Stocks Touch Record Highs

The Week on Wall Street

Record high stock marketsThe S&P 500 hit an all-time peak of 2,964.03, in intraday trading Friday, while improving 2.20% across five market days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite posted respective, 5-day advances of 2.41% and 3.01%. In addition, the MSCI EAFE benchmark of overseas stocks rose 2.58%.[1][2][3]

A White House tweet and the latest monetary policy outlook from the Federal Reserve sent the bulls running. These were the top two financial news items in an eventful week – a week in which the value of West Texas Intermediate crude rose 9.4%, the price of gold went above $1,400 for the first time in six years, and the 10-year Treasury yield fell below 2%. (Treasury yields fall when their prices rise, and vice versa.)[4]

The Fed’s June Policy Statement

The central bank stood pat on interest rates this month, but the expectations of some of its policymakers changed. About half of the 17 Fed officials who have a say in monetary policy now project either one or two quarter-point rate cuts by the end of the year. As recently as March, no Fed official saw grounds for a 2019 cut.[5]

Markets interpreted this shift as a sign that the Fed might soon ease. While a rate cut is by no means a given, traders now believe that the Fed will make either a quarter-point or half-point cut at its July meeting.[6]

Last Tuesday’s Market-Moving Tweet

A day earlier, stocks rose after President Trump stated that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping “will be having an extended meeting” at this week’s G-20 summit in Japan.[7]

Investors were encouraged by this note, sensing a chance for progress in U.S.-China trade talks.

Final Thought

With tensions persisting between Iran and the U.S., investors are keeping a close eye on both commodity prices and stock indices. Economic or geopolitical developments could heavily influence the short-term movement of the markets.

The Week Ahead: Key Economic Data

  • Tuesday: The Census Bureau’s snapshot of May new home buying and the Conference Board’s monthly consumer confidence index.
  • Thursday: The federal government’s third (“final”) estimate of first-quarter gross domestic product.
  • Friday: May consumer spending data from the Department of Commerce as well as the final June consumer sentiment index from the University of Michigan, another key gauge of consumer confidence.

Source: Econoday / MarketWatch Calendar, June 21, 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: Carnival (CCL)
  • Tuesday: FedEx (FDX), Micron Technology (MU)
  • Wednesday: General Mills (GIS), Kraft Heinz (KHC), Paychex (PAYX)
  • Thursday: Accenture (ACN), Nike (NKE), Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA)
  • Friday: Constellation Brands (STZ)

Source: Zacks.com, June 21, 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.

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.”

– Abraham Lincoln


Recipe of the Week

Tijuana Street Corn (Elote)

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 8 ears corn, shucked
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • Pink Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup crumbled cotija cheese, divided
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves, minced, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tsp. lime zest
  • 1 tsp. chile ancho powder
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Directions:

  1. Start the coals on your grill. Using a sheet pan, coat the corn with the oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Mix together ⅔ cup of the cotija cheese with the mayonnaise, sour cream, cilantro, lime zest, and chile powder until it comes together.
  3. Place the corn on the hottest section of your grill and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, turning to evenly char.
  4. Once the corn is grilled, and while it’s still hot, brush each cob liberally with the elote mixture.
  5. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese, cilantro, and chili powder, to taste.
  6. Platter up the corn and serve with lime wedges.

Recipe adapted from Tasting Table[8]


Tax Tips

Taxes and Selling Your Home

The IRS provides an exclusion, if you’re a homeowner who qualifies, to exclude all or part of any gain from their income, as a result of the sale of your main home. The ownership and use tests require that during the five-year period ending on the date of the sale, you must have owned and lived in the home for at least two years.

  • If there is a gain from the sale of the main home, you may be able to exclude up to $250,000 of the gain from income or $500,000 on a joint return, in most cases. If you can exclude all of the gain, you do not need to report the sale on your tax return.
  • A main home that sells for lower than purchased is not deductible.
  • There are exceptions for those with a disability, some military, and others.

* 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.gov[9]


Golf Tip

Fix Your Flat Takeaway

Many golfers begin their backswing with a poor turn. This can lead to a flat takeaway causing the shoulders to rotate level with the ground.

Remember, your lead shoulder should always move away from the target, but also downward, as the hands stay close to the body. Your body alignment should be in sync, which helps keep the club more vertical on the backswing.

A flat turn, however, usually causes the opposite. Keeping your backswing shallow will cause you to swing down more steeply and cut across the ball, which results in a slice.

Tip adapted from Golf Digest[10]


Healthy Lifestyle

Mind What You Eat

Mindful eating allows you to enjoy every bite. Practice it, and you’ll get the nutrition that you need as well as an appreciation for the sight, smell, taste, texture, and the satiety that food can bring. Here are five tips to becoming a mindful eater:

  1. Breathe before you eat. Breathing slows you down and provides a great transition to being fully aware and present for your meal. Try taking eight to ten deep breaths before you start your meal.
  2. Check in. After breathing, ask yourself “How hungry am I?” Give it a scale of 1 to 10. What physical sensations are you feeling that indicate your hunger level?
  3. Get mindful. Based on your hunger choose what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat.
  4. Peace out. Practice being calm as you dine. Try setting a place at your table, forgoing a tray in front of the television, and pay attention to your dining experience. Savor your food and slow down.
  5. Eat what you love. Pay close attention to the attributes of your food – the taste, flavors, textures, and how much enjoyment you get from your favorite foods. If you don’t love it, don’t eat it.

Tip adapted from Mindful[11]


Green Living

Recycling Tip: Reduce and Reuse

Properly recycling takes some effort. In general, recyclables need to be separated, cleaned, and sometimes, even deconstructed to be properly recycled (think multi-material juice boxes).

Depending on where you live, your recycling efforts may be all for naught, since much of it can end up in the landfill, anyway. This is because we can no longer rely on about 40% of recyclables being sent to China for processing due to recent policy changes to reduce environmental pollution.[12]

So, what can we do to help? The first step is to reduce and reuse; it prevents pollution and greenhouse gases. Here are a few ideas on how to reduce and reuse:

  • Buy (or trade) used items; thrift stores, swap meets, Craigslist, or consignment shops
  • Use products with less packaging or look for recycled packaging
  • Repair and reuse; clothing and household items can often be repaired before opting to throw them out
  • Borrow or share items instead of buying them; tools, household items, decorations, and kitchen gadgets

Finally, if you have extra, donate. There are folks who may just be looking to reuse what you are reducing.

Tip adapted from EPA.gov[13]


[1] www.cnbc.com/2019/06/21/it-was-a-monumental-week-for-markets-with-major-milestones-in-stocks-bonds-gold-and-oil.html

[2] www.wsj.com/market-data

[3] quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/990300/historical-prices

[4] www.cnbc.com/2019/06/21/it-was-a-monumental-week-for-markets-with-major-milestones-in-stocks-bonds-gold-and-oil.html

[5] www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-fed-interest-rate-policy-20190619-story.html

[6] www.cmegroup.com/trading/interest-rates/countdown-to-fomc.html

[7] www.cnbc.com/2019/06/18/trump-says-he-and-chinas-xi-spoke-will-have-extended-meeting-next-week-at-g-20.html

[8] www.tastingtable.com/cook/recipes/grilled-mexican-street-corn-recipe-elotes

[9] www.irs.gov/newsroom/tips-to-keep-in-mind-on-income-taxes-and-selling-a-home

[10] www.golfdigest.com/story/tips-from-one-of-the-tours-best-ball-strikers

[11] www.mindful.org/take-a-mindful-moment-5-simple-practices-for-daily-life/

[12] www.nbcwashington.com/news/business/US-Struggles-With-What-to-Do-With-Tons-of-Recycled-Material-489971551.html

[13] www.epa.gov/recycle/reducing-and-reusing-basics