The Week on Wall Street
Stock prices fell last week as investors considered the potential health and economic risks of the flu-like coronavirus.
Foreign stock markets, as tracked by the broad MSCI EAFE index, fell 1.03% for the week. Coincidentally, the S&P 500 lost exactly that much across a 4-day Wall Street trading week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 1.22%, the Nasdaq Composite 0.79%.
Futures Markets Eye Coronavirus Outbreak
By Friday’s closing bell, two cases of coronavirus had been confirmed in the U.S. by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sixty-three other potential cases were being monitored. Twenty-six people had died from the virus in China, where more than 30 million people faced travel restrictions.
This news exerted a drag on stocks in multiple industries. Oil prices also slipped: West Texas Intermediate crude lost 7.4% for the week to settle at $54.19 Friday. Stock and commodity traders wondered if the virus would mimic the SARS scare of 2002-03, which kept Chinese workers and shoppers at home and hurt corporate earnings worldwide.
Fewest Homes for Sale in 20 Years
Existing home sales improved 3.6% in December, according to the National Association of Realtors. This happened even as the number of listed properties hit a 20-year low. The NAR says that the rate of total U.S. home sales (existing and new) increased 10.8% in 2019.
Traders will watch not only earnings and economic indicators this week, but also the Federal Reserve, which meets Tuesday and Wednesday. Will the central bank’s latest monetary policy statement reveal any subtle change of outlook?
THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Monday: The Census Bureau’s report on December new home sales.
Tuesday: The latest consumer confidence index from the Conference Board.
Wednesday: A monetary policy announcement from the Federal Reserve, followed by a press conference with Fed chair Jerome Powell.
Thursday: The first estimate of fourth-quarter gross domestic product from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Friday: December consumer spending figures from the Department of Commerce, plus the final January University of Michigan consumer sentiment index (a gauge of consumer confidence levels).
THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Monday: D.R. Horton (DHI), Sprint (S)
Tuesday: Apple (AAPL), Pfizer (PFE), SAP (SAP), United Technologies (UTX)
Wednesday: AT&T (T), Facebook (FB), Mastercard (MA), Microsoft (MSFT)
Thursday: Amazon (AMZN), Coca-Cola (KO), Verizon (VZ), Visa (V)
Friday: Chevron (CVX), ExxonMobil (XOM), Honeywell International (HON)
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 don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.”
– Dolly Parton
Recipe of the Week
Oven-Cooked Corn on the Cob
- 8 unhusked ears of corn
- 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 2 pressed cloves garlic
- ½ tsp. dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Place unhusked corn directly on oven rack.
- Roast until tender, 40-45 minutes.
- Combine butter, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper in bowl. Mix until spreadable.
- Remove and husk corn
- Spread 1 Tbsp. of butter mixture on each ear and serve.
- Suggestions: sprinkle with favorite spices, parsley, or Parmesan cheese.
Recipe adapted from damndelicious.net
Owe the IRS Money? Here’s How to Pay.
If you owe federal taxes, you should pay by the April deadline even if you get an extension. Here are some options for making your payment easy:
- Use Direct Pay. IRS Direct Pay is a free and secure way to pay directly from your checking or savings account.
- Pay by Debit or Credit Card. If you don’t want to link a bank account, you can use your credit or debit card. Keep in mind that you’ll have to pay a processing fee and may incur interest charges.
- Pay When You E-File. If you file your federal tax return electronically, you can pay directly from your bank account using Electronic Funds Withdrawal.
Tip adapted from IRS.gov
Handling a Sidehill Lie
Stay Fit When You Stay Home
- YouTube videos – From yoga to Pilates, walking to Zumba, and more, thousands of free fitness tutorials are available right at your fingertips.
- Resistance bands – The tools typically cost around $15-20 for a set of three mini- or five regular-sized bands. They’re compact and lightweight, making them easy to use, store, and even bring along while traveling.
- Interval training – Try working out in multiple 10-minute sessions throughout the day. You’ll counteract boredom and fire up your metabolism more frequently.