WEEKLY UPDATE – April 8, 2019
The Week on Wall Street
Stocks just posted their second straight weekly gain. Investors were encouraged by the latest jobs report and new signs of progress on a U.S.-China trade deal. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 1.17% in five trading days; the S&P 500, 1.27%; the Nasdaq Composite, 1.72%. The MSCI EAFE index of international stocks improved 1.84%.
The economy generated 196,000 net new jobs in March, according to the Department of Labor. Monthly job growth averaged 180,000 in the first quarter. Both President Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He told the media last week that the U.S. and China were getting closer to a new trade accord.
Meanwhile, a week into the second quarter, another earnings season is about to unfold. As we await results, we will take a brief look back at what happened in the first quarter.
Stocks staged an impressive comeback in Q1, recovering nearly all of the losses incurred in the last three months of 2018.
Bullish Sentiment Increased
Investors were able to set some of their recent concerns aside, at least temporarily. The Federal Reserve indicated that it would pause interest rate hikes, and while no U.S.-China trade deal was completed during the quarter, the ongoing trade dispute cooled. The economy seemed healthy: the jobless rate was under 4%, hourly pay was rising at more than 3% a year, and inflation was tame.
Add in some upside from corporate earnings, and a recipe for gains emerged.
Stocks Had Their Best Quarter Since 2009
The Dow rose 11.15%; the S&P 500, 13.07%; the Nasdaq Composite, 16.49%. Additionally, this was the best first quarter seen on Wall Street since 1998.
The Fed Held Interest Rates Steady
In March, the Federal Reserve left the benchmark interest rate alone and indicated that it would not make a rate hike this year. As recently as December, the Fed had forecast two hikes for 2019.
The first-quarter earnings season kicks off this week with three big banks reporting results. The question is whether stocks in the S&P 500 will post earnings that beat analyst expectations to the degree they have in the past few quarters. Other questions: how will consumer confidence, wage growth, and job creation fare in Q2? Will there be a Brexit or a new U.S.-China trade pact this quarter, and if so, how will global markets react? If you have questions of your own as this quarter unfolds, remember that we are always here to talk.
THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Wednesday: Minutes from the March Federal Reserve meeting, plus the latest Consumer Price Index, tracking monthly and yearly inflation.
Friday: The initial University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for April, which assesses consumer confidence.
Source: Econoday / MarketWatch Calendar, March 5, 2019
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
Wednesday: Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), Delta Air Lines (DAL)
Thursday: Fastenal (FAST), Rite Aid (RAD)
Friday: JPMorgan Chase (JPM), PNC (PNC), Wells Fargo (WFC)
Source: Morningstar.com, March 5, 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.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
RECIPE OF THE WEEK
Salty/Sour Preserved Lemons
• 5 lemons
• ¼ cup salt or more, if desired
• Freshly squeezed lemon juice, if needed
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 3 cloves
• 5 to 6 coriander seeds
• 3 to 4 black peppercorns
• 1 bay leaf
1. Soak the lemons in lukewarm water for 3 days to soften the peels. Be sure to change the water every day.
2. With a sharp knife, quarter the lemons from the top to within ½ inch of the bottom. Dust salt on the fruit, then reshape.
3. Put a Tbsp. of salt at the bottom of a mason jar. Start layering and packing the lemons, adding salt in between each layer. Push the lemons down and sprinkle in the add-in spices between layers if you’re using them. Pushing the lemons down will release their juice; add additional lemon juice, if needed. When the jar is full, leave some air space before sealing the jar.
4. Put the jar of lemons in a warm place and shake the jar at least once a day to mix the salt, lemon juice, and spices. Leave the lemons to ripen for 30 days.
To use the lemons, rinse them and remove the pulp. The preserved lemons don’t need to be refrigerated and will keep up to a year.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious
Child and Dependent Care Credit*
Working moms and dads can get a break with the Child and Dependent Care Credit. Child care is expensive, and this credit is designed to offset some of that cost. The credit covers children age 12 or younger, a spouse if they are unable to take care of themself, or any other person claimed as a dependent who can’t take care of themself. More details:
• The total expenses that you may use to calculate the credit may not be more than $3,000 (for one individual) or $6,000 (for two or more individuals).
• You must have paid for the care, so that you could work or look for work.
• If you are married, you must file a joint tax return.
• When filing, you’ll need to provide information on the caregiver, such as name, address, and Taxpayer Identification Number.
* 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
Posture Makes Perfect
To get the most out of your irons, maintaining good posture throughout the swing is key. Try using this strategy many pros use for all their shots, including their irons:
1. Keep your right arm fairly straight on the takeaway.
2. Make sure to use a shoulder turn and not just lift your arms.
3. From the top, start down by pushing off your right foot.
4. With your weight on the left, turn your hips through, making room for your arms to swing into impact.
This may sound like a lot of mechanics to keep in mind, but slow, mindful practice will have your posture in alignment for the perfect swing.
Tip adapted from Golf Die Hard
Diet Soda: Risks and Replacements
Recent research from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology indicates that drinking even one diet soda a day can increase your risk of heart disease or heart attack by 35%. That one diet soda a day is probably not worth it. These drinks are also loaded with chemicals that are potentially carcinogenic and wreak havoc on your insulin because they trick your body into reacting in similar ways to sugar, releasing insulin in your gut and signaling your body to hold onto extra fat.
The good news is that there are plenty of alternatives to this seemingly harmless habit. The best choice is water. Drink the best water you have access to. If your city has great water, use it! If not, there are plenty of places to fill up on filtered water. Then, try some variations on infused flavors. Just add fruits, vegetables, and herbs to your liking, and sip away throughout the day! Here are a few ideas:
• Orange Fennel
• Tomato-Celery-Bell Pepper
• Strawberry Cucumber
Tips adapted from The Washington Post and Food Network
Your Kitchen is So Smart
Smart kitchens are smart because they work in connection with automated home technology (devices, apps, and the Internet) to help you manage energy and integrate your smart products. You can engage smart home assistants, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, to help out too.
Smart lighting. No light switch needed. Turn on and off, dim, or automate your lights by voice command. Program your lights to turn on at certain times or even dim when the kitchen is not in use. Be sure to use LED lights too – they use up to 75% less energy, provide beautiful lighting, and last longer.
Smart Dishwasher. The water savings are astounding – 1,000 gallons of water annually compared to the older models. Monitor or control your dishwasher with a smart app while you’re away.
Smart Cooking. Save money, time, and energy with a smart oven or cooktop. Preheat, turn on, turn off, or adjust from your smartphone.
Tip adapted from Constellation
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Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.
Diversification does not guarantee profit nor is it guaranteed to protect assets.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. The DJIA was invented by Charles Dow back in 1896.
The Nasdaq Composite is an index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market and is considered a broad indicator of the performance of stocks of technology companies and growth companies.
The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) that serves as a benchmark of the performance in major international equity markets as represented by 21 major MSCI indexes from Europe, Australia and Southeast Asia.
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