Weekly Update: December 10, 2018-Volatility Continues


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Featured Article: Volatility Continues


Economic Calendar


Recipe of the Week: Collard Greens with Bacon and Cider Vinegar


Tax Tips


Golf Tips


Healthy Lifestyle


Green Living


Volatility Continues

Markets went for another wild ride last week, as major domestic indexes swung back and forth. By Friday, December 7, markets had posted their worst weekly performance since March—and the S&P 500 and Dow both moved into negative territory for 2018.

Overall, the S&P 500 lost 4.60%, the Dow declined 4.50%, and the NASDAQ dropped 4.92%. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE also struggled, posting a 2.27% weekly loss.

Let’s take a look at what is driving this challenging market performance.

Examining Recent Volatility…

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Weekly Update: December 3, 2018-Markets Rebound


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Featured Article: Markets Rebound


Economic Calendar


Recipe of the Week: Brown Sugar Pecan Pie


Tax Tips


Golf Tips


Healthy Lifestyle


Green Living


Markets Rebound

U.S. markets ended a volatile month on a high note Friday. All three major indices posted impressive increases for the week, buoyed by news from the Fed Reserve and international trade.

The S&P 500 jumped 4.85%, and the NASDAQ finished up 5.64%—both gains are almost 7-year highs. Meanwhile, the Dow experienced a 2-year high, increasing 5.16%. Internationally, the MSCI EAFE rose 0.95%.

To better understand last week’s sharp rebound, let’s take a closer look at details surrounding comments by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and various international developments.

Fed Developments

Last Wednesday, Powell inspired optimism in investors by claiming that interest rates are close to the current neutral range of 2.5–3.5%. His comments seemed to suggest…

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Year-End Savvy Cybersecurity Alerts

Welcome to the latest Savvy Cybersecurity newsletter. This month, as always, brought a wave of cybersecurity news. Read on to learn more about:

  • How your retirement accounts are at risk
  • A new sophisticated mail scam
  • Holiday frauds to be on the lookout for
  • And much more

Your retirement account: the latest goldmine for scammers

Steven Voss, a Utah-based CSX engineer was nearing retirement and decided to check on his 401(k) account. He was shocked when he logged in and his account balance was zero, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. Voss had moved most of his money out of the Prudential Financial account a few months earlier but left about $50,000 in there.
According to reports, a scammer called Prudential Financial and pretended to be Voss. He provided his name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number and was able to cash out the 401(k). Prudential Financial had planned on sending the check to Voss’s home address but the caller asked that it be delivered to a UPS store instead.
Luckily, Voss discovered the missing money before the thieves picked up the check and…

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Weekly Update: November 26, 2018-Why Did Stocks Drop?


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Featured Article: Why Did Stocks Drop?


Economic Calendar


Recipe of the Week: Five-Spice Beef Stew


Tax Tips


Golf Tips


Healthy Lifestyle


Green Living


Why Did Stocks Drop?

Last week was a tough one for markets. The S&P 500 dropped 3.79% and experienced its worst results during a Thanksgiving week since 1939. While the index officially entered correction territory on Friday, it closed 10.2% below its most recent record high.

Meanwhile, the Dow and NASDAQ continued the downward trend, losing 4.44%, and 4.26%, respectively. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE also declined, posting a 1.12% loss.

Reading these results may feel quite unpleasant and elicit concerns about what is ahead. As is often the case, the story behind the numbers can help us understand the complexity and what this performance means.

Why did stocks drop?

Plummeting oil prices were one of the biggest drivers behind the market’s losses, as investors worried that too much oil is available. These concerns have contributed to oil experiencing…

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Weekly Update: November 19, 2018-Analyzing Data Amid Declines


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Featured Article: Analyzing Data Amid Declines


Economic Calendar


Recipe of the Week: No-Bake Cranberry Cheesecake


Tax Tips


Golf Tips


Healthy Lifestyle


Green Living


Analyzing Data Amid Declines

Markets experienced more volatility last week, as perspectives on trade, tech, and retail pulled investor sentiment back and forth. Although domestic indexes were up on Friday, November 16, they still posted losses for the week.

In all, the S&P 500 dropped 1.61%, the Dow declined 2.22%, and the NASDAQ gave back 2.15%. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE ended the week down 1.51%.

A major topic over the past couple weeks has been the ongoing, significant declines in oil prices. Last week, we did experience one turnaround—on Friday, signs that oil production may decrease next month helped oil prices start to rebound. This pricing increase contributed to S&P 500 energy stocks rising 1.1%.

In addition to oil’s current trajectory, let’s examine some of the key October data we received last week:

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Weekly Update: November 12, 2018-The Impact of Oil and Elections


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Featured Article: The Impact of Oil and Elections


Economic Calendar


Recipe of the Week: Doubly Cheesy Meatball Bake


Tax Tips


Golf Tips


Healthy Lifestyle


Green Living


The Impact of Oil and Elections

Last week, markets experienced a 4-day winning streak before dropping on Friday, November 9. Despite those losses, domestic indexes posted gains for the week. The S&P 500 increased 2.13%, the Dow added 2.84%, and the NASDAQ was up 0.68%. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE had slight growth, ending the week up 0.20%.

From interest rates to corporate profits, investors had a number of topics to consider. In this update, we want to focus on two key details that drove markets: oil prices and midterm election results.

2. Oil Prices Declined
Oil prices continued to fall last week, posting the most consecutive daily declines in at least three decades. In fact, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures, a key oil benchmark, is officially in bear market territory. WTI has fallen more than 20% below its highest point over the past year.

What does this drop mean for markets?
Some investors believe the price declines are another sign that the global economy is slowing down. Historically, people have used oil prices as one way to decipher economic health because they can correlate with global growth. When crude oil prices drop, greater economic challenges are often ahead.

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Weekly Update:November 5, 2018-Markets Bounce Back


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Featured Article: Markets Bounce Back


Economic Calendar


Recipe of the Week: Healthy Homemade Carrot Cake


Tax Tips


Golf Tips


Healthy Lifestyle


Green Living


Markets Bounce Back

Markets posted strong gains last week after struggling for much of October. The S&P 500 had its best weekly performance since May, and the NASDAQ had its first positive week since September.

Despite domestic markets dropping on Friday, November 2, the S&P 500 added 2.42%, the Dow increased 2.36%, and the NASDAQ gained 2.65%. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE were also up 3.34%.

What drove market performance last week?
We received a fair amount of data and reports, with the following details holding particular weight for investors:

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Fall 2018 Savvy Cybersecurity Alerts

Welcome to the Fall 2018 Savvy Cybersecurity newsletter. We hope that you were able to do something cybersecurity-related for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Read on to learn more about:

  • The latest Facebook hack
  • Are Chinese microchips spying on us?
  • How hackers are targeting your direct deposit
  • And much more

The latest Facebook hack: What you need to know and do

Thirty million Facebook users may have been affected by a recent hack of the social media platform, according to the company. Late last month, Facebook discovered a security vulnerability that they then believed to affect 50 million accounts. In fact, you may have been one of 90 million people who were forced to log back into their account and were notified of the security issue via Facebook notification.
What exactly happened?
Facebook engineers discovered a security vulnerability in the “View As” feature of the social media platform. This tool allows users to see how their Facebook profile appears to friends and non-friends on the website. It has been a very helpful tool in allowing users to understand their security settings.

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Weekly Update: October 29, 2018-Why Did Stocks Drop?


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Featured Article: Why Did Stocks Drop?


Economic Calendar


Recipe of the Week: Arugula and Pear Salad with Toasted Walnuts


Tax Tips


Golf Tips


Healthy Lifestyle


Green Living


Why Did Stocks Drop?

Last week did nothing to dispel October’s reputation as a tough month for the markets. The S&P 500 lost 3.94%, the Dow declined 2.97%, and the NASDAQ dropped 3.78% during what was one of 2018’s most volatile weeks so far. All three indexes are down significantly for the month, and both the S&P 500 and Dow have entered negative territory for 2018. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE also struggled, posting a 3.87% drop for the week, and a 13.31% decline for the year.

Why did stocks drop? Will they continue to do so?
Currently, many topics are on investors’ minds, from inflation to tariffs to valuations and beyond, but analysts are not pointing to one single culprit for last week’s performance.

Instead, a mixture of concerns, with a large dose of emotion, seemed to drive the markets.

Emotional reactions are understandable when volatility emerges, but they have no place in long-term investment strategies. Instead, we need to focus on the fundamentals.

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Weekly Update: October 15, 2018-Stocks Take a Ride


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Featured Article: Stocks Take a Ride


Economic Calendar


Recipe of the Week: Pumpkin Bread


Tax Tips


Golf Tips


Healthy Lifestyle


Green Living


Stocks Take a Ride

Volatility was back in full force last week. The three major domestic indexes posted several days of losses before experiencing wide swings on Friday. By week’s end, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), which investors use to help measure fear in the markets, had increased by approximately 70%. The VIX also reached its highest point since February.

Despite a number of equities posting last-minute gains on Friday, all three domestic indexes had sizable losses for the week.

In fact, they posted their worst weekly performance since March. The S&P 500 dropped 4.10%, the Dow declined 4.19%, and the NASDAQ gave back 3.74%. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE also lost ground, decreasing 3.96%.

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