Stocks were mixed last week following better-than-expected corporate reports and increasing optimism over a slowdown in interest rates.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged lower, slipping -0.15%. The Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 1.62% while the Nasdaq Composite index led, picking up 3.31%. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, increased by 1.16%.1,2,3
Strong earnings reports and encouraging inflation data lifted stocks ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) decision on Wednesday to hike interest rates by 25 basis points. Markets rallied following the announcement, relieved that the increase was in line with expectations and buoyed by post-meeting comments in which Fed Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged the disinflationary forces in place.
Fresh earnings reports fueled further gains, with positive earnings surprises from several big-name technology companies that benefited the larger universe of Nasdaq-listed high-growth companies. Disappointing earnings from three mega-cap tech companies and a strong employment report triggered a Friday pull-back, paring the week’s gains.
Another Rate Hike
The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.25%, signaling to the financial markets that it would likely hike rates by another 25 basis points at its next meeting in late March. Fed officials said the slowdown in rate hikes might provide time to assess the impact of the accumulated rate hikes. The Fed retained language in its post-meeting statement that future rate hike plans were unchanged to discourage investors’ hopes of an imminent pause in the rate-hike cycle.4
In his post-meeting press conference, Fed Chair Powell reiterated the Fed’s commitment not to declare victory on inflation prematurely but acknowledged that a disinflationary trend was underway.5
This Week: Key Economic Data
Thursday: Jobless Claims.
Friday: Consumer Sentiment.
Source: Econoday, February 3, 2023
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: Fortinet, Inc. (FTNT), Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (CMG).
Wednesday: CVS Health Corporation (CVS), Prudential Financial, Inc. (PRU), The Walt Disney Company (DIS).
Thursday: AbbVie, Inc. (ABBV), PayPal Holdings, Inc. (PYPL), PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP), Kellogg Company (K), Expedia Group, Inc. (EXPE), O’Reilly Automotive, Inc. (ORLY).
Source: Zacks, February 3, 2023
“A man’s legacy is defined by time.”
– John Cena
Beware Of Improper Employee Retention Credit Claim
The employee retention credit (ERC) is a refundable tax credit for businesses that continued paying employees while shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic or had significant declines in gross receipts from March 13, 2020–December 31, 2021. While this tax credit can be a great benefit for employers, there have been third parties promoting improper ERC claims.
Employers should be wary of third parties advising them to claim the employee retention credit when they may not qualify. These third parties often charge hefty upfront fees or a fee contingent on the refund amount.
There are several conditions employers must meet to be eligible for an ERC. If you know of any improper ERC claims, submit Form 3949-A, Information Referral, to the IRS.
* 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
What is Clean Beauty?
What you put on your body is just as important as what you put in your body! This is why more people are choosing clean skincare and beauty products. Clean ingredients are better for the environment and often more gentle on your skin.
Clean beauty products don’t contain synthetic chemicals and ingredients that could harm your body or irritate your skin. Some of these synthetic ingredients include:
- Synthetic fragrances
- And many more
The exact definition is somewhat undefined, but the movement is becoming increasingly popular as people focus on healthy, environmentally-friendly options for their bodies, homes, and family.
Tip adapted from FOREO6
What is the beginning of sorrow and the end of sickness? Something you cannot express happiness without? Something that is always in risk, but never in danger?
Last week’s riddle: Karen is twice her brother’s age and half her father’s age. In 22 years, her brother will be half the father’s age. How old is Karen now? Answer: Karen is 22 years old.
Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii
Footnotes and Sources
1. The Wall Street Journal, February 3, 2023
2. The Wall Street Journal, February 3, 2023
3. The Wall Street Journal, February 3, 2023
4. The Wall Street Journal, February 1, 2023
5. CNBC, February 1, 2023
6. FOREO, November 20, 2022
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The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, may not materialize, and are subject to revision without notice.
The market indexes discussed are unmanaged, and generally, considered representative of their respective markets. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Indexes do not incur management fees, costs, and expenses. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
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