Concerns that the Fed may raise interest rates soured investor sentiment, sending stocks lower in a holiday-shortened trading week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.75%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 declined 1.29%. The Nasdaq Composite index dropped 1.93% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, lost 1.28%.1,2,3
Stocks Resume Their Decline
Stocks were bedeviled by rising bond yields and higher oil prices last week, with technology shares bearing the brunt of the decline. Hopes that the Fed may not find it necessary to raise interest rates were dented by economic data reflecting higher prices, rising labor costs, and fewer-than-forecast initial jobless claims.
The inflationary implications of higher oil prices also contributed to the growing sense that the Fed may implement additional rate hikes. While bond traders generally still expect no rate hike in September, the likelihood of a 0.25% rate hike or higher in November jumped to 43.3% by Friday morning from 35.4% a week ago.4
Oil Prices Spike
Last week, Saudi Arabia and Russia announced they would extend their oil production cuts to the end of the year. Investors had expected these cuts to be stretched to October, so the three-month extension surprised the markets.
The announcement sent oil prices higher on supply shortage worries in the coming winter months, with the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil price climbing to a 10-month high.5
Higher oil prices also sparked concerns that it would make the Fed’s inflation fight more difficult, potentially forcing the Fed to hike rates above market expectations.
This Week: Key Economic Data
Wednesday: Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Thursday: Jobless Claims. Producer Price Index (PPI). Retail Sales.
Friday: Consumer Sentiment. Industrial Production.
Source: Econoday, September 8, 2023
“Do not merely practice your art, but force your way into its secrets; it deserves that, for only art and science can exalt man to divinity.”
– Ludwig van Beethoven
Give Back To Your Community By Working As A Tax Volunteer
If you want to give back to your community and help people with low to moderate incomes, consider applying to volunteer with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs. These programs offer free tax help to senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and those who speak limited English to understand their tax situations.
Here are some of the perks of being a VITA or TCE volunteer:
- Flexible hours: Generally, volunteers contribute 3-5 hours per week. Some sites are open all year, but most programs are available from January–April.
- Convenience: Thousands of VITA and TCE sites exist in neighborhoods across the country, so it’s convenient to volunteer at a location close to you. Usually, these locations are in community centers, libraries, schools, and malls.
- No experience needed: You don’t have to be a tax pro to volunteer because all volunteers receive special training and can serve in various roles.
Tip adapted from IRS.gov6
What To Look For On A Nutrition Label
Nutrition labels contain helpful information that can guide you in the right direction as you eat healthier. But do you know how to read one correctly? The serving size is the first thing you will see on a nutrition label. This guide shows you how many calories a single serving of food contains.
The following section spells out the nutrients. This section helps you determine the nutritional value of a food. Pay close attention to the saturated fat and added sugar on the label. Lastly, you have the % daily value (DV), the percentage of each nutrient in a single serving in terms of the recommended amount.
Tip adapted from American Heart Association7
Take a left-handed glove and turn it inside out. Which of your hands will it now fit – the left or the right?
Last week’s riddle: You enter a college classroom with 13 22-year-olds, 10 21-year-olds, and 14 20-year-olds. How many people are in the room? Answer: 38 people (you plus the 37 students who are already in the room to begin with).
Jal Mahal (Water Palace), Man Sagar Lake, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Footnotes and Sources
1. The Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2022
2. The Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2022
3. The Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2022
4. CNBC, October 27, 2022
5. CNBC, October 27, 2022
6. IRS.gov, July 25, 2022
7. Healthline, November 27, 2019
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