The Week On Wall Street
Stocks were mixed last week as investors reacted to positive economic data, progress on a COVID-19 vaccine, and the continued nationwide increase in COVID-19 cases.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 2.29%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose by 1.25%. But the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 1.08% for the week. The mega-cap technology companies saw some profit-taking last week, sending the Nasdaq Composite to its first loss in three weeks. The MSCI EAFE Index, which tracks developed stock markets overseas, ended 2.19% higher.
Stocks Find a Way Higher
After a Monday rally melted away on news that California was rolling back its reopening plans amid rising infections, a new earnings season began on a hopeful note. Stocks posted back-to-back daily gains on the strength of positive earnings surprises from a few money center banks and encouraging news about progress in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Despite a strong retail sales number, new jobless claims and rising U.S.-China tensions reminded investors that global economic recovery remains fragile, leading stocks to pare some of the week’s earlier gains.
Earnings Season Begins
While investors long ago accepted the idea that this earnings season would be ugly, reflecting the impact of the economic shock due to COVID-19, it didn’t mean that there weren’t important insights to be gained from this quarter’s earnings reports.
Three money center banks last week kicked off the earnings season, reporting substantial declines in profits and an additional cumulative $28 billion set aside for loan-loss reserves.
Banks are an important economic bellwether since they touch every part of the U.S. economy. Although their earnings were significantly lower, they actually beat consensus Wall Street estimates, which encouraged investors and set the stage for stocks to move higher. The story on this quarter’s earnings season, however, is far from finished as investors await the stream of companies releasing their quarterly results in the days and weeks ahead.
THIS WEEK: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Wednesday: Existing Home Sales.
Thursday: Index of Leading Economic Indicators. Jobless Claims.
Friday: New Home Sales.
THIS WEEK: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Tuesday: Lockheed Martin (LMT), Snap (SNAP), Coca Cola (KO), Texas Instruments (TXN), Capital One Financial (COF).
Wednesday: Microsoft (MSFT), Tesla (TSLA), United Airlines (UAL).
Thursday: AT&T (T), Intel (INTC), Union Pacific (UNP).
Friday: Verizon (VZ), American Express (AXP).
“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.”
– James Clear
Recipe of the Week
Honey Mustard & Onion Pretzel Bites
- 12 oz. of sourdough hard pretzels
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 3½ Tbsp. honey
- 2 Tbsp. yellow mustard
- 1½ tsp. onion powder
- Preheat the oven to 275° F.
- In a bowl, mix together the oil, honey, yellow mustard, and onion powder.
- Break the pretzels up into smaller bits and toss the pretzels in the mixture, making sure to generously coat every piece.
- Spread the pretzels in an even layer on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, tossing the pretzels halfway through.
501(c)(3) Organizations vs. 501(c)(4) Organizations: What’s the Difference?
- 501(c)(3) organizations are nonprofit organizations that are dedicated to religious, charitable, or educational purposes. Donations to 501(c)(3) organizations may be tax deductible. These organizations may not attempt to influence legislation or participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.
- 501(c)(4) organizations are social welfare groups that can engage in more lobbying and advocacy. Contributions to 501(c)(4) organizations may not be tax deductible.
Don’t Forget to Breathe
Tip adapted from GolfDigest.com
Yoga For Stability
- Knee to Chest – Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart with your hands on your hips. This is called mountain pose. Now, lift your left knee to hip height so your upper leg (thigh) is parallel with the floor. Flex your left foot and hold this pose for 3 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.
- Tree Pose – Start with the same mountain pose as the first movement. Now, shift your weight into your left foot, and allow your right knee to turn out to the side as you bring your right foot in to rest at your left ankle, shin, or thigh depending on what’s comfortable. Make sure you’re not putting your foot on the joint itself.
- Dancer Pose – Start in mountain pose. Bend your right knee and slowly lift your right foot off the ground. As you do that, lift your left arm to balance yourself. Hold for 3 breaths and repeat on the other side.
What Does it Take to Become USDA-Certified Organic?
- Adopt organic practices that apply to soil quality, animal raising practices, pest control, and use of additives.
- Submit an application to the USDA.
- The certifying agency then conducts an on-site review of the operation.
- If the applicant complies with the USDA organic regulations, a certificate is issued.