S&P 500 Tops 3,000

The Week on Wall Street

Friday, the S&P 500 settled above 3,000 for the first time, after rising 0.78% for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average chalked up a milestone of its own: the blue chips ended the week above 27,000, gaining 1.52% on the way. Additionally, the Nasdaq Composite wrapped up the week 1.01% higher. The MSCI EAFE index, a gauge of overseas developed markets, fell 0.65%.[1][2][3]
Stocks rallied at midweek with help from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s congressional testimony on monetary policy, plus the latest Fed meeting minutes.

Jerome Powell’s Statements

Wednesday, Chairman Powell told Capitol Hill lawmakers that “uncertainties around global growth and trade continue to weigh on the outlook” of the Federal Open Market Committee. He also noted that “manufacturing, trade, and investment are weak all around the world.”[4]

On the same day, the Fed presented the minutes of its June policy meeting. The record shared the belief of some Fed officials that “a near-term cut in the target range for the federal funds rate could help cushion the effects of possible future adverse shocks to the economy.”[5]

Overall Inflation Remains Muted

The June Consumer Price Index, released last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, measured only 1.6% yearly inflation. The Federal Reserve uses the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ Core Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index as its inflation barometer; in its latest edition, it showed just a 1.5% year-over-year rise.[6]

Currently, the Fed has a yearly inflation target of 2.0%. In the past, it has often raised interest rates in response to increasing inflation, which can potentially slow growth and affect hiring and employment levels. Absent significant inflation pressure, such a response may not be forthcoming.[7]

Final Thought

All eyes are on corporate earnings this week, as prominent banks and about two dozen other S&P 500 firms report second-quarter results. Market participants have much to consider in terms of profits, revenue, and guidance.

The Week Ahead: Key Economic Data

  • Tuesday: Fed chair Jerome Powell delivers a speech on monetary policy at the G7 summit in France, and the Census Bureau releases its June retail sales report.
  • Friday: The University of Michigan presents its preliminary July consumer sentiment index, measuring consumer confidence and perceptions of the economy.

Source: Econoday / MarketWatch Calendar, July 12, 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

  • Monday: Citigroup (C), J.B. Hunt (JBHT)
  • Tuesday: Goldman Sachs (GS), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC)
  • Wednesday: Bank of America (BAC), Netflix (NFLX), Novartis (NVS), Abbott Labs (ABT)
  • Thursday: Microsoft (MSFT), UnitedHealth (UNH)
  • Friday: American Express (AXP)

Source: Zacks, July 12, 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.

 

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

– Anatole France


Recipe of the Week

Strawberry & Barley Summer Salad

 

4 Servings

Ingredients:

Salad
  • 1 cup quick-cooking barley, quinoa, or other grain
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • Edamame (soybeans)
  • 5 oz. (or more) of spinach
  • 1 lb. of strawberries, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. of Parmesan cheese

Dressing

  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. Dijon or honey mustard
  • 1 tsp. poppy seeds

Directions:

Embrace the warm weather with this summer salad. Going vegetarian for a few meals a week helps both your health and the environment, and salads, like these, make it easy and delicious!

  1. Cook the quick-cooking barley (or other grain) according to the package.
  2. Cook the soybeans according to the package.
  3. Whisk together the sour cream, buttermilk, mustard, poppy seeds, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper until mixed thoroughly.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the barley, soybeans, dressing, spinach, sliced strawberries, and Parmesan cheese, then toss.

Recipe adapted from Woman’s Day[8]


Tax Tips

Potential, Pet-Related Tax Deductions

Because this week’s tips are all about our furry friends, we thought we’d share some potential pet-related tax deductions. Tax law is always changing, so these deductions may no longer be relevant if new developments arise, but they’re things to consider if you have four-legged friends at home.

  • Business animals, or animals that live at a trade or business, can be a potential deduction. This would include animals that primarily live at a business, such as a dog that serves as a security measure or a cat that keeps the rodent population at bay. You may be able to deduct expenses, like food, vet visits, and training associated with the job.
  • Donations to pet-related charity or organization may be deductible. This is different, though, than adopting a pet, which isn’t tax deductible.
  • Fostering pets can also be a tax write-off. This is considered a charitable contribution, and expenses for fostering a pet for an IRS-qualified 501(c)(3) organization can be deducted.
  • If you have a service dog, these expenses are also tax deductible. According to IRS Publication 502, deductions are available for individuals requiring a guide dog for vision or hearing impairments.

* 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 ThinkAdvisor[9]


Golf Tip

Aim Your Ball Flight, Not Your Body

One of the most-common mistakes that beginning golfers (and even seasoned veterans) make on the course is aiming straight down the fairway. This would make sense in an ideal situation, but many golfers tend toward a different ball flight. For example, you might slice right or left, and if you’re aiming for the middle of the fairway, the ball might veer to the side.
Rather than aim your body toward the middle of the fairway, aim it toward your most-common ball flight. That way, if the shot overcompensates to the right or to the left, you’re still closer to center. Not sure where your ball flight curves? Practice in the driving range to see where your balls end up. Another way to compensate for this curve is to place your tee to the right or left rather than the middle. This will also help you start your drive in the correct position.

Tip adapted from Me and My Golf[10]


Healthy Lifestyle

The Health Benefits of a Meat-Free Day

There’s no denying the overwhelming health benefits of a plant-based diet. But going completely vegetarian or vegan isn’t realistic for everyone. Luckily, you can still enjoy the many health benefits by going “meat free” for just one day a week. Here are some of the main benefits of this healthy lifestyle swap:
  • You’ll be decreasing your risk of heart disease – Coronary heart disease is linked to a meat-based diet, and the majority of cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by switching to a plant-based diet.
  • You’ll be getting more vitamins, minerals, and fiber – When you don’t turn to meat on your meat-free day, you’ll likely turn to other foods such as veggies, fruits, whole grains, and other plant-based products. This variety helps you round out your diet!
These are just a few of the many benefits of going meat-free for a day. Want more inspiration? Just Google “Meatless Monday” for recipe suggestions.

Tip adapted from Hello Magazine[11]


Green Living

Be an Eco-Friendly Pet Parent

Going green can extend to your furry friend, too! There are many ways to be an eco-friendly pet parent and reduce your carbon footprint (or pawprint). Below are some easy ways you and your pet can be environmentally friendly:

  • Adopt; don’t shop – Not only does adopting a pet from a local shelter help save the life of one of the millions of animals looking for a loving home, but it can also help overburdened shelters reduce their overhead, like electricity and water.
  • Make your own treats – Commercial dog and cat treats often come in wasteful plastic packaging, only to be thrown away when the treats are gone. Avoid this by making your own dog or cat treats! Dog Treat Kitchenhas tons of delicious recipes, and this website has some easy DIY cat treats.
  • Use compostable pet products – When possible, look for a compostable option for your favorite pet products. There are many choices for compostable doggie waste bags, and cat litter made out of corn, pine, or wheat is usually biodegradable.
Even small swaps like these can help you (and your pets) live more environmentally friendly.

Tip adapted from Healthy Pets[12]


[12] healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2015/02/07/top-10-green-pet-tips.aspx