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The Week on Wall Street
Stocks were up and down last week, and the three major benchmarks ended up little changed after five trading days. The S&P 500 rose 0.20% for the week; the Nasdaq Composite, 0.22%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.14%.
The Fed Emphasizes Patience
The Federal Reserve held interest rates steady at its May meeting. Its May 1 policy statement noted “solid” job growth and economic activity, but only tame inflation pressure.
While the Fed was not expected to make a move, some investors wondered if its latest policy statement might hint at the possibility of a rate cut later this year. No such hint appeared. Fed chair Jerome Powell told the media Wednesday that “we don’t see a strong reason for moving in one direction or the other.”[iii]
Indications of a Thriving Economy
Employers added 263,000 net new jobs in April. Economists polled by Bloomberg forecast a gain of 190,000. The jobless rate fell to 3.6% last month, the lowest in half a century.
This better-than-expected employment snapshot comes on the heels of a first-quarter gross domestic product reading that surprised to the upside. In another bit of good news, personal spending rose an impressive 0.9% in March.[iv],[v]
On Wednesday and Thursday, stocks fell in the wake of the Fed policy statement. Friday, they more or less recouped their losses after the impressive April jobs report. Ups and downs like these come with the territory when you invest; the key is to stay patient and think long term instead of short term.
THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Friday: The April Consumer Price Index, monitoring monthly and annual inflation.
Source: Econoday / MarketWatch Calendar, May 3, 2019
The Econoday and MarketWatch economic calendars list upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. Econoday Inc. is a technology and information company providing data and analysis for the financial industry, participants in the financial community, and individual investors. MarketWatch, a financial information website, is a subsidiary of Dow Jones & Company, a property of News Corp. 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. The release of data may be delayed without notice for a variety of reasons, including the shutdown of the government agency or change at the private institution that handles the material.
THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Monday: Occidental Petroleum (OXY), Tyson Foods (TSN)
Tuesday: Allergan (AGN), Anheuser-Busch (BUD), Lyft (LYFT)
Wednesday: Green Dot (GDOT), Hostess Brands (TWNK), Walt Disney Co. (DIS)
Thursday: AXA Equitable Holdings (EQH), Keurig Dr. Pepper (KDP), News Corp. (NWSA)
Friday: Enbridge (ENB), Marriott International (MAR), Viacom (VIA)
Source: Morningstar.com, May 3, 2019
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame and risk tolerance. 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.
|“Achievement is talent plus preparation.“|
Cheeseburger Sliders with Secret Sauce
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart[vi]
Tips to Protect Your Financial Information When Shopping Online
Cybercriminals are looking for any opportunity to steal your tax and financial data. Theft of your Social Security number could result in a false tax filing. Take these extra steps to protect your financial information, Social Security numbers, and credit card data:
Avoid unprotected Wi-Fi. Unprotected, public Wi-Fi, available in coffee shops or other public places, could give thieves the ability to view your browsing activity.
Check your URLs for the “s.” If there is an “s” in “https” at the start of the URL, then the site is secure. There may also be a “lock” icon in the browser’s URL bar. Also, be careful making purchases at unfamiliar sites or clicking on links from pop-up ads.
Secure your computer. Lock down your computers, phones, and tablets using security software. This will help to protect your devices from malware that could steal data or infect the device with a virus.
Password length matters. Use a minimum of 10 characters or longer, with a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid words, if possible.
* 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.gov[vii]
Roll Your Way to a Better Score
When you play a short shot, try going for maximum roll. It’s always easier to control your ball on the ground than the air, and by avoiding airtime, you don’t have to think about where the ball will fall or how far it will bounce.
Many golfers try to crush the ball, so it lands close to the target. But unless you’re able to consistently land it exactly where you want, it’s always a better idea to go for the bounce. Sometimes, if you have an obstacle in the way, flying the ball is your only option. Just in case, practice low, rolling chips that use as much of the green as possible whenever you can.
Tip adapted from Golf Tips Magazine[viii]
Mindfulness. It’s about being present; not in the future, not in the past, but being fully aware in the moment. Sounds nice, but how do you do it? Here’s a few tips to focus on – right now:
- Notice your breathing. Fast? Slow? Notice the rise and fall of a breath.
- Notice sights, sounds, tastes, smells, colors, temperature, textures.
- Notice how walking feels. What do the bottoms of your feet feel like? What surrounds you? Notice what you’ve been missing.
- Try not to overschedule, and just notice what it’s like to be, not do.
- They come and go. Often, and intensely, for some, but they are just thoughts. Notice them as they flow. Notice how your mind likes to judge. Notice that it’s just a thought.
- Listen more closely. Maybe, talk less. Notice what is or is not being said.
- Pay attention. Put your attention on what you are doing. Notice the actions, your attention, or lack thereof. Mindfulness is about being fully engaged in the now.
Tip adapted from HeretoHelp[ix]
Pros and Cons of Leasing Solar Panels
Residential rooftop solar panels are a great way to ensure you’re using clean energy. Going solar can be costly, though, but there are leasing agreements that usually involve no money down for installation and offer affordable payments. A solar lease agreement involves a payment schedule for 15 to 25 years, in exchange for the electricity produced. Here are some pros and cons to leasing, if you’re considering this type of arrangement:
- An easy entrance into the solar marketplace
- Elimination of upfront costs
- No responsibility for repairs or maintenance
- Possibility to buy your solar energy system
- Solar leasing companies claim the rebates
- No net metering credits on utility bills
- No guarantee of predictable electricity prices
- Smaller savings
A solar energy system can cost $15,000 to $18,000, so the leasing option could be good for those who’d like the benefits of solar energy, but perhaps, cannot finance a solar loan from a lending institution.
Tip adapted from Greentumble[x]
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