Posts Tagged ‘financial preparedness’

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


Table of Contents



Featured Article: Markets Relax & Rally


Economic Calendar


Recipe of the Week: Perfect Pizza Popovers


Tax Tips


Golf Tips


Healthy Lifestyle


Green Living


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…

Read More

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.

Table of Contents



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…

Read More

Weekly Update: Special Edition – A Look Back at 2018


Table of Contents



Featured Article: Special Edition: A look Back at 2018


Recipe of the Week: Beef Stroganoff


Tax Tips


Golf Tips


Healthy Lifestyle


Green Living


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…

Read More

Weekly Update: December 24, 2018-Turbulence Continues


Table of Contents



Featured Article: Turbulence Continues


Economic Calendar


Recipe of the Week: Jam Sandwich Cookies


Tax Tips


Golf Tips


Healthy Lifestyle


Green Living


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…

Read More

Weekly Update: December 17, 2018-Stocks Down, Change Ahead?


Table of Contents



Featured Article: Stocks Down, Change Ahead?


Economic Calendar


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


Tax Tips


Golf Tips


Healthy Lifestyle


Green Living


Stocks Down, Change Ahead?

Last week brought more volatility to the markets. While domestic indexes had some rallies as positive trade news emerged earlier in the week, by Friday, December 14, they had erased any gains. The last time major U.S. indexes ended in correction territory was March 2016, meaning they are now at least 10% below their highs from the past year.

For the week, the S&P 500 dropped 1.26%, the Dow lost 1.18%, and the NASDAQ declined 0.84%. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE also had a 0.89% weekly loss.

Why did markets struggle last week?
With last week’s declines, the S&P 500 was in the midst of its worst December since 2002. Concerns about global growth fueled much of the declines as China and Europe released economic data that missed projections. The ongoing trade tension contributed to slower growth in China, which drove some investors to…

Read More

Weekly Update: December 10, 2018-Volatility Continues


Table of Contents



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…

Read More

Weekly Update: December 3, 2018-Markets Rebound


Table of Contents



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…

Read More

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


Table of Contents



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…

Read More

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


Table of Contents



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:

Read More

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


Table of Contents



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.

Read More