Weekly Update: February 25, 2019-Optimism Spurs a Broad Rally


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Featured Article: Optimism Spurs a Broad Rally


Economic Calendar


Recipe of the Week: Roasted Sunday Chicken


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Optimism Spurs a Broad Rally

The Week on Wall Street
Stocks rallied last week as optimism about a potential U.S.-China trade deal grew. The S&P 500 advanced 0.80% during the 4-day trading week to 2,792.67. The Nasdaq Composite improved 0.86% to 7,527.54, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.64% to 26,031.81.

The renewed prospects for a trade pact were not the only development investors found appealing last week. There were indications that the Federal Reserve might be a bit less committed to its plans to raise interest rates further this year.

A Look at the Fed Minutes
There were no surprises from the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, who released the transcript from their January meeting on Tuesday. Investors pore over the meeting minutes looking for clues about the Fed’s next move on short-term interest rates.

Fed policymakers appeared split on what’s next. Some felt another rate…

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Weekly Update: February 19, 2019-Dow, S&P, Nasdaq Climb Higher


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Featured Article: Dow, S&P, Nasdaq Climb Higher


Economic Calendar


Recipe of the Week: Avocado Toast with Chèvre and Chives


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Dow, S&P, Nasdaq Climb Higher

The Week on Wall Street
Stocks ended a good week on a high note, as hints of progress in U.S.-China trade talks encouraged investors.

When the closing bell rang Friday, the S&P 500 settled at 2,775.60, after rising 2.50% in five days. The Dow Industrials gained 3.09%, to close Friday at 25,883.25. The Nasdaq Composite improved 2.39% to 7,472.41.

Shutdown Averted
Wall Street breathed a sigh of relief late last week as Congress passed a bill to keep the federal government funded. President Trump signed the measure on Friday.

The development is expected to have a positive effect on consumer sentiment, which may influence the financial markets. During the shutdown, consumer confidence…

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Weekly Update: February 11, 2019-Stocks Post Small Weekly Gains


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Stocks Post Small Weekly Gains

The Week on Wall Street
Major U.S. stock benchmarks eked out slight gains last week, with corporate profit reports and news about U.S.-China trade negotiations vying for investor attention over five trading sessions.

The big three ended the week little changed from where they settled the previous Friday. The Dow Jones Industrials rose 0.17% percent, while the S&P 500 Index gained 0.05% percent. The NASDAQ Composite ended the week up 0.47%. Looking at international stocks, the MSCI EAFE index retreated 0.47%.

Earnings Scorecard
As of last Friday, 66% of all S&P 500 companies had reported fourth-quarter earnings. So far, 71% of these firms have announced earnings exceeding estimates, and 62% have seen revenues top projections.

Halfway through earnings season, 2019 future guidance has been…

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Weekly Update: February 4, 2019-Markets Gain Again


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Markets Gain Again

Last week closed out one of stocks’ top January performances in years. In fact, both the S&P 500 and Dow posted their best January results in at least 3 decades.

For the week, major domestic indexes were also up. The S&P 500 gained 1.57%, the Dow added 1.32%, and the NASDAQ increased 1.38%. The Dow’s performance marked its 6th week of gains in a row. Internationally, MSCI EAFE stocks also posted growth, rising 0.91%.

What drove stock results last week?

As discussed in our previous market update, last week provided a number of details for investors to focus on. Here are some key items that contributed to market performance:

Federal Reserve Meeting: The Fed chose not to increase interest rates above its current 2.25% – 2.50% target. When releasing this update…

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Weekly Update: January 28, 2019-Stocks Muted, Big Week Ahead


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Stocks Muted, Big Week Ahead

For the first time in months, U.S. markets experienced little movement last week. The Dow and NASDAQ did have their 5th week of gains in a row, but their increases were small: 0.12% and 0.11%, respectively. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 broke its 4-week winning streak with a 0.22% loss. Internationally, the MSCI EAFE also posted modest returns, gaining 0.47% for the week.

What topics were on investors’ minds?

Despite the relative lack of market drama last week, investors still had plenty to consider. For example, the following details emerged:
• Conflicting messages came out on trade tension with China.
• The International Monetary Fund (IMF) downgraded its forecast for global growth.
• Corporate earnings season continued.

In addition, the longest Federal government shutdown in history ended. After 35 days, the House and Senate voted unanimously to reopen the partially closed government. President Trump signed the bill, which includes funding through February 15.

This week could provide far more action in the markets when a number of key details emerge.

What’s ahead this week?

These last days of January provide several noteworthy…

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Weekly Update: January 22, 2019-The Rally Continues


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The Rally Continues

U.S. markets were up again last week, as major domestic indexes posted their 4th weekly gains in a row. In fact, the S&P 500 was no longer in correction territory at Friday’s close—and was in the middle of its best yearly start since 1987.

For the week, the S&P 500 gained 2.87%, the Dow added 2.96%, and the NASDAQ increased by 2.66%. So far, all three indexes are up more than 5% in 2019. Internationally, the MSCI EAFE also ended the week in positive territory, posting a 1.06% gain.

What is driving the rally?

Once again, developments in our ongoing trade negotiations with China contributed to the performance. On Thursday, a report emerged that the U.S. was weighing whether to lift tariffs on Chinese imports. However, the Treasury Department said Secretary Steve Mnuchin had not recommended this action. Then, on Friday, Bloomberg released news that China may raise its imports to a level that would close the trade deficit by 2024. This potential sign of progress contributed to the day’s market gains.

While these trade updates significantly affected stock performance last week, the following details…

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Weekly Update: January 14, 2019-Markets Relax and Rally


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Markets Relax and Rally

After months of volatility, markets relaxed a bit last week. For the first time since October, the S&P 500 went 5 days without a 1% gain or loss. The Cboe Volatility Index, or VIX, also fell to lower than 20—in December, it spiked above 35.

For the week, the S&P 500 added 2.54%, the Dow gained 2.40%, and the NASDAQ increased 3.45%. All three indexes are in positive territory for 2019. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE grew as well, with a 2.85% weekly gain.

What drove last week’s gains?
Updates on trade and monetary policy contributed to…

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Weekly Update: January 8, 2019-Markets Up—And Volatile


We apologize for the previous email, it seems some of the links were not working. This has been corrected.

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Featured Article: Markets Up—And Volatile


Economic Calendar


Recipe of the Week: Out-of-This-World Granola Bars


Tax Tips


Golf Tips


Healthy Lifestyle


Green Living


Markets Up—And Volatile

U.S. markets experienced more wild sessions last week before ending in positive territory as the recent turbulence continued. In fact, we are currently in the middle of some of the most volatile market performance in more than eight years.

For the week, the S&P 500 gained 1.86%, the Dow added 1.61%, and the NASDAQ increased 2.34%. MSCI EAFE stocks also increased, posting a 1.42% weekly gain.

While the results may not seem especially dramatic, the path to get there certainly was. On Thursday, January 3, domestic stocks plunged, as factory data and a tech warning spooked investors. Then, the next day, the S&P 500, Dow, and NASDAQ each gained at least 3.3%. Friday’s performance marked one of the largest rallies since the beginning of this bull market.

What drove the market rally?

Two key events contributed to…

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Weekly Update: Special Edition – A Look Back at 2018


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Featured Article: Special Edition: A look Back at 2018


Recipe of the Week: Beef Stroganoff


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Special Edition: A look Back at 2018

The close of the year provides an opportunity for investors to step back and consider the wider financial landscape. This week, we’re reviewing some key issues that defined 2018, as well as some factors that may influence financial markets in the coming year.

Year in Review

Wall Street began 2018 in rally mode, as enthusiasm for the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act spilled over into the New Year. Strong economic news encouraged investors, who put aside fears that rising inflation may lead to higher interest rates.

What Wall Street did not see coming were the spring and summer trade disputes with China, Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. Fear of a global economic slowdown contributed to a sharp decline in stock prices in October. U.S. economic growth forecasts were tempered in November for 2019, with bull and bears engaged in a fierce tug-of-war as the year…

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Weekly Update: December 24, 2018-Turbulence Continues


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Featured Article: Turbulence Continues


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Turbulence Continues

Last week, domestic markets had some of their worst performance in 10 years. The S&P 500 lost 7.05%, the Dow declined 6.87%, and the NASDAQ dropped 8.36%. All three indexes have now lost at least 8% in 2018.

On Friday, December 21, the NASDAQ entered a bear market, which means it’s at least 20% below its last record high. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 and Dow both finished the week close to bear markets, too. Internationally, stocks in the MSCI EAFE also struggled, posting a 2.67% weekly loss.

What happened to the markets?

Last week brought a number of economic updates, which gave mixed…

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