Table of Contents



Featured Article: Weekly Gains for Big Benchmarks


Economic Calendar


Quote of the Week


Recipe of the Week: Zippy French Toast


Tax Tips


Golf Tips


Healthy Lifestyle


Green Living


Weekly Gains for Big Benchmarks

Daily headlines about the coronavirus had little impact on stock market averages last week. Earnings and mergers had more influence.

All three Wall Street benchmarks improved. The Nasdaq Composite rose 2.21%, outpacing the S&P 500, up 1.58%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, up 1.02%. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas equity markets, added 0.17%.

Commenting that the economy is in a “very good place,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told congressional legislators that…

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Featured Article: Stocks Bounce Back


Economic Calendar


Quote of the Week


Recipe of the Week: Pesto Perfecto Sauce


Tax Tips


Golf Tips


Healthy Lifestyle


Green Living


Stocks Bounce Back

Stocks advanced four days out of five during the past market week, erasing the losses of the week before.

The Nasdaq Composite surged 4.04%, the S&P 500 3.17%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average 3.00%. Foreign stocks also rallied: the MSCI EAFE index added 2.21%.

Thursday, investors woke up to the news that China would be lowering import taxes on about $75 billion of U.S. products. Later this week, a set of 10% tariffs is slated to drop to…

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Featured Article: Equities Slip on Virus Concerns


Economic Calendar


Quote of the Week


Recipe of the Week: Good Ol’ Chicken Soup


Tax Tips


Golf Tips


Healthy Lifestyle


Green Living


Equities Slip on Virus Concerns

Stock benchmarks declined for a second straight week as coronavirus news tempered risk appetite.

The S&P 500 fell 2.14% on the week. The Nasdaq Composite dipped 1.76%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 2.55%. Away from North America, developed markets slumped 2.24%, according to MSCI’s EAFE index.

The Federal Reserve left short-term interest rates alone at its January meeting, but it did make what Fed chairman Jerome Powell called a “small technical adjustment” in view of its continuing purchases of Treasuries. Wednesday, it slightly increased the…

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Featured Article: Stocks End the Week Lower


Economic Calendar


Quote of the Week


Recipe of the Week: Oven-Cooked Corn on the Cob


Tax Tips


Golf Tips


Healthy Lifestyle


Green Living


Stocks End the Week Lower

Stock prices fell last week as investors considered the potential health and economic risks of the flu-like coronavirus.

Foreign stock markets, as tracked by the broad MSCI EAFE index, fell 1.03% for the week. Coincidentally, the S&P 500 lost exactly that much across a 4-day Wall Street trading week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 1.22%, the Nasdaq Composite 0.79%.

By Friday’s closing bell, two cases of coronavirus had been confirmed in the U.S. by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sixty-three other potential cases were being monitored. Twenty-six people had died from the virus in…

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Featured Article: Fresh Record Highs


Economic Calendar


Quote of the Week


Recipe of the Week: Turkey Burger Deluxe


Tax Tips


Golf Tips


Healthy Lifestyle


Green Living


Fresh Record Highs

Traders were in an upbeat mood last week, reacting to news out of Washington: the signing of the phase-one trade deal between the U.S. and China as well as the Senate passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). In addition, a new earnings season started. Risk appetite grew and spurred all three of the major Wall Street averages to record settlements on Friday.

For the week, the Nasdaq Composite rose 2.29%; the S&P 500, 1.97%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 1.82%. International stocks improved 0.40%, according to MSCI’s EAFE index.

President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He signed off on a new, partial U.S.-China trade pact Wednesday. In this deal, China agrees to buy…

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Featured Article: Further Gains for Stocks


Economic Calendar


Quote of the Week


Recipe of the Week: Hummus


Tax Tips


Golf Tips


Healthy Lifestyle


Green Living


Further Gains for Stocks

The market had a choppy five days, with traders reacting to geopolitical developments and weaker-than-expected jobs data. Even so, the three major U.S. equity indices posted weekly gains and continued their strong start to the new year. During Friday’s trading session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average topped 29,000 for the first time.

Rising 1.75% for the week, the Nasdaq Composite outgained both the Dow (up 0.66%) and the S&P 500 (up 0.94%). The story for foreign stocks was different: the MSCI EAFE index declined 0.30%.

Wall Street was unimpressed by the latest jobs report from…

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Featured Article: Concerns About Oil


Economic Calendar


Quote of the Week


Recipe of the Week: Cauliflower Pizza


Tax Tips


Golf Tips


Healthy Lifestyle


Green Living


Concerns About Oil

Stocks descended from record highs Friday, as traders reacted to a U.S. drone strike that killed Iran’s top military officer. Oil prices rose more than 3% following the breaking news.

Wall Street benchmarks ended up having a sideways week, shortened by the New Year’s Day holiday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.04% across four trading sessions; the S&P 500, 0.16%. In contrast, the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.16%. The MSCI EAFE index, benchmarking developed overseas stock markets, added 0.30%.

WTI crude oil settled at $63.07 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Friday, down from…

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Featured Article: What Drove the Markets?


Economic Calendar


Quote of the Week


Recipe of the Week: Champagne Gummy Bears


Tax Tips


Golf Tips


Healthy Lifestyle


Green Living


What Drove the Markets

Four factors influenced investment performance in 2019: a shift in U.S. monetary policy, the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China, earnings, and the economy.

Stocks reached record highs in 2019. The S&P 500 climbed above 3,000 for the first time. The benchmark ended Friday’s trading session up 29.25% for the year. At Friday’s close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average showed a year-to-date advance of 22.95%, while the Nasdaq Composite was up 35.74% YTD. The MSCI EAFE index, representing foreign stocks, was up 18.10% YTD through December 27.

The central bank made three quarter-point cuts to the…

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Featured Article: Phase-One Trade Deal Reached


Economic Calendar


Quote of the Week


Recipe of the Week: Bacon Egg Cups


Tax Tips


Golf Tips


Healthy Lifestyle


Green Living


Phase-One Trade Deal Reached

The U.S. and China announced a limited trade agreement last week. That news lifted U.S. and foreign stocks, leading to weekly gains. Advancing 0.91% on the week, the Nasdaq Composite outperformed the S&P 500 (up 0.73%) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (up 0.43%). The MSCI EAFE index, measuring the performance of developed markets overseas, improved 0.42%.

Friday, White House and Chinese officials confirmed an agreement on what has been characterized as an initial step toward a larger trade pact. As a result of this phase-one deal, new U.S. tariffs (slated to go into effect on December 15) were canceled. The 15% tariffs (imposed on $110 billion of Chinese goods in September) now fall to 7.5%.

In return, China commits to buy…

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Featured Article: Stocks Ride Out a Choppy Week


Economic Calendar


Quote of the Week


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


Tax Tips


Golf Tips


Healthy Lifestyle


Green Living


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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