Stocks Stay Cool, Inflation Heats Up

Stocks ended the week mixed as investors appeared to shrug off a hotter-than-expected inflation report.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.80%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 advanced 0.41%. The Nasdaq Composite index led, tacking on 1.85%. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, rose 0.31%.1,2,3

Another Quiet Week

The market traded in a narrow range for much of last week as investors anxiously awaited the release of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) on Thursday.

May’s CPI saw an increase in inflation that exceeded most expectations. Paradoxically, markets advanced on the news, sending the S&P 500 to a new record close and the technology-heavy NASDAQ Composite higher. Perhaps equally unexpected was the decline in the 10-year Treasury yield, which slipped to 1.45%, touching its lowest level in three months.4

On Friday, stocks were unable to materially build on the previous day’s advance, though the S&P 500 managed to add onto its record Thursday close.

Inflation Trends

Consumer prices headed higher in May, rising 0.6% from April and by 5.0% from a year ago. It was the largest jump in the CPI since August 2008. Core inflation, which excludes food and energy prices, rose 3.8% — the sharpest increase in nearly three decades.5

Automobile prices were one of the primary contributors to May’s number. Used car and truck prices jumped 7.3% month-over-month and by 29.7% from a year ago. New cars experienced their highest monthly increase since October 2009 as a result of an inventory shortage stemming from tightness in the semiconductor supply.6

This Week: Key Economic Data

  • Tuesday: Retail Sales. Industrial Production.
  • Wednesday: FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) Announcement.
  • Thursday: Index of Leading Economic Indicators. Jobless Claims.

Source: Econoday, June 11, 2021
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: Oracle Corporation (ORCL).
  • Thursday: The Kroger Co. (KR).

Source: Zacks, June 11, 2021
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.

“One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives.”

– Euripides

Tax Tips for Children or Grandchildren with Part-Time Summer Jobs

As summer approaches, many of us have kids or grandkids who are coming home for the summer and working part-time. Whether they’re bussing tables, counseling summer camp, or mowing lawns, these tips will help them (and you) understand the tax implications of summer jobs:

  • Withholding: If your child is working for an employer, they will generally withhold taxes from their paycheck. If they are self-employed, however, they may be responsible for paying these taxes directly to the IRS.
  • Self-Employment: Speaking of self-employment, it’s a good idea to keep records of income and expenses related to self-employed work. Expenses associated with self-employment may be deductible.
  • New Employee Paperwork: Talk to your child or grandchild about the paperwork that they may need to fill out when starting a new job. This will likely include a W-4 form, which is a form that businesses use to calculate how much federal income should be withheld from their paycheck.
  • Tip Income: All tip income is taxable and if they make more than $20 in cash tips a month, they need to report it to their employer. In addition, they must report all yearly tips on their tax return.
  • Payroll Taxes: Even if your kids or grandkids earn too little to owe income tax, they may still have to either pay Social Security and Medicare taxes themselves or have them withheld from their paycheck.

Summer jobs are a great way to learn about responsibility and taxes, as well as earn a little extra income before returning to the school year.

* 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.gov7

How to Take a Vacation Without Leaving Home

Vacations provide a ton of benefits and are a great way to relax and take a break from your everyday stressors. But sometimes, you can’t swing a whole vacation. The good news is that you can still enjoy a little getaway without leaving the comfort of your own home.

Here are some fun ways to “get away” without actually getting away:

  • Create a themed cocktail or drink based on the place you’re dreaming of. Whip up a fancy French cocktail and pretend you’re sitting on a terrace in Paris, or order a local microbrew from a US destination that you’ve always wanted to go to.
  • You can also create a themed dinner night and take a culinary adventure around the world. Bonus points if you design a real menu.
  • Visit a museum (virtually). The Google Arts and Culture Project makes it possible to visit the Tate, Reina Sofia, and Acropolis Museum all from the comfort of your own home.

Whether you want to visit a national park, learn a new language, or try a new recipe, there are countless ways to explore the world from your living room.

Tip adapted from Ideas.ted.com8

I have cities, but no houses. I have mountains, but no trees. I have water, but no fish. What am I?

Last week’s riddle: What is placed on a table and cut, but never eaten? Answer: A deck of cards.

Kelp forest, Monterey, California.

Sources

1. The Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2021

2. The Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2021

3. The Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2021

4. The Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2021

5. CNBC, June 10, 2021

6. CNBC, June 10, 2021

7. IRS.gov, June 28, 2019

8. Ideas.ted.com, Oct 26, 2020