Weekly Market Insights: Investors Anticipate Fed Rate Change

Weekly Market Insights: Investors Anticipate Fed Rate Change

Stocks notched a solid gain last week in a mega-cap, tech-led rally bolstered by positive inflation news.

Dow 40,000

The week began quietly as market averages traded in a tight range, awaiting fresh inflation news.

On Tuesday, markets rose steadily throughout the day after digesting a mixed wholesale inflation report.1

The next day, a cooler-than-expected Consumer Price Index (CPI) report sparked a broad-based rally as the upbeat news raised investors’ hopes for a rate cut. The Nasdaq Composite and Standard & Poor’s 500 (which ended above 5300 for the first time) closed the day up 1.4 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, the bellwether 10-year Treasury yield fell to 4.35 percent.2,3

Investors took a break as the week ended, mostly yawning at mixed economic data. Notably, the Dow closed just above 40,000 on Friday. 

 
 

Inflated Expectations

With the two critical inflation updates last week, attention shifted to the Federal Reserve’s next steps with interest rates.

The top-level CPI numbers (known as headline inflation) tend to be less important than what’s underneath: core inflation (CPI minus volatile food and energy prices) in the Fed’s eye. Core CPI came in at 0.29 percent for April, just below the 0.30 percent from Wall Street. It was the first time the core CPI was lower than forecasts in three months. The news revived speculation that the Fed might consider a rate adjustment as early as September.4,5

This Week: Key Economic Data

Monday: Fed Officials Michael Barr, Raphael Bostic, Christopher Waller, and Philip Jefferson speak for the first time. 

Tuesday: Fed Officials Michael Barr, Raphael Bostic, Christopher Waller, and Philip Jefferson speak again. John Williams speaks for the first time for the week.

Wednesday: Existing Home Sales. 20-Year Treasury Bond Auction. FOMC Meeting Minutes.

Thursday: Jobless Claims. New Home Sales. Fed Balance Sheet.

Friday: Durable Goods. Consumer Sentiment.

Source: Investors Business Daily – Econoday economic calendar;  May 17, 2024
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

Monday: Palo Alto Networks, Inc. (PANW)

Tuesday: Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (LOW)

Wednesday: NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA), The TJX Companies, Inc. (TJX), Target Corporation (TGT)

Thursday: Intuit Inc. (INTU)

Source: Zacks, May 17, 2024
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.

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”

– Amelia Earhart

Starting A New Hobby? These Tips Can Help You Understand The Tax Situation

Whether you pick up painting or cook new concoctions in your kitchen, starting a new hobby is always fun and a great avenue to learn something new. However, there are some important tax considerations when starting a new hobby, especially if you are considering turning your newfound passion into a business.

Taxpayers must report any income earned from hobbies, even if it does not involve a licensed business. While businesses should make a profit, hobbies are primarily recreation. The following nine factors can guide you in determining whether a hobby could also be considered a business, according to the IRS:

  • Whether you execute the activity in a businesslike manner and maintain complete and accurate books and records.
  • Whether you have personal motives in performing the activity.
  • Whether the time and effort you expend in the activity indicate that you intend to make it profitable.
  • Whether you depend on income from the activity for your livelihood.
  • Whether your losses are due to circumstances beyond your control (or are normal in the startup phase of your type of business).
  • Whether you or your financial professional understand how to parlay the activity into a successful business.
  • Whether you successfully made a profit through similar activities in the past.
  • Whether the activity will make a profit in some years and how much profit it will make.
  • Whether you can profit from appreciating the assets used in the activity.

You can also deduct some of the expenses associated with your hobby. Within certain limits, taxpayers can typically deduct ordinary and necessary hobby expenses. An ordinary expense is common and accepted for the activity, while a necessary expense is appropriate.

*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.gov6

3 Stretches For Your Lower Back

We spend so much time sitting in our cars and at our desks that it’s no wonder that our lower backs can become tight and even sore. These three lower back stretches will help improve your flexibility and recovery and may even help if you have lower back pain.

  • Figure 4 Stretch: The Figure 4 stretch will stretch your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. To do the stretch, lay on your back with both feet on the ground. Then, cross your left foot over your right knee. Gently bring your right leg to a 90-degree angle. If you would like to increase the intensity of the stretch, grab the back of your thigh and bring your right knee toward your torso. Repeat on the other side.
  • Inner Thigh Stretch/Butterfly Stretch: This stretch addresses your inner thigh and lower back. Sit on the ground and bring your feet together in front of your knees with the soles of your feet touching. Let your knees fall to the side. To increase the stretch, bring your feet closer to your torso.
  • Pigeon Pose: To assume the pigeon pose, bring one leg to 90 degrees from your torso and stretch the other leg behind you so your right calf is perpendicular to your hips. To intensify the stretch, bend at the hips over your front leg. Repeat on both sides.

Tip adapted from Very Well Fit7

Rigid is my spine, my innards are mostly pale, yet I am always ready to tell a tale. What am I?

 

Last week’s riddle: What should the following number be in this series: 103, 107, 109, 113, 127, ___ ?  Answer: 131, as the whole series is made up of prime numbers.

Bullring Shopping Centre Birmingham, England, UK

 

Footnotes And Sources

1. CNBC.com, May 14, 2024

2. The Wall Street Journal, May 15, 2024

3. CNBC.com, May 17, 2024

4. CNBC.com, May 14, 2024

5. The Wall Street Journal, May 15, 2024

6. IRS.gov, November 15, 2023

7. Very Well Fit, January 24, 2023

Weekly Market Insights: Investors Anticipate Fed Rate Change

Weekly Market Insights: Stocks Rise, Anticipating Rate Cut

Stocks notched a solid gain last week as rate-cut expectations paced the rally as the Q1 earnings season wound down.

Stocks Climb Steadily

Monday opened with stocks picking up where they left off the prior Friday. Stocks were still basking in the afterglow of fresh jobs data, which eased investor concerns of an overheating economy. That and reports of a possible Middle East ceasefire fueled Monday’s rally.1

Stocks hung out in a narrow trading band Tuesday and Wednesday, yawning at the sparse economic news and a handful of negative earnings results. By contrast, the Nasdaq edged lower over those two days.2,3

On Thursday, the S&P 500 closed above 5,200 for the first time since early April. The next day, stocks rallied, and the Dow clinched its eighth consecutive day of gains, the longest winning streak since December and its best weekly performance this year. Fresh data showed consumers continue to have inflation concerns for the year ahead, which was unsettling.4,5

Jobs Market Shows a “Goldilocks” Outlook

Jobs data from the past few months have shown unemployment levels remain low while job growth stays strong—but not too hot.

And last week’s Conference Board’s employment trends index for April projected slower jobs growth in the second half. The markets all year have responded well when the “Goldilocks” outlook suggests that economic indicators are “just right.”6

This Week: Key Economic Data

Monday: Fed Official Loretta Mester Speech.

Tuesday: Producer Price Index. NFIB Small Business Optimism Index.

Wednesday: Consumer Price Index. Retail Sales. Business Inventories. Fed Official Neel Kashkari Speech.

Thursday: Housing Starts. Jobless Claims. Industrial Production. Import & Export Prices. Fed Official Speeches: Patrick Harker, Raphael Bostic.

Friday: Leading Indicators.

Source: Investors Business Daily – Econoday economic calendar;  May 10, 2024
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: The Home Depot, Inc. (HD)

Wednesday: Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO)

Thursday: Walmart Inc. (WMT), Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT), Deere & Company (DE)

Source: Zacks, May 10, 2024
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.

“The secret of happiness isn’t found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”

– Socrates

Are Social Security Benefits Taxable?

If you receive Social Security benefits, you may have to pay federal income tax on some of these benefits. Your payment will depend on your specific income and filing status.

To find out whether your Social Security benefits are taxable, if you are single, take half of the Social Security money you received throughout the year and add it to your other income, including pensions, wages, interest, dividends, and capital gains. If the total for an individual exceeds $25,000, part of your benefits may be taxable.

If you are married filing jointly, take half of the Social Security money you received throughout the year plus half of your spouse’s Social Security benefits; add both amounts to your combined household income. If the total is over $32,000, part of your benefits may be taxable.

The IRS’s website delineates the taxable percentage of benefits based on the above calculation. These percentages vary between 50% to 85% and depend on your filing status and income levels. For example, if you are filing as a single person with $25,000 to $34,000 income, 50% of your Social Security benefits may be taxable.

The Interactive Tax Assistant on IRS.gov can help you determine whether your Social Security benefits are taxable and, if so, by how much.

*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

4 Benefits of Yoga

In addition to helping you finally touch your toes, yoga may confer many other benefits, from helping you relax to even potentially helping your heart health. Below are some other potential benefits of yoga:

  • Yoga can decrease stress and promote relaxation. Becoming more in tune with your body and where you hold stress is rewarding.
  • Yoga may also be able to relieve anxiety. In one study, 34 women diagnosed with an anxiety disorder participated in yoga classes twice weekly for two months. At the end of the study, those who had practiced yoga had significantly lower levels of anxiety than the control group.
  • Yoga may help improve heart health and reduce several risk factors for heart disease. One study found that participants over 40 who practiced yoga for five years had lower blood pressure and pulse rates than those who did not.
  • Lastly, yoga may help fight depression; this may be because yoga can decrease cortisol levels, a stress hormone that influences serotonin levels, the neurotransmitter frequently associated with depression.

Tip adapted from Healthline8

What should the following number be in this series: 103, 107, 109, 113, 127, ___ ?

 

Last week’s riddle: I can’t be captured or held, and I certainly am not seen … yet I can occasionally be heard, and I am often all around you. What am I? Answer: The wind.

Doi Inthanon, Chom Thong District, Chiang Mai Province 

 

Footnotes and Sources

 

1. The Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2024

2. The Wall Street Journal, May 7, 2024

3. The Wall Street Journal, May 8, 2024

4. CNBC.com, May 9, 2024

5. The Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2024

6. The Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2024

7. IRS.gov, December 5, 2023

8. Healthline, January 24, 2023 

Weekly Market Insights: Investors Anticipate Fed Rate Change

Weekly Market Insights: Volatility, Uncertainty Rule the Week for Markets

 
 
Weekly Market Insights: Investors Anticipate Fed Rate Change

Weekly Market Insights: Despite Turbulent Week, Stocks Stage Comeback

Stocks staged a choppy comeback last week as investors cheered positive earnings, led by mega-cap tech stocks. The rally came to pass despite fresh data showing a slowing economy and increasing inflationary pressures.

Stocks Bounce Back. Twice.

Last week opened with a rebound rally as investors breathed a sigh of relief that Middle East tensions had eased. The market rally extended into Tuesday, with investors cheering positive corporate earnings reports. By Tuesday’s market close, the S&P 500 had gained 2% for the week.1,2,3

But investor enthusiasm didn’t last, as midweek saw profit taking in all three averages. Rising bond yields threw a wet blanket on market momentum; at one point, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose more than 40 basis points from its low earlier in the week.4

On Thursday, markets slipped on two fresh pieces of economic data: a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) slowdown and higher consumer prices. But by midday, selling pressure slowed. Stocks pushed higher on Friday behind upbeat Q1 reports from two mega-cap tech stocks, helping the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq post their best week since November.5

 
 

Earnings Vs. Inflation

Corporate earnings and economic reports battled it out last week. In the end, earnings won, at least for this week.

The big economic news was that Q1 GDP grew at a 1.6 percent annualized rate—slower than the 2.4 percent economists expected and less than Q4 2023. The GDP report seemed to support the Goldilocks economy theory—not too hot, but not too cool—a story investors have favored this year.

The PCE (personal consumption expenditures) Index, the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, was embedded within the GDP report. Excluding food and energy, it increased 2.8% from a year ago. It was unchanged from February and slightly higher than expected. It joined a growing list of factors pointing to an uptick in inflation, complicating the Fed’s interest rate decision.5

This Week: Key Economic Data

Tuesday: Employment Cost Index. Case-Shiller Home Price Index. Consumer Confidence.

Wednesday: FOMC Announcement and Fed Chair Press Conference. Treasury Refunding Announcement. ISM Manufacturing Index. EIA Petroleum Status Report.

Thursday: Motor Vehicle Sales. Jobless Claims. International Trade in Goods & Services. Factory Orders. Productivity and Costs.

Friday: Employment Situation.

Source: Investors Business Daily – Econoday economic calendar; April 23, 2024
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: Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN), Eli Lilly and Company (LLY), The Coca-Cola Company (KO), Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD), McDonald’s Corporation (MCD), Starbucks Corporation (SBUX)

Wednesday: Mastercard Incorporated (MA), QUALCOMM Incorporated (QCOM), Pfizer Inc. (PFE), Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP)

Thursday: Apple Inc. (AAPL), Amgen Inc. (AMGN), Booking Holdings Inc. (BKNG), ConocoPhillips (COP), Cigna Group (CI)

Friday: Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A, BRK.B)

Source: Zacks, April 23, 2024
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.

“The hardest tumble a man can make is to fall over his own bluff.”

– Ambrose Bierce

IRS Program Helps Seniors Prepare Taxes

The IRS has a Free File tool, which facilitates online tax preparation, direct deposits of refunds, and electronic filing choices, designed for taxpayers on a fixed budget, including seniors and retirees. Here is some information to know about the tool:

  • IRS Free File is at IRS.gov and features some significant names in the tax software provider world.
  • To use the tool, taxpayers can browse multiple offers.
  • The eligibility standards for Free File depend on the tax partner but are typically based on income, age, and state residency.
  • Free File has most of the necessary forms when filing your taxes. Even if you have a unique tax situation, you may still be able to use Free File.
  • Some Free File products are available in Spanish.
  • You can also search for credits and deductions in Free File.
  • Some providers in Free File also offer state return preparation. You can use the lookup tool in Free File to find the tax partner that might be appropriate for your state requirements.
  • Taxpayers can access Free File through computers, smartphones, or tablets.

*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.gov6

Aloe Vera: One Powerful Plant

Aloe vera is a medicinal plant used for nearly everything. It is a cactus-type plant that grows well in many climates and has thick, juicy leaves that store water. Because of this, aloe vera is beloved for its hydrating properties. Let’s explore aloe’s many benefits and how to include them in your daily routine.

The thick, sticky gel in aloe leaves contains potent bioactive compounds, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants.

Aloe vera is also known for its healing properties. Its antibacterial, antiviral, and antiseptic properties may help heal wounds and treat skin problems or as a topical treatment for first—and second-degree burns.

Lastly, aloe vera can lower blood sugar levels by enhancing insulin sensitivity and managing blood sugar. Some preliminary evidence has suggested that aloe vera may benefit people with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Check with your doctor or medical team for more information.

Tip adapted from Medical News Today7

I protect you. I sit on a bridge. You can see through me. People walking by might wonder what I hide. What am I?

 

Last week’s riddle: How can you name three consecutive days without mentioning the words Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday? Answer: Use the words yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

A green sea turtle, Queensland, Australia

 

Footnotes And Sources

1. The Wall Street Journal, April 26, 2024

2. CNBC.com, April 22, 2024

3. CNBC.com, April 23, 2024

4. CNBC.com, April 24, 2024

5. The Wall Street Journal, April 25, 2024

6 IRS.gov, October 23, 2023

8. Medical News Today, January 23, 2023

Weekly Market Insights: Investors Anticipate Fed Rate Change

Weekly Market Insights: Fed And Middle East Conflict Diminish Stocks

Stocks fell for a third straight week, as Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s mixed but upbeat message could not offset the anxiety caused by the Middle East conflict.

Stocks Retreat

Markets began the week rattled by further escalation in the Middle East over the weekend. A bit of good news punctuated an otherwise sour Monday, as a stronger-than-expected retail sales report showed consumers were spending despite rising inflation.1,2

On Tuesday, remarks from Fed Chair Jerome Powell indicated a shift in thinking—from being confident to not-so-confident about interest rate cuts in 2024. He said rates might need to stay higher until the Fed meets their 2% inflation target.3,4

On Friday, the markets saw further declines, but investors were somewhat reassured by the perception that Thursday’s retaliatory actions in the Middle East were restricted in scope.5

 

Silver Linings

When stocks are in a downtrend, it’s important to keep perspective and realize that markets move in cycles. Here are a couple of bright spots from last week and perhaps some good news that may influence trading in the week ahead:

  • While Chair Powell said last week that the Fed may keep rates higher for longer, he also said the Fed does not intend to raise rates for now.

  • Despite inflation concerns, individuals were in a spending mood in March. Retail sales increased 0.7% for the month, more than twice the consensus forecast.
  • “Earning season” picks up during the next four weeks. For the week ending April 26, more than 800 companies will give updates on business conditions in Q1.6

This Week: Key Economic Data

Tuesday: PMI Composite. New Home Sales.

Wednesday: EIA Petroleum Status Report. Durable Goods. Survey of Business Uncertainty.

Thursday: Gross Domestic Product (GDP). International Trade in Goods (Advance). Jobless Claims. Pending Home Sales.

Friday: Personal Income & Outlays. Consumer Sentiment.

Source: Investors Business Daily – Econoday economic calendar; April 18, 2024
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

Monday: Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ)

Tuesday: Tesla, Inc. (TSLA), Visa Inc. (V), PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP), GE Aerospace (GE), United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS)

Wednesday: Meta Platforms, Inc. (META), International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), AT&T Inc. (T), The Boeing Company (BA)

Thursday: Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), Alphabet Inc. (GOOG, GOOGL), Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK), T-Mobile US, Inc. (TMUS)

Friday: Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM), Chevron Corporation (CVX)

Source: Zacks, April 18, 2024
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.

“Anything you don’t understand is dangerous until you do understand it.”

– Larry Niven

Can You Claim The Child Tax Credit For Other Dependents?

Even if you cannot claim the child tax credit, you may be able to claim the credit for other dependents under your care. The IRS issues a maximum of $500 for each dependent who meets specific conditions.

These conditions include the following:

  • Dependents who are age 17 or older.

  • Dependents who have individual taxpayer identification numbers.
  • Dependent parents or other qualifying relatives supported by the taxpayer.
  • Dependents living with the taxpayer who are not related to the taxpayer.

The credit begins to phase out when the taxpayer’s income exceeds $200,000. This phaseout begins for married couples filing a joint tax return at $400,000.

Taxpayers may be able to claim this credit if the following are applicable:

  • They claim the person as a dependent on the taxpayer’s return.

  • They cannot use the dependent to claim the child tax credit or additional child tax credit.
  • The dependent is a U.S. citizen, national, or resident alien.

This dependent credit may also combine with the child and dependent care credit and the earned income credit.

*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

Channel Your Natural Beauty

What you put on your body is equally as important as what you put in your body; this is why more people are opting for natural skincare and beauty products. Natural ingredients are better for the environment and often gentler on your skin.

When seeking a natural beauty product, check its certifications. Most natural beauty products are certified organic or natural by outside organizations. As a bonus, they may also be vegan or cruelty-free. You should also consider shopping for products that are non-toxic, palm oil-free, and produced with ethical ingredient sourcing policies and environmentally friendly packaging.

Here are some of the most common natural ingredients to look for, depending on the product and your needs:

  • Aloe vera

  • Almond oil
  • Shea butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Antioxidants such as pomegranate or orange extract
  • Rosehip oil
  • Sunflower seed oil

The list of powerful, effective, and safe natural beauty ingredients is constantly growing, and we are advancing toward a future of gentle, sustainable beauty products.

Tip adapted from Sustainable Jungle8

How can you name three consecutive days without mentioning the words Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday?

 

Last week’s riddle: What has a tail and head but no body? Answer: A coin.

Familia Basilica, Barcelona, Sagrada Familia

 

Footnotes And Sources

1. The Wall Street Journal, April 19, 2024

2. CNBC.com, April 15, 2024

3. The Wall Street Journal, April 16, 2024

4. CNBC.com, April 16, 2024

5. CNBC.com, April 19, 2024

6. MarketWatch, April 19, 2024

7. IRS.gov, October 23, 2023

8. Sustainable Jungle, January 23, 2023

Weekly Market Insights: Investors Anticipate Fed Rate Change

Weekly Market Insights: Stocks Startled By Inflation, Conflict

Stocks fell last week as investors sorted through conflicting inflation reports and assessed geopolitical tensions.

Inflation Spooks Markets

On Wednesday, the March Consumer Price Index (CPI) report rattled markets, revealing that inflation accelerated slightly more than expected. Bond yields rose, and stocks retreated in response, as investors feared the news could influence the Fed’s rate decision. The 10-year Treasury yield had its highest intraday jump in three years.1,2,3

Markets rallied Thursday as investors were encouraged by the Producer Price Index (PPI) report, which measures inflation at the producer level. Unlike CPI, PPI rose less than expected, which sparked a tech-focused rally. Markets opened lower on Friday as investors wrestled with the conflicting inflation reports.

Fears of an escalating Middle East conflict also weighed on stocks during the week. Concerns about a potential weekend event led some investors to end the week in a risk-off position.4

Inflated Expectations

Minutes from the March Fed meeting, published Wednesday, showed officials’ concern that inflation wasn’t slowing down quickly enough toward the Fed’s 2% target. But despite sticky inflation, they reiterated that rate cuts were still on the table for this year.

The start of Q1 earnings season reinforced inflation concerns as several leading money center banks—despite many beating expectations—forecasted lower growth for the remainder of 2024 due partly to inflation and higher-than-expected rates.

On Friday, the University of Michigan’s survey showed consumer sentiment fell last month. Some concluded that the survey confirmed what consumers have been saying for months—that inflation is still in their everyday lives.5,6

This Week: Key Economic Data

Monday: Retail Sales. Business Inventories. Housing Market Index. Empire State Manufacturing Index.

Tuesday: Housing Starts and Permits. Industrial Production.

Wednesday: EIA Petroleum Status Report. Treasury International Capital. Beige Book. 20-Year Treasury Bond Auction.

Thursday: Jobless Claims. Existing Home Sales. EIA Natural Gas Report. Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index.

Source: Investors Business Daily – Econoday economic calendar; April 11, 2024
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

Monday: The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS), The Charles Schwab Corporation (CHSW)

Tuesday: UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Bank of America Corporation (BAC), Morgan Stanley (MS)

Wednesday: Abbott Laboratories (ABT), Prologis, Inc. (PLD), CSX Corporation (CSX)

Thursday: Netflix, Inc. (NFLX), Elevance Health, Inc. (ELV), Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (MMC), The Blackstone Group (BX)

Friday: The Proctor & Gamble Company (PG), American Express Company (AXP)

Source: Zacks, April 11, 2024
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.

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”

– William Shakespeare

More Digital Choices For Filing

The IRS has made it easier to file your taxes. Forms now contain electronic signature options, meaning tax professionals can conduct remote transactions.

To allow your tax professional to use the electronic signature option, you must fill out and submit Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative. This form constitutes a written authorization appointing tax professionals to represent taxpayers before the IRS; this includes performing certain acts on the taxpayer’s behalf. These acts may encompass providing an e-signature.

*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

Hydrate the Healthy Way

Are you trying to kick a soda habit but sick of water? There are many fun and healthy means to make your water taste better and encourage you to drink more. Here are some easy ways to spice up your normal water:

Add fresh fruit slices, such as lemon, lime, or orange. Not only will these fruits make your water taste better, but you may also enjoy some of the benefits of these citrus powerhouses.

Add some sliced cucumber to your water to make it feel pampered. Who needs the spa when you have a nice glass of cucumber water sitting at your desk?

Try some sugar-free, low-calorie water sweeteners. They are an appealing option for those who have a sweet tooth and crave soda but are trying to drink more water. Mix it up with sparkling water or seltzer if you miss the fizz of soda. Most sparkling waters are calorie-free or low in calories while keeping you hydrated.

It would help to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water daily. What are some of your favorite methods to make water more exciting?

Tip adapted from Baton Rouge Clinic8

What has a tail and head but no body?

 

Last week’s riddle: You have 31 baseballs in a box, and 31 kids are lined up to get them. You give each kid a baseball, but in the end, one baseball remains in the box. How is this possible? Answer: When you give the last baseball away, you give it away within the box—that is, the 31st kid to get a baseball also gets the box.

Elevador da Bica funicular in Lisbon, Portugal

 

Footnotes and Sources

1. The Wall Street Journal, April 12, 2024

2. CNBC.com, April 10, 2024

3. The Wall Street Journal, April 11, 2024

4. CNBC.com, April 12, 2024

5. MarketWatch.com, April 11, 2024

6. CNBC.com, April 10, 2024

7. IRS.gov, February 13, 2023

8. Baton Rouge Clinic, January 23, 2023

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