WEEKLY UPDATE – November 20, 2017
Domestic stock performance varied last week, with the S&P 500 and Dow losing ground for the 2ndstraight week, while the NASDAQ posted gains. By Friday, the S&P 500 had dropped 0.13%, the Dow gave back 0.27%, and the NASDAQ gained 0.47%.International stocks in the MSCI EAFE stumbled, dropping 0.67%.
Tax reform remained a key focus in the markets, as investors questioned whether changes will happen by the end of 2017. The markets have largely priced in expectations that tax reform will move forward, a belief that has helped drive this year’s record prices. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin expects the President to receive a bill by Christmas, but despite his update, concerns about meeting this deadline remain. This uncertainty – combined with questions about differences between the House and Senate plans – has contributed to the market volatility we’ve seen in recent weeks.
While tax reform may be impacting stocks right now, going beyond the geopolitical debate reveals various positive economic updates.
An Overview of Last Week’s Economic Insight
From housing to industrial production, last week gave us a variety of economic updates for October. Overall, the data indicates that the economy is on solid ground.
• Retail sales grew
Hurricanes are still affecting retail sales, but October’s reading shows decent performance – and analysts expect the holiday season to drive strong results through year’s end.
• Consumer prices increased slightly
Inflation remains relatively low and slow, yet this month’s report shows it moving in the right direction toward the Fed’s goal of a 2% level.
• Industrial production surged
A large jump in manufacturing helped drive industrial growth and indicates a strengthening sector – good news for our economy.
• Housing starts beat expectations
The housing industry experienced strong growth in new permits, construction starts, and completed homes.
What Is Ahead
Tax reform will likely continue to be a hot topic in Washington and the markets. We will follow any changes or updates as they occur, and understanding the economy’s underlying strength will remain our key focus.
As a reminder, with Thanksgiving on Thursday, the markets will only be open for 4 days this week. During this season of gratefulness, we want to thank you for your ongoing trust and reinforce that we are always here to support you on your financial journey.
Tuesday: Existing Home Sales
Wednesday: Durable Goods Orders, Consumer Sentiment
Thursday: Markets Closed for Thanksgiving
Friday: PMI Composite Flash
Notes: All index returns (except S&P 500) exclude reinvested dividends, and the 5- year and 10-year returns are annualized. The total returns for the S&P 500 assume reinvestment of dividends on the last day of the month. This may account for differences between the index returns published on Morningstar.com and the index returns published elsewhere. International performance is represented by the MSCI EAFE Index. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”
RECIPE OF THE WEEK
Harvest Succotash Ravioli
1 pound cheese ravioli
2 small bell peppers
1 medium onion
3 slices bacon
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons water
½ cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
1. Boil water and toss in ravioli. Cook according to directions.
2. Deseed and chop the bell peppers and finely chop the onion. Save ingredients for later.
3. Chop bacon slices and toss into a skillet with olive oil. Cook on medium heat until the bacon crisps, roughly 6 minutes.
4. Remove cooked bacon from pan and transfer to bowl lined with paper towels to drain. Keep the bacon fat in the skillet.
5. Combine the chopped onions, bell peppers, thyme, and salt in the skillet, and sauté for about 7 minutes.
6. Add corn kernels and cook for 2 minutes.
7. Toss in the cooked bacon and ravioli, and combine to serve.
*You can substitute regular rice for cauliflower rice.
Recipe adapted from Good Housekeeping
Renew Your Expiring ITIN Now*
Compress Your Irons
- 1. Set: You need a strong setup to compress the ball. To do so, favor your left leg slightly at address and lean the club shaft just a bit forward. The butt should be closer to your target than your clubhead.
- 2. Cover: Steepen your angle and improve contact by keeping your chest on top of the ball as you swing. Test your stance by hanging your club down from your sternum; it should point directly at the ball.
- 3. Lean: Keep that forward lean, and let your hands lead as you make contact with the ball. Your clubhead should trail the club’s grip up until you hit the ball.
- 4. Drill: Now practice your swing by placing a tee down a few inches behind the ball’s position. When you swing, hit only the ball, leaving the tee in place. With this swing, you should hear that distinct compression sound.
Tip courtesy of Ron Kaspriske | Golf Digest Magazine 
Stay Ahead of Colon Cancer
• Family history: If your family history includes relatives that developed colon cancer, you may be more at risk of developing the disease.
• Diet low in fiber, high in fat: Studies correlate an increased risk of colon cancer in people who eat a lot of fat and not enough fiber. Avoid eating diets rich with red meat and processed foods.
• Not enough exercise: Those who live sedentary lifestyles are more at risk of having an unhealthy colon.
Tip courtesy of Mayo Clinic
Tips to Create a Tree-Free Home
Tip adapted from Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State
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