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Weekly Update: December 9, 2019 – Stocks Ride Out a Choppy Week


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Featured Article: Stocks Ride Out a Choppy Week


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Recipe of the Week: Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup Bread Bowls


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Stocks Ride Out a Choppy Week

Key Wall Street benchmarks were up and down last week – or rather down and then up. A Tuesday retreat was offset by a Friday rally spurred by the Department of Labor’s November jobs report.
While the S&P 500 managed to rise 0.16% for the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.13%, and the Nasdaq Composite ceded 0.10%. MSCI’s EAFE benchmark for international stocks retreated 0.25%.

Employers added 266,000 net new jobs last month, 79,000 more than economists surveyed by Dow Jones had projected. The main jobless rate ticked down 0.1% to 3.5%. The U-6 rate, counting both the unemployed and underemployed, also declined 0.1% to 6.9%. Wages grew 3.1% year-over-year, above the 3.0% Dow Jones estimate.
These numbers do not indicate an economy cooling off. While they were influenced by the return of striking General Motors workers to their jobs, November hiring gains were spread across several categories.

The U.S.-China trade dispute has gone on for 21 months. Wall Street would like to…

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Weekly Update: December 2, 2019 – November Concludes with Gains


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Featured Article: November Concludes with Gains


Economic Calendar


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Recipe of the Week: Super-Gooey Cinnamon Rolls


Tax Tips


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Healthy Lifestyle


Green Living


November Concludes with Gains

As November wrapped up, U.S. equity benchmarks advanced. Stocks were again aided by a sense of optimism that a preliminary U.S.-China trade deal could be near.

For the week, the Nasdaq Composite added 1.87%; the S&P 500, 1.21%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 1.03%. The MSCI EAFE index, which measures the performance of developed stock markets outside North America, gained 0.89%.

Markets Wait for News of a Trade Pact
Wednesday, a senior White House official told Politico that the U.S. was “millimeters away” from a phase-one trade agreement with China, a deal that might involve the removal of certain tariffs.
Still, friction remains within the Sino-American relationship. Last week, President Trump signed two bills into law backing pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs quickly reacted, stating that American lawmakers had “sinister intentions” and adding that China would take “strong counter-measures” in return.

The Latest on Consumer Spending and Consumer Confidence
Personal spending was up 0.3% in October, according to…

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Weekly Update: November 25, 2019 – Major Indices Move Lower


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Featured Article: Major Indices Move Lower


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Recipe of the Week: Sweet Potato Casserole


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Major Indices Move Lower

Stocks declined last week as mixed signals emerged about the progress of U.S.-China trade negotiations.
The three major Wall Street benchmarks all took weekly losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.46%; the S&P 500, 0.33%, the Nasdaq Composite, 0.25%. Also pulling back, the MSCI EAFE index, tracking developed stock markets outside the U.S. and Canada, retreated 0.69%.

Nothing Conclusive Regarding Trade
As the market week ended, there was still haziness surrounding the state of U.S.-China trade discussions. Were negotiators on the cusp of a phase-one deal or further away?
Friday, President Trump told reporters that a deal was “very close,” but Chinese President Xi Jinping said that his country could decide to “fight back” against certain terms. Last week, a bill intended to support Hong Kong protesters advanced through Congress, and that development was not taken well in Beijing.

The Fed Assesses the Economy
Federal Reserve officials gathered for their October meeting “generally saw the economic outlook as positive” according to…

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December 2019 Savvy Cybersecurity Alerts

Welcome to your December Savvy Cybersecurity newsletter. It is hard to believe that the decade is almost over!
But for now, let’s cover the cybersecurity happenings this month, including:

  • Your smartphone is the key to your digital life
  • An internet-connected doorbell putting your home network at risk
  • Why Google may have collected your healthcare data
  • How to stay safe during the online holiday shopping season
  • And more

Your smartphone is the key to your digital life

Take a moment and think about the last five things you used your smartphone for. Chances are, not all those actions were phone calls. Our phones have transformed into mini-computers holding our digital lives that we carry around constantly.
And while technology has made life easier, it also puts us more at risk. If your phone is hacked, so much of your life is accessible—your text messages, your contacts, your photos, your banking app, your calendar, your work email… Read More

Weekly Update: November 18, 2019 – A New Dow Milestone


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Featured Article: A New Dow Milestone


Economic Calendar


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Recipe of the Week: The World’s Easiest Fish Tacos


Tax Tips


Golf Tips


Healthy Lifestyle


Green Living


A New Dow Milestone

Stock benchmarks were little changed for much of last week, but a rally occurred Friday after news broke that the U.S. and China could be closing in on the first phase of a new trade pact.

At Friday’s close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed the 28,000 level. The Dow rose 1.17% for the week, outgaining the S&P 500 (which advanced 0.89%) and the Nasdaq Composite (which added 0.77%). The MSCI EAFE index, representing developed overseas stock markets, fell 0.77%.

Will There Be a Trade Breakthrough?

Friday, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross told the media that “in all likelihood,” a phase-one trade deal between China and the U.S. would presently happen, stating that the talks were…

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Weekly Update: November 11, 2019-Dow, S&P 500 Extend Win Streaks


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Featured Article: Dow, S&P 500 Extend Win Streaks


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Recipe of the Week: WWII “Soldier Kisses” Cookies


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Dow, S&P 500 Extend Win Streaks

Domestic and international stocks rose last week. Risk appetite outweighed concerns about the state of U.S.-China trade discussions.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, Nasdaq Composite, S&P 500, and MSCI EAFE all ended the week with gains. Blue chips led the way, as the Dow added 1.22%. The Nasdaq improved 1.06%; the S&P, 0.85%. The EAFE, tracking developed stock markets away from North America, was up 0.76%. The Dow recorded its third straight weekly gain; the S&P, its fifth.

Will Tariffs Phase Out or Remain?
Thursday, a spokesman for China’s commerce ministry said that U.S. and Chinese trade representatives had “agreed to remove” existing tariffs in “phases,” while working toward a new trade deal.

On Friday morning, President Trump told the media …

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Weekly Update: November 4, 2019 – More Historic Highs


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Featured Article: More Historic Highs


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Recipe of the Week: Brunch Frittata


Tax Tips


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More Historic Highs

A better-than-forecast jobs report prompted a stock market rally Friday, two days after traders witnessed another interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite ended the week at historic peaks, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average settled less than 12 points under its all-time record close. The Nasdaq rose 1.74% for the week; the S&P gained 1.47%. The Dow added 1.44%. MSCI’s EAFE benchmark, which measures developed stock market performance outside the U.S. and Canada, improved 0.58%.

This net increase far surpassed the gain of 85,000 projected by a Bloomberg poll of economists. These job gains occurred even as last month’s General Motors strike impacted hiring in the manufacturing sector. Unemployment rose slightly to 3.6% in October, an effect of more people entering the job market. Likewise, the U-6 rate, counting both unemployed and underemployed, Americans ticked up to 7.0%.

Last week, the central bank made its third quarter-point rate cut since July, leaving the target range for…

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November 2019 Savvy Cybersecurity Alerts

Welcome to your November Savvy Cybersecurity newsletter. It is hard to believe that Fall is well underway.
But for now, let’s cover the cybersecurity happenings this month, including:

  • Majority of Americans fail digital knowledge quiz
  • A student loan scam making the rounds
  • How airlines are getting more cyber secure
  • Why you may get a check from LifeLock
  • And more

Majority of Americans fail digital knowledge quiz

Nearly three-fourths of U.S. adults cannot identify an example of two-factor authentication, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Of the ten-question poll, the median number of correct answers was four while only 20% got seven or more questions right.
While cybersecurity seems to be in the news regularly, it is apparent that most Americans are still unsure about best practices for protecting their data and identity from hacks and breaches. For example, more than half of those surveyed did not know that a URL beginning with “https://” indicated that information shared with the site was encrypted. The majority of respondents also did not know that private browsing mode only prevents… Read More

Weekly Update: October 28, 2019 – S&P 500 Nearly Makes History


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Featured Article: S&P 500 Rise Nearly Makes History


Economic Calendar


Quote of the Week


Recipe of the Week: Snickerdoodle Spider Cookies


Tax Tips


Golf Tips


Healthy Lifestyle


Green Living



Happy 75th Birthday, Lula!

We want wish our client, Lula a very happy 75th birthday. Some people don’t just motivate, they inspire. You’re an inspiration to so many, Lula! We hope you enjoyed your party. Thank you for including us in your celebration!


S&P 500 Rise Nearly Makes History

The S&P 500 came within 0.1% of a record close Friday. Stocks were lifted last week by positive news on U.S.-China trade negotiations, plus earnings announcements. The Nasdaq Composite posted the largest weekly gain of the three major U.S. stock indices. It rose 1.90%. Last week also brought gains of 0.70% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and 1.22% for the S&P. The MSCI EAFE, a benchmark for developed stock markets outside the U.S., rose 1.14%.

Friday, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative stated that parts of a new trade deal with China were near completion. No specifics were given as of Friday’s close, but the USTR noted that negotiators had “made headway” on key issues. Analysts think both sides may cancel certain tariffs as part of a deal. President Trump has said that he would like to sign a new trade accord with China’s President, Xi Jinping, next month.

Rising to a final October mark of 95.5, the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index advanced 2.3 points month-over-month. During August and September…

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Weekly Update: October 21, 2019 – Nasdaq Composite, S&P 500 Rise


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Featured Article: Nasdaq Composite, S&P 500 Rise


Economic Calendar


Quote of the Week


Recipe of the Week: Cider-Braised Chicken Thighs


Tax Tips


Golf Tips


Healthy Lifestyle


Green Living


Nasdaq Composite, S&P 500 Rise

Earnings helped give the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 a slight lift last week, offsetting investor disappointment over the small scope of the preliminary U.S.-China trade deal reached on October 11. Blue chips took a small weekly loss. The Nasdaq and S&P respectively gained 0.40% and 0.54% on the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated just 0.17%. Outdoing these three benchmarks, the MSCI EAFE index tracking stocks in developed overseas markets rose 1.35%.

According to stock market analytics firm FactSet, 15% of S&P 500 companies had reported results through Friday’s close. Of those companies, 84% announced that net profits topping projections, and 64% said that revenues had exceeded forecasts. One big question is whether overall earnings for S&P 500 firms will show year-over-year growth. There was no year-over-year earnings gain evident in either Q1 or Q2.

Shoppers scaled back their purchases in September. The Census Bureau announced…

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