Identity Theft. Eight Steps to take if you are a victim.

Identity Theft. Eight Steps to take if you are a victim.

You’ve spent years building, managing, and securing your financial life. But what happens if your identity is stolen? Unfortunately, it happens regularly. In 2018, over 5.5% of consumers had their identity stolen. Take a look at the 8 things you can do immediately if you’re a victim of identity theft. http://bit.ly/2Wdlwap

Identity Theft. Eight Steps to take if you are a victim.2019-05-31T09:53:21-04:00

Trade Tensions Linger

The Weekly Update

Week of May 28, 2019
By Christopher T. Much, CFP®, AIF®

The Week on Wall Street
Stocks drifted lower last week as investors considered the possibility that the world’s two largest economies might take some time to resolve key trade issues.

The S&P 500 retreated 1.17%; the Nasdaq Composite, 2.29%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 0.69%. The concern over trade was felt elsewhere: the overseas developed markets benchmark, the MSCI EAFE, also lost 1.41% in five sessions.

Market Waits for Further Trade Talk Cues
A compromise on tariffs between the U.S. and China did not seem forthcoming last week. Negotiations appeared stalled. Regardless, President Trump and Chinese President Xi are slated to meet at June’s G20 summit in Japan.

The Department of Commerce has effectively banned U.S. companies from doing business with Chinese tech giant Huawei, a major global player in 5G technology. Some analysts think China may respond with retaliatory measures.

Leading Retailers Report Earnings
Big-box stores and other major retail chains announced first-quarter results last week. While some traditional department store chains disappointed (Kohl’s, JC Penney, Nordstrom), Macy’s recorded its sixth straight quarter of comparable sales growth. Target reported a 10.8% jump in earnings in the first quarter, Walmart announced Q1 gains in earnings and revenue, and Urban Outfitters saw record sales in Q1.

Any companies mentioned are for informational purposes only, and this should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of their securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame, and risk tolerance.

Final Thought
As new chapters in the U.S.-China trade drama continue to unfold, remember that your investment approach is built around your long-term objectives and risk tolerance. There will always be day-to-day price changes; there will always be breaking news alerts. The disciplined, long-term investor stays the course through the ups and downs.

THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Tuesday: The Conference Board’s latest monthly consumer confidence index.
Friday: May consumer spending numbers and May’s final University of Michigan consumer sentiment index (another important measure of consumer confidence levels).

THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Wednesday: Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS), PVH (PVH)
Thursday: Costco (COST), Dell (DELL), Dollar General (DG), Ulta Beauty (ULTA)

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Data collected from Investors FastTrack software.
https://www.wsj.com/market-data
https://quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/990300/historical-prices
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/21/tech-stocks-are-feeling-the-pain-but-may-emerge-better-off-after-trade-war.html
https://seekingalpha.com/article/4265991-q1-2019-u-s-retail-scorecard-may-21-update
https://www.just-style.com/news/us-q1-in-brief-ross-stores-l-brands-target-corp_id135965.aspx
Trade Tensions Linger2019-05-28T13:50:10-04:00

Trade News Moves the Market

The Weekly Update

Week of May 20, 2019
By Christopher T. Much, CFP®, AIF®

The Week on Wall Street
Stocks fell sharply at the start of last week over trade tensions, then recovered with help from strong earnings and indications that U.S.-China trade talks would continue. Even so, the major indices had a down week. The S&P 500 lost 0.76%, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.27%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.69%.

In contrast, the MSCI EAFE benchmark for international stocks rose 0.19%.

The Latest Trade Developments
A broad selloff occurred Monday after China announced it would respond to increased U.S. tariffs by boosting its own import taxes on $60 billion of U.S. products. Friday morning, the Street breathed a sigh of relief as the Trump administration decided to delay 25% tariffs planned for imported cars and car parts; they had been slated to take effect on May 18. Just hours later, President Trump announced an end to U.S. tariffs on metals coming from Canada and Mexico.

At midweek, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin told reporters that he expected the U.S. to resume trade negotiations with China in “the near future.”

Earnings Season Winds Down
The first-quarter earnings scorecard is nearly complete, as more than 90% of S&P 500 companies have reported actual Q1 results.

Stock market analytics firm FactSet notes that 76% of these firms have beaten consensus earnings-per-share estimates. Overall earnings for S&P 500 components have surpassed expectations by 5.4%. Both these percentages are above 5-year averages.

Final Thought
The market is quite sensitive to trade developments at the moment, and it is unclear whether this will be a short-term trend or a long-term influence on prices. While the U.S. prepares its next moves, China also is preparing its response to any new U.S. tariffs, which could include manipulating its currency.

THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Tuesday: The April existing home sales report from the National Association of Realtors.
Wednesday: Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s May policy meeting.
Thursday: April new home sales figures from the Census Bureau.

THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Tuesday: AutoZone (AZO), Home Depot (HD), Kohl’s (KSS), Nordstrom (JWN)
Wednesday: Analog Devices (ADI), Lowe’s (LOW), Target (TGT)
Thursday: Best Buy (BBY), Intuit (INTU), TD Bank (TD)
Friday: Foot Locker (FL)

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Data collected from Investors FastTrack software.
https://www.wsj.com/market-data
https://quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/990300/historical-prices
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-china/tough-talk-from-china-leaves-trade-talks-with-u-s-in-limbo-idUSKCN1SN207
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/mnuchin-says-he-expects-to-go-to-beijing-to-continue-trade-talks-in-the-near-future-2019-05-15
https://www.npr.org/2019/05/17/724357441/u-s-to-lift-tariffs-on-canadas-and-mexico-s-steel-and-aluminum
https://insight.factset.com/market-punished-sp-500-companies-reporting-negative-eps-surprises-in-q1
Trade News Moves the Market2019-05-20T12:22:18-04:00

59 ½. Why is this age so important?

59 ½. Why is this age so important?

If you’re 59½ and believe you’re not financially equipped for retirement, there’s still hope. The IRS grants those at that age special allowances to help bolster their retirement savings. Learn more about how to build your retirement savings before it’s too late. http://bit.ly/59andahalf.

59 ½. Why is this age so important?2019-05-16T09:47:16-04:00

Higher Tariffs Take Effect

The Weekly Update

Week of May 13, 2019
By Christopher T. Much, CFP®, AIF®

The Week on Wall Street
As we noted recently, Wall Street has a wandering eye. Last week, it focused on the new tariff threats in the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute. Stocks fell across five trading sessions: the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 2.12%, the S&P 500, 2.18%; the Nasdaq Composite, 3.03%. International stocks also fell: the MSCI EAFE index declined 3.06%.

Earnings and big-name initial public offerings mattered little last week. Traders were more concerned about how consumers and corporations might be affected by higher import taxes in future quarters.

Tariffs Increase
At 12:01 a.m. Friday, duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese products coming to the U.S. rose from 10% to 25%. Just days earlier, President Trump had tweeted that the U.S. might also tax another $325 billion of Chinese imports, mainly consumer goods.

While the proposed new taxes might take months to implement, institutional investors reacted negatively to this information, perceiving that trade talks were stalled.

Final Thought
A few weeks ago, market watchers noted the huge number of initial public offerings anticipated for 2019. One well-known tech firm completed its IPO on Friday, and the wave of tech IPOs is still building. According to research firm CB Insights, the average stock market valuation of the venture-capital-backed tech companies going public this year is $9.6 billion.

THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Wednesday: April retail sales figures from the Census Bureau.
Friday: The University of Michigan’s preliminary May consumer sentiment index, a measure of consumer confidence.

THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Monday: Take-Two Interactive (TTWO)
Tuesday: Agilent (A), Ralph Lauren (RL)
Wednesday: Alibaba (BABA), Cisco (CSCO), Macy’s (M)
Thursday: Applied Materials (AMAT), Nvidia (NVDA), Walmart (WMT)
Friday: Deere & Co. (DE)

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Data collected from Investors FastTrack software.
https://www.wsj.com/market-data
https://quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/990300/historical-prices
https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/business/china-us-tariffs-trade/index.html
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/07/if-trump-slaps-china-with-all-the-tariffs-threatened-it-could-be-the-us-consumer-that-pays.html
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/05/09/business/dealbook/tech-ipos-uber.html
Higher Tariffs Take Effect2019-05-13T12:50:48-04:00

Major Indices Have a Mixed Week

The Weekly Update

Week of May 6, 2019
By Christopher T. Much, CFP®, AIF®

The Week on Wall Street
Stocks were up and down last week, and the three major benchmarks ended up little changed after five trading days. The S&P 500 rose 0.20% for the week; the Nasdaq Composite, 0.22%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.14%.

The MSCI EAFE index, a benchmark for international stocks, declined 0.21%.

The Fed Emphasizes Patience
The Federal Reserve held interest rates steady at its May meeting. Its May 1 policy statement noted “solid” job growth and economic activity, but only tame inflation pressure.

While the Fed was not expected to make a move, some investors wondered if its latest policy statement might hint at the possibility of a rate cut later this year. No such hint appeared. Fed chair Jerome Powell told the media Wednesday that “we don’t see a strong reason for moving in one direction or the other.”

Indications of a Thriving Economy
Employers added 263,000 net new jobs in April. Economists polled by Bloomberg forecast a gain of 190,000. The jobless rate fell to 3.6% last month, the lowest in half a century.

This better-than-expected employment snapshot comes on the heels of a first-quarter gross domestic product reading that surprised to the upside. In another bit of good news, personal spending rose an impressive 0.9% in March.

Final Thought
On Wednesday and Thursday, stocks fell in the wake of the Fed policy statement. Friday, they more or less recouped their losses after the impressive April jobs report. Ups and downs like these come with the territory when you invest; the key is to stay patient and think long term instead of short term.

THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Friday: The April Consumer Price Index, monitoring monthly and annual inflation.

THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Monday: Occidental Petroleum (OXY), Tyson Foods (TSN)
Tuesday: Allergan (AGN), Anheuser-Busch (BUD), Lyft (LYFT)
Wednesday: Green Dot (GDOT), Hostess Brands (TWNK), Walt Disney Co. (DIS)
Thursday: AXA Equitable Holdings (EQH), Keurig Dr. Pepper (KDP), News Corp. (NWSA)
Friday: Enbridge (ENB), Marriott International (MAR), Viacom (VIA)

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Data collected from Investors FastTrack software.
https://markets.wsj.com/usoverview
https://quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/990300/historical-prices
https://www.bankrate.com/banking/federal-reserve/fomc-meeting-recap-april-may-2019
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/03/business/economy/jobs-report-april.html
https://www.marketwatch.com/tools/calendars/economic
Major Indices Have a Mixed Week2019-05-06T11:56:04-04:00