical School[8]

Green Living

Eco-Friendly Thanksgiving Tips

These tips will help you enjoy your Thanksgiving festivities while also being eco-friendly:
  • Use the good cloth napkins and dishes instead of disposable plastic ones.
  • Decorate with nature instead of plastic or synthetic decorations. Fall leaves, acorns, pinecones, and flowers make beautiful fall decorations.
  • Reduce your energy usage by cooking things at the same time to limit how much you have to use your appliances.
  • Prepare less food to reduce food waste. Or, properly store and freeze leftovers so you can enjoy them later!
  • Buy local and organic produce. Local and organic produce requires less energy to produce and transport.
Tip adapted from EcoWatch[9]

[1] The Wall Street Journal, November 20, 2020
[2] The Wall Street Journal, November 20, 2020
[3] The Wall Street Journal, November 20, 2020

[4] CNN.com, November 17, 2020

[5]  Foodnetwork.com, November 20, 2020

[6] IRS.gov, March 4, 2020
[7] Pgatour.com, November 20, 2020
[8] Uofmhealth.org, November 20, 2020
[9] Ecowatch.com, November 20, 2020