Weekly Update: September 23, 2019 – Stocks Stage A Modest Retreat

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Featured Article: Stocks Stage A Modest Retreat

Economic Calendar

Quote of the Week

Recipe of the Week: Hash Brown Waffles for Brunch

Tax Tips

Golf Tips

Healthy Lifestyle

Green Living


The Week on Wall Street

Investors reacted to two major news items last week, one far more of a surprise than the other. The Federal Reserve did indeed make a rate cut, matching Wall Street expectations. Drone strikes on two of the world’s largest oil fields brought a shock to the global oil market.   

At Friday’s closing bell, stocks wound up with weekly losses after news broke that Chinese trade officials were heading home from the U.S. sooner than planned. The S&P 500 retreated 0.51% week-over-week; the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.05%, and the Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.72%. In developed foreign markets, shares tracked by the MSCI EAFE index fell 0.31%.[1],[2],[3]  

Another Quarter-Point Cut

Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee voted 7-3 to lower the benchmark interest rate by another 0.25%, to a range of 1.75% to 2.00%.

While traders looked for signs of future guidance on monetary policy, little emerged from the latest Fed policy statement and Fed chair Jerome Powell’s subsequent press conference. The updated dot-plot forecast showed that seven Fed officials anticipated at least one more cut before 2020, while ten did not.[4]  

Oil Prices Jump

As last week began, crude oil futures spiked in response to an attack that interrupted roughly 5% of the world’s oil production. The value of West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark, spiked 14.7% in a day, starting at $8.05 and reaching $62.90 by Monday’s close. 

This was oil’s biggest one-day leap since September 2008. Prices came down from there: Friday, WTI crude settled at $58.48.[5],[6]

Final Thought

So, what day last week saw the biggest loss or gain for stocks? Not Monday, when the market absorbed news of the Saudi oil field strike. Not Wednesday, when the Fed rate cut occurred. Instead, it was Friday, when the S&P 500 lost only 0.49%. It just goes to show that stocks may ride through seemingly market-moving events with little daily change.[7]

THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA

Tuesday: The Conference Board’s September Consumer Confidence Survey.

Wednesday: August new home sales data from the Census Bureau.

Thursday: The federal government’s third estimate of second-quarter economic growth.

Friday: August personal spending numbers from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and September’s final University of Michigan Sonsumer Sentiment Index, measuring consumer confidence levels.

Source: Econoday, September 20, 2019

The Econoday economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. 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 WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS

Tuesday: AutoZone (AZO), Cintas (CTAS), Nike (NKE)

Thursday: Accenture (ACN), Carnival (CCL), Micron Technology (MU) 

Source: Zacks, September 20, 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.

 


Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.

―William Cullen Bryant


Hash Brown Waffles for Brunch

 [4 to 5  Servings]

There are few things more beautiful than a crisp, fall morning. Celebrate the season by treating your family and friends to a home-cooked brunch. These hash brown “waffles” are delicious, easy to make, and the perfect brunch staple.

Ingredients: Directions:
  • 20 oz. hash browns, frozen
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Green onions or other toppings (e.g. spinach, bacon, mushrooms, etc.)
  • Salt and pepper
  • A waffle iron
  • Nonstick spray
  1. Heat the waffle iron to medium, and generously coat the iron with nonstick spray (if you skip this step, the hash browns will stick to the grill).
  2. Mix together the eggs and milk.
  3. Stir in the hash browns, cheese, green onions, and any other toppings you’re craving.
  4. Scoop some of the potato mixture onto the iron and spread to about ½-inch thick.
  5. Cook each waffle for about five minutes, checking it to make sure it doesn’t burn. It’s done when it’s golden brown.

Recipe adapted from Yellow Bliss Road[8]

 


Military Members and Their Families Can Receive Free Tax Advice

The IRS started the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program to provide free tax advice, preparation, return filing help, and other assistance to military members and their families. This also includes specific tax advice for military members, such as combat zone tax benefits, special extensions, and other special rules. The VITA has convenient locations on and off base and even has offices overseas.

These offerings are just one way the IRS is striving to make tax information available to all. They also offer other free assistance programs to taxpayers who qualify, including the elderly, through their Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program.

If you or someone you know wants to take advantage of this service, find the location closest to you with the IRS’s location search tool. Simply enter your zip code and how far you want to travel.

* 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[9]

 

Golf Tips for Seniors: How to Generate Power

As we get older, it gets harder to generate the same amount of power and drive as when we first started playing golf. That being said, there are many ways for seniors to continue improving their game. Here are some helpful tips for older golfers:

  • Close your stance by putting your trail foot back a bit. You can also turn your toes out slightly. This will make it easier to rotate, generating more power.
  • Turn away from the ball as you swing rather than facing down toward the ball the whole time. Your eyes will continue to look at the golf ball, but your shoulders should turn away from it.
  • Let your lead heel come off the ground to help transfer the weight of your swing. It might almost feel like you’re walking into your shot.

Some of these tips might seem unconventional compared to what most golfers are taught in the beginning, but movement means power, and power means that even senior golfers can keep up on the links.

Tip adapted from Donald Peterson[10]

 

Indoor Exercises to Stay Active

Happy Autumnal Solstice! As the weather cools down, it might be hard to get outside as much for walks and exercise. But there are plenty of exercises you can do indoors, even when the weather outside is not cooperating. Here are some simple moves to get you exercising indoors, no equipment required:

  • Start with your core. Do 30 crunches followed by a minute-long plank. Repeat for three rounds.
  • Do two sets of mountain climbers; 60 seconds on, 30 seconds rest.
  • Do push-ups (either on your knees or on your toes), and on your last rep, hold a plank for a minute. Rest for 20 seconds, and repeat three more times.
  • Do a standing, reverse lunge, 20 reps on each side. Complete three sets.
  • Do regular squats, but hold at the lowest point for three seconds. Complete 20 reps three times.

While these exercises can be beneficial without using any equipment, if you want to step up your workout a bit, try adding in some weights.

Tip adapted from Active[11]

 

 

Put Your Fall Leaves to Work

Have you ever looked at one of your well-dressed friends and thought “I wish I had that outfit.” Well, maybe you can! Buying gently worn clothes instead of buying new pieces is a great way to save money and be environmentally friendly. Even if you’re not interested in the idea of thrift stores, consider getting some friends together this fall to host a swap party. Everyone brings clothes they no longer want, and together, the group is able to swap each other’s wardrobes. Throw in some snacks and drinks too! You’re sure to get some new pieces for the upcoming season.

To make your swap party a success, consider inviting friends with corresponding sizes, so everyone can swap around. You may also want to set rules, such as what guests can and can’t bring.

Tip adapted from Compost Guide[12]

 

 

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Sources:  

[1] https://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-skids-to-friday-lows-amid-reports-that-chinas-delegation-has-canceled-a-tariff-related-visit-2019-09-20

[2] https://www.wsj.com/market-data

[3] https://quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/990300/historical-prices

[4] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fed/fed-cuts-rates-on-7-3-vote-gives-mixed-signals-on-next-move-idUSKBN1W32H7

[5] https://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-oils-10-surge-after-saudi-attack-puts-it-on-track-for-the-biggest-daily-gain-in-312-years-2019-09-15

[6] https://money.cnn.com/data/commodities/index.html

[7] https://money.cnn.com/data/markets/sandp/

[8] https://www.yellowblissroad.com/egg-cheese-hash-brown-waffles-giveaway/

 [9] https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/free-tax-help-available-for-the-military

10] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2RuPhpByLM

[11] https://www.active.com/fitness/articles/30-minute-indoor-workout-to-beat-the-cold-weather-blues

 [12] https://compostguide.com/using-leaves-for-composting/