Stocks retreated in the first trading week of 2024, struggling a bit after a celebratory end to last year as investors second-guessed Fed signals and fretted over lingering inflation concerns.

New Year Blues

Stocks got off to a rough first week of the new year, with tech names leading the week’s decline. Several market observers called it the “reverse Goldilocks” effect, where the market decided investors were getting a little too excited over the prospect of a Fed rate cut.

Stocks bounced up and down each of the four trading days but ended each one down—except Friday, when the Dow Industrials, Nasdaq Composite, and S&P 500 all ended the day in the green when jobs data helped soften the week’s slide.1,2

All About the Fed

On Wednesday, manufacturing news came in better than expected, lifting markets until the December Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes were released, revealing that the Fed members had discussed rate cuts for 2024 but in no specific terms.

Jobs and services sector news painted a better picture of the economy on Thursday, but as the 10-year Treasury hit 4%, stock prices responded negatively.

Jobs Data in Focus

Finally, employment data helped buffer the week on Friday, as employers added 216,000 new jobs in December, besting estimates from economists and surpassing the 173,000 jobs added in November. News of unemployment remaining steady at 3.7% also helped sentiment.3,4

This Week: Key Economic Data

Tuesday: International Trade in Goods.

Wednesday: EIA Petroleum Status Report.

Thursday: Jobless Claims. Consumer Price Index. Treasury Statement.

Friday: Producer Price Index.

Source: Investor’s Business Daily, Econoday economic calendar; January 5, 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: Jefferies Financial Group (JEF)

Tuesday: Albertsons Companies (ACI)

Wednesday: KB Home (KBH), Rite Aid Corporation (RADCQ)

Thursday: Infosys (INFY)

Friday: UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH), JP Morgan Chase & Co (JPM), Bank of America Corporation (BAC), Wells Fargo & Co (WFC)

Source: Zacks, January 5, 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.

“It is always a silly thing to give advice, but to give good advice is absolutely fatal.”

– Oscar Wilde

Errors to Avoid When Filing Your Extended Tax Return

If you file an extension of your tax return, it’s essential to avoid the common errors described below to submit a complete and accurate tax return:

  • Missing or inaccurate Social Security number (SSN): Make sure your return has your correct SSN, matching what is on your Social Security card.
  • Misspelled names: This may be a simple matter to look for, but mistakes happen. If you go by a name other than the one printed on your Social Security card, make sure you use the name on the card.
  • Filing status: Claiming the wrong filing status can invalidate your return. Choose the correct option (electronic filing software can prevent mistakes). The interactive tax assistant tool can also help to determine your filing status and any relevant credits you should (or should not) claim.
  • Math errors: Simple addition and subtraction mistakes can delay your return. Consider using electronic filing software that does the math automatically to avoid mistakes.
  • Incorrect bank account information: If you opt to receive your refund via direct deposit, provide the correct bank account information. Giving an incorrect account number can delay your refund even further.
  • Unsigned forms: Lastly, you should double-check that all sections of your forms are signed. Missing signatures can delay your return.

*This information is not intended to substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.

Tip adapted from IRS.gov5

A Beginner’s Guide to Juicing 

Juicing is a fantastic way to get some extra fruits and veggies into your diet, especially on those busy days when you can’t find time to make a nutritious meal. Plus, it’s easy to start and reap the many benefits.

First, decide what kind of juicer you want. The two most common types are masticating and centrifugal juicers. Masticating juicers “chew” the food and are slower. Preparing the produce for these juicers takes longer because they can juice only small pieces, but you retain more nutrients. Centrifugal juicers are slightly more affordable, and juice with a spinning disk. You do less produce prep, but the juice doesn’t have as many nutrients.

Next, you need to decide what to juice. You’ll learn which fruits and veggies yield the most juice and which choices combine well with others, but here are two simple recipes to get you started:

Green Juice

Purple Juice
Beets (you can juice the green tops as well)

You can add ginger, turmeric, or even garlic to give your juice extra flavor and kick.

Tip adapted from Live Simply Natural6

It has avenues, rivers, and parks, but no grass, water, or asphalt. What is it?


Last week’s riddle: Victor is assigned to paint suite numbers on doors at an office building with 100 suites, which will be numbered from 1 to 100. How many times will he have to paint the number 8? Answer: 20 times – 8, 18, 28, 38, 48, 58, 68, 78, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 98.

White Pelicans in the water at the Ding Darling Wildlife Reserve at Sanibel, Florida


Footnotes and Sources

1. The Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2024
2. The Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2024
3. The Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2024
4. The Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2024
5., September 6, 2023
6., October 9, 2023