Weekly Market Insights – June 17th, 2024

Weekly Market Insights – June 17th, 2024

Weekly Market Insights: Market Enjoys Gains, Reacting To Major Reports

Presented by Cornerstone Financial Advisory, LLC

Stocks notched a solid gain last week, driven by the Fed’s decision, May’s inflation report, and Apple’s AI-related news.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 1.58 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite picked up 3.24 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which has lagged most of the year, slid 0.54 percent. The MSCI EAFE Index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, fell 1.44 percent for the week through Thursday’s close.1

S&P 500, Nasdaq Lead; Dow Lags

Market leadership took a familiar form. The tech-heavy Nasdaq led while the Dow trailed for the second week (and four out of the past six weeks).2

Stocks trended higher at the start of the week as investors cheered an artificial intelligence update from Apple.3,4

By midweek, the market had split, with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 moving higher while the Dow lagged. Investors were upbeat after learning that consumer prices rose less than expected in May and that the Fed decided to keep rates steady. However, some investors were unsettled after learning Fed officials had shifted their outlook and now only penciled in a single rate cut between now and year-end. A few months ago, the Fed had indicated as many as three cuts were possible.5

Source: YCharts.com, June 15, 2024. Weekly performance is measured from Monday, June 10, to Friday, June 14.
TR = total return for the index, which includes any dividends as well as any other cash distributions during the period.
Treasury note yield is expressed in basis points.

Busy Week For News

Last week was chock full of market-moving events. Between Apple’s AI update, inflation, and the Fed, it was a toss-up which one influenced sentiment the most.

AI’s outsized role in driving market momentum continued last week. OpenAI’s deal with Apple arrived at the start of last week, and the news followed OpenAI’s deal earlier this year with Microsoft. (These companies are mentioned for illustrative purposes only; it is not a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold this or any security.)6

Wednesday morning, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was announced. A few hours later, the Federal Open Market Committee updated its monetary policy. Those pieces of news have only arrived together 13 times since 2008.

The FOMC kept rates steady at the current 5.25-5.50 percent target range, a widely expected decision. However, the tame CPI report caused some volatility as investors grappled with how the report may influence Fed policy.7,8

This Week: Key Economic Data

Monday: Empire State Manufacturing Index. Fed Official Patrick Harker speaks.

Tuesday: Retail Sales. Industrial Production. Fed Officials Thomas Barkin, Lori Logan, Alberto Musalem, and Austan Goolsbee speak.

Thursday: Housing Starts and Permits. Jobless Claims. Fed Official Thomas Barkin speaks. EIA Petroleum Status Report.

Friday: Existing Home Sales.

Source: Investors Business Daily – Econoday economic calendar;  June 13, 2024
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.

This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings

Monday: Lennar Corporation (LEN, LEN.B), La-Z-Boy Incorporated (LZB)

Thursday: Accenture (ACN), The Kroger Co. (KR)

Friday: FactSet Research Systems Inc. (FDS), CarMax Inc. (KMX)

Source: Zacks, June 13, 2024
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. 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.

“One does not fall “in” or “out” of love. One grows in love.”

– Leo Buscaglia

Your Plans This Summer May Be Eligible For Itemized Deductions

These activities can be itemized as deductions if you have plans to sell or buy a home this summer or to donate some old items. Here are some examples:

If you are refinancing your home this summer, you can deduct some of your mortgage interest. However, there are some limits to these deductions. According to the IRS, the deduction is limited to interest paid on a loan secured by the taxpayer’s main or second home. When refinancing, you must use the loan to buy, build, or substantially improve your main or second home.

If you buy a new home this summer, you can deduct mortgage interest if you pay $750,000 in qualifying debt for a first and second home or $375,000 when married and filing separately.

Summer is a great time to sift through your things and donate old clothes, furniture, or home goods you no longer need. If you itemize the deductions and provide proof of the donations, these donations may qualify for a tax deduction.

In addition to donating items, you can deduct mileage on your vehicle for services performed for a qualifying charity.

*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.gov9

Zero-Waste Skincare: Fight Back Against Plastic

Single-use bathroom products, including shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, contribute to the tons of plastic we dispose of daily. These bottles are frequently difficult or impossible to recycle.

Next time you shop for a beauty product, consider choosing a zero-waste option. These options use biodegradable packaging to reduce landfill trash as much as possible. The idea is not to live like a “sustainability saint” but instead to do a small part to promote the future of our planet.

Tip adapted from Sustainable Jungle10

It can be told, made, cracked, and played. What is it?

  

Last week’s riddle: You hold a sheet of cellophane. Fully unfolded, it is 3 feet long by 2 feet wide. How can you get two people to stand on it (fully unfolded) so they can’t touch or see each other?
Answer: Slide the fully unfolded sheet under a door (or a sufficiently large partition that is not transparent or opaque) and have each person stand on the sheet on either side of the door or partition.

African Lion
Masai Mara, Kenya

 

Footnotes And Sources


1. The Wall Street Journal, June 14, 2024

2. The Wall Street Journal, June 14, 2024

3. The Wall Street Journal, June 10, 2024

4. CNBC.com, June 12, 2024

5. The Wall Street Journal, June 10, 2024

6. The Wall Street Journal, June 10, 2024

7.  The Wall Street Journal, June 10, 2024

8. MarketWatch.com, June 10, 2024

9. IRS.gov, April 5, 2023

10. Sustainable Jungle, January 29, 2023 

Copyright © 2024
Cornerstone Financial Advisory, LLC

Weekly Market Insights – June 17th, 2024

Weekly Market Insights – June 10, 2024

Weekly Market Insights: Solid Week Despite Mixed Reports

Presented by Cornerstone Financial Advisory, LLC
Stocks rose last week despite conflicting stories from economic reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 0.29 percent while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index powered ahead 1.31 percent. The Nasdaq Composite led, picking up 2.38 percent. The MSCI EAFE Index tracks developed overseas stock markets and rose 1.29 percent for the week through Thursday’s close.1

All Eyes On The Jobs Report

Weak manufacturing data prompted declines early in the week, reflecting investor concerns over the economy’s strength. But stocks rallied in anticipation of the jobs report on Friday.

However, the market reaction was mixed when the stronger-than-expected jobs report finally came. The S&P 500 touched a record high intraday before profit-taking late in the session.2,3

Source: YCharts.com, June 8, 2024. Weekly performance is measured from Monday, June 3, to Friday, June 7.
TR = total return for the index, which includes any dividends as well as any other cash distributions during the period.
Treasury note yield is expressed in basis points.

The Catalyst That Wasn’t

The week closed with a jobs report that underscored the economy’s resilience while highlighting the data’s mixed nature.

The 272,000 jobs added in May were higher than the 190,000 economists expected. At the same time, wages rose 4.1 percent from a year ago. The strong jobs report and surprise wage increase supported the narrative that the Fed may now wait longer before considering a move on interest rates.4

Although inflation now exceeds the central bank’s 2 percent target, the jobs report suggests that economic growth remains powerful despite higher short-term rates.4

This Week: Key Economic Data

Monday: 3-Month Treasury Bill Auction.

Wednesday: Consumer Price Index. FOMC Announcement. Fed Chair Press Conference.

Thursday: Jobless Claims. Producer Price Index (final). Fed Official John Williams speaks.

Friday: Consumer Sentiment. Fed Official Austan Goolsbee speaks.

Source: Investors Business Daily – Econoday economic calendar;  June 7, 2024
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.

This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings

Wednesday: Broadcom Inc. (AVGO)

Thursday: Adobe Inc. (ADBE), Autodesk, Inc. (ADSK)

Source: Zacks, June 7, 2024
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. 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.

“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”

– Ruth Bader Ginsburg

When Was The Last Time You Checked Your Withholding Status?

Most people check their withholding status at the end of the year or as filing season arrives, but the middle of the year may be as good of a time as any to double-check your withholding status and confirm its accuracy. The IRS has a handy tool called the Tax Withholding Estimator, which can help you assess the tax withheld from your wages.

The tool can also help you determine if you must complete a new W-4 to submit to your employer, complete a new W-4P, or make additional payments to the IRS. It does this by estimating your annual income, factoring in any children you may have and earned income tax credit, and accounting for other items that may affect your yearly taxes.

Before using the Tax Withholding Estimator, gather all necessary documents; this includes your W-2 from your employer, any 1099 forms you have from banks and other payers, and any other forms you need. Gathering as much information as possible will be helpful because the estimator will only be as accurate as the information you enter.

*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.gov5

Strength Training Strategies For Every Level

If you would like to build muscle mass, sometimes the optimal strategies are the simplest ones. For example, becoming proficient at the “big four” exercises can help you create a strong (literally) foundation. These four moves include the squat, deadlift, bench, and shoulder press. You can work on some of your body’s major muscle groups with these simple movements.

Another strategy involves using dumbbells and barbells. While the fancy machines in the gym may appear fun and enticing, mastering the foundational movements with free weights requires building the skill. Free weight and bodyweight training are some of the most effective exercises, and they are also the simplest.

Lastly, maintain a log and track your progress. Even doing one more rep or lifting five more pounds counts as progress. These achievements will keep you motivated and make tracking your progress easier as you get stronger.

Tip adapted from Men’s Journal6

You hold a sheet of cellophane. Fully unfolded, it is 3 feet long by 2 feet wide. How can you get two people to stand on it (fully unfolded) so they can’t touch or see each other?

  

Last week’s riddle:  What runs around a field but doesn’t move? Answer: A fence.

Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats
Tahua, Potosí, Bolivia

Footnotes And Sources


1. The Wall Street Journal, June 7, 2024

2. CNBC.com, June 6, 2024

3. The Wall Street Journal, June 7, 2024

4. The Wall Street Journal, June 7, 2024

5. IRS.gov, January 10, 2024 

6. Men’s Journal, January 29, 2023 

Copyright © 2024
Cornerstone Financial Advisory, LLC

Weekly Market Insights – June 17th, 2024

Weekly Market Insights – June 3, 2024

Weekly Market Insights: Stocks Sag On Downbeat Economic Indicators

Presented by Cornerstone Financial Advisory, LLC

Stocks edged lower in the final week of May as fresh news on economic growth and inflation failed to inspire investors.

Stocks Slide

Markets shrugged off news that the Q1 Gross Domestic Product was revised lower to 1.3 percent from the initial estimated 1.6 percent. Despite concerns that the economy was cooling faster than expected, investors didn’t believe the update was enough to influence the Fed’s decision about adjusting short-term rates.1

On Friday, investors were on edge waiting for the update on inflation. The Fed’s preferred inflation indicator, called the personal consumption and expenditures (PCE), rose 0.2 percent in April, which was in line with forecasts.2

Stocks rose slightly in pre-market trading on the news but were under pressure throughout the day as investors digested the inflation update. But in the last hour of trading, stock staged a powerful rally led by the Dow, which had its best day of the year.

Source: YCharts.com, June 1, 2024. Weekly performance is measured from Friday, May 24, to Friday, May 31.
TR = total return for the index, which includes any dividends as well as any other cash distributions during the period.
Treasury note yield is expressed in basis points.

Is Bad News Good News?

On the economic front, last week’s news was generally disappointing. The update on Q1 GDP was a bit discouraging, and several Fed officials gave seemingly more hawkish updates. Also, the Fed’s “Beige Book” revealed modest economic growth nationwide.

Yet despite the drumbeat of bad news, stocks were resilient and closed only slightly lower for the holiday-shortened week.3

This Week: Key Economic Data

Monday: ISM Manufacturing Index. Construction Spending.

Tuesday: Motor Vehicle Sales. Factory Orders.

Wednesday: ADP Employment Report. EIA Petroleum Status Report.

Thursday: Jobless Claims. International Trade in Goods & Services. Productivity and Costs.

Friday: Employment Situation. Fed Official Lisa Cook speaks.

Source: Investors Business Daily – Econoday economic calendar;  May 31, 2024
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.

This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings

Tuesday: CrowdStrike (CRWD), Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company (HPE)

Wednesday: lululemon athletica Inc. (LULU), DollarTree, Inc. (DLTR)

Source: Zacks, May 31, 2024
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. 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.

“Lasting change is a series of compromises. And compromise is all right, as long your values don’t change.”

– Jane Goodall

Tax Season May Be Over, But The Taxpayer Bill Of Rights Applies Year-Round

Although filing season might be over for most taxpayers, the IRS is available year-round for any questions. They also have a Taxpayer Bill of Rights, which promises the level of service and information you will receive when working with the IRS.

Here are the ten fundamental rights you have as a taxpayer when interacting with the IRS:

  • The right to be informed: As a taxpayer, you must know what is required to comply with tax laws.
  • The right to quality service: You will receive prompt, courteous, professional assistance.
  • The right to pay no more than the correct amount of tax: You only pay what is legally due, including interest and penalties.
  • The right to challenge the IRS’ position and be heard: You can object to IRS actions and provide further justification with documentation.
  • The right to appeal an IRS decision in an independent forum: Taxpayers are entitled to a fair and impartial administrative appeal of most IRS decisions, including certain penalties.
  • The right to finality: You have the right to know how much time you have to challenge an IRS position and how soon the IRS must audit your taxes.
  • The right to privacy: All IRS inquiries, examinations, and enforcement will not be more intrusive than necessary.
  • The right to confidentiality: Taxpayers have the right to expect that their tax information will remain confidential.
  • The right to retain representation: Taxpayers have the right to retain an authorized representative of their choice to represent them in their interactions with the IRS.
  • The right to a fair and just tax system: Taxpayers have the right to expect fairness from the tax system; this includes considering all facts and circumstances that might affect their liabilities and their ability to pay or provide information in a timely fashion.

*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.gov4

Health Benefits Of Garlic

Not only is garlic delicious, but it also confers many potential health benefits.

One of the most potent benefits of garlic is that it may bolster your immune system and help you combat sickness, including the common cold. One large 12-week study found that a daily garlic supplement reduced the number of colds by 63% compared to a placebo. The average length of cold symptoms was also reduced by 70%, from 5 days in the placebo group to 1.5 days in the garlic group.

Garlic may also improve cholesterol levels, thus lowering the risk of heart disease. Garlic may reduce both total and LDL cholesterol (otherwise known as the “bad” cholesterol).

Therefore, consider adding a few garlic cloves next time you make your favorite dish.

Tip adapted from Healthline.com5

What runs around a field but doesn’t move?

  

Last week’s riddle: There is a word that starts and ends with T and contains “tea” as well. What word is this? Answer: Teapot.

Burj Khalifa Skyscraper
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

 

Footnotes And Sources


1. CNBC.com, May 30, 2024

2. CNBC.com, May 31, 2024

3. Investors Business Daily, May 30, 2024

4. IRS.gov, May 1, 2023

5. Healthline.com, January 29, 2023

Copyright © 2024
Cornerstone Financial Advisory, LLC

Weekly Market Insights – June 17th, 2024

Weekly Market Insights – May 27, 2024

Weekly Market Insights: AI Rules Big Week For Tech Stocks

Presented by Cornerstone Financial Advisory, LLC
Last week’s stock performance was mixed, following investors’ reaction to the Fed’s May meeting minutes, while a handful of mega-cap tech companies created a buzz with their news.

Market Splits

Stocks began trading in a narrow band last week. Still, mega-cap tech names rallied in anticipation of the Q1 corporate report from a key company that makes semiconductors for artificial intelligence (AI). The enthusiasm lifted the Nasdaq to fresh records.

Federal Reserve news mid-week unsettled investors, who reacted to Federal Open Market Committee meeting notes that stated some Fed officials worried over the lack of progress on inflation.1

Technology was the sole winning group for the whole week, with all other Standard & Poor’s 500 industry sectors ending in the red.2

Source: YCharts.com, May 25, 2024. Weekly performance is measured from Monday, May 20, to Friday, May 24.
TR = total return for the index, which includes any dividends as well as any other cash distributions during the period.
Treasury note yield is expressed in basis points.

Bucking The Trend?

One of the handful of companies bucking the trend last week was Nvidia.

The semiconductor maker – the fifth largest company in the S&P 500 by market capitalization, thanks to their prominent role in AI – reported that its Q1 sales tripled from a year ago. The company also announced a 10-to-1 stock split. The news pushed its market cap to over $2 trillion.3

The companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities.

To some on Wall Street, Nvidia is the bellwether for the AI industry. By one estimate, the entire AI market is nearly $300 billion for this year – more than 3X the market’s size of $95 billion just three years ago. By 2030, that estimate may reach $1.8 trillion.4

Remember that forecasts rely on assumptions and may undergo revisions over time. Financial, economic, political, and regulatory issues may cause the actual results to differ from the expectations expressed in the forecast.

This Week: Key Economic Data

Tuesday: Consumer Confidence. Case-Shiller Home Price Index. Fed Official Loretta Mester speaks.

Wednesday: Beige Book. Survey of Business Uncertainty. Fed Official John Williams speaks for the first time during the week.

Thursday: GDP. Jobless Claims. International Trade in Goods. Pending Home Sales. Fed Official John Williams speaks again.

Friday: Personal Income and Outlays. Fed Official Raphael Bostic speaks.

Source: Investors Business Daily – Econoday economic calendar;  May 23, 2024
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.

This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings

Wednesday: Salesforce Inc. (CRM), Agilent Technologies, Inc. (A), HP Inc. (HPQ)

Thursday: Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST), Dell Technologies Inc. (DELL), Dollar General Corporation (DG)

Source: Zacks, May 23, 2024
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. 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.

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”

– Voltaire

Employee Vs Independent Contractor: Classifying Those Who Work For You Appropriately

Classifying workers as independent contractors or employees is essential for several tax reasons. The basis for this classification has two primary considerations: control and relationship.

Control refers to how much of the person’s work you control; this encompasses the completed work, its execution, and whether you control the financial aspects of the person’s job. In this manner, “control” means both behavioral and financial control.

Another critical factor is the relationship between the employer and the worker. How both parties perceive this relationship can guide you in determining the worker’s status. Some factors that influence relationships include the following.

  • Written contracts that describe the relationship the parties intended to create.
  • Whether the business provides the worker with employee-type benefits, such as insurance, a pension plan, vacation, or sick pay.
  • The permanency of the relationship.
  • The extent to which services performed by the worker are a pivotal aspect of the company’s regular business.
  • The extent to which the worker has unreimbursed business expenses.

Classifying your workers is essential because independent contractors and employees face different tax needs and implications.

*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.gov5

How To Take A Vacation Without Leaving Home

Vacations provide many benefits and are ideal for relaxing and taking a break from everyday stressors. But sometimes, you can’t swing a whole vacation. The good news is that you can still enjoy a little getaway without leaving the comfort of your own home.

Here are some fun ways to “get away” without actually getting away:

  • Create a themed cocktail or drink based on the place you’re dreaming of. Whip up a fancy French cocktail and pretend you’re sitting on a terrace in Paris; order a local microbrew from a US destination you’ve always wanted to visit.
  • You can also host a themed dinner night and take a culinary adventure worldwide. Bonus points if you design an authentic menu.
  • Visit a museum (virtually). The Google Arts and Culture Project lets you visit the Tate, Reina Sofia, and Acropolis Museums from home.

Whether you want to visit a national park, learn a new language, or try a new recipe, there are countless methods to explore the world from your living room.

Tip adapted from Ideas.ted.com6

There is a word that starts and ends with T and contains “tea” as well. What word is this?

  

Last week’s riddle: Rigid is my spine, my innards are mostly pale, yet I am always ready to tell a tale. What am I? Answer: A book.

Polar Bear Cubs
Hudson Bay, Manitoba, Canada

Footnotes And Sources


1. The Wall Street Journal, May 22, 2024

2. Sectorspdrs.com, May 24, 2024

3. The Wall Street Journal, May 22, 2024

4. Statista.com, May 24, 2024

5. IRS.gov, January 24, 2023

6. Ideas.ted.com, January 24, 2023 

Copyright © 2024
Cornerstone Financial Advisory, LLC

Weekly Market Insights – June 17th, 2024

Weekly Market Insights – May 20, 2024

Weekly Market Insights: Investors Anticipate Fed Rate Change

Presented by Cornerstone Financial Advisory, LLC
Stocks notched a solid gain last week in a mega-cap, tech-led rally bolstered by positive inflation news.

Dow 40,000

The week began quietly as market averages traded in a tight range, awaiting fresh inflation news.

On Tuesday, markets rose steadily throughout the day after digesting a mixed wholesale inflation report.1

The next day, a cooler-than-expected Consumer Price Index (CPI) report sparked a broad-based rally as the upbeat news raised investors’ hopes for a rate cut. The Nasdaq Composite and Standard & Poor’s 500 (which ended above 5300 for the first time) closed the day up 1.4 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, the bellwether 10-year Treasury yield fell to 4.35 percent.2,3

Investors took a break as the week ended, mostly yawning at mixed economic data. Notably, the Dow closed just above 40,000 on Friday. 

Source: YCharts.com, May 18, 2024. Weekly performance is measured from Monday, May 13, to Friday, May 17.
TR = total return for the index, which includes any dividends as well as any other cash distributions during the period.
Treasury note yield is expressed in basis points.

Inflated Expectations

With the two critical inflation updates last week, attention shifted to the Federal Reserve’s next steps with interest rates.

The top-level CPI numbers (known as headline inflation) tend to be less important than what’s underneath: core inflation (CPI minus volatile food and energy prices) in the Fed’s eye. Core CPI came in at 0.29 percent for April, just below the 0.30 percent from Wall Street. It was the first time the core CPI was lower than forecasts in three months. The news revived speculation that the Fed might consider a rate adjustment as early as September.4,5

This Week: Key Economic Data

Monday: Fed Officials Michael Barr, Raphael Bostic, Christopher Waller, and Philip Jefferson speak for the first time. 

Tuesday: Fed Officials Michael Barr, Raphael Bostic, Christopher Waller, and Philip Jefferson speak again. John Williams speaks for the first time for the week.

Wednesday: Existing Home Sales. 20-Year Treasury Bond Auction. FOMC Meeting Minutes.

Thursday: Jobless Claims. New Home Sales. Fed Balance Sheet.

Friday: Durable Goods. Consumer Sentiment.

Source: Investors Business Daily – Econoday economic calendar;  May 17, 2024
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.

This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings

Monday: Palo Alto Networks, Inc. (PANW)

Tuesday: Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (LOW)

Wednesday: NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA), The TJX Companies, Inc. (TJX), Target Corporation (TGT)

Thursday: Intuit Inc. (INTU)

Source: Zacks, May 17, 2024
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. 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.

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”

– Amelia Earhart

Starting A New Hobby? These Tips Can Help You Understand The Tax Situation

Whether you pick up painting or cook new concoctions in your kitchen, starting a new hobby is always fun and a great avenue to learn something new. However, there are some important tax considerations when starting a new hobby, especially if you are considering turning your newfound passion into a business.

Taxpayers must report any income earned from hobbies, even if it does not involve a licensed business. While businesses should make a profit, hobbies are primarily recreation. The following nine factors can guide you in determining whether a hobby could also be considered a business, according to the IRS:

  • Whether you execute the activity in a businesslike manner and maintain complete and accurate books and records.
  • Whether you have personal motives in performing the activity.
  • Whether the time and effort you expend in the activity indicate that you intend to make it profitable.
  • Whether you depend on income from the activity for your livelihood.
  • Whether your losses are due to circumstances beyond your control (or are normal in the startup phase of your type of business).
  • Whether you or your financial professional understand how to parlay the activity into a successful business.
  • Whether you successfully made a profit through similar activities in the past.
  • Whether the activity will make a profit in some years and how much profit it will make.
  • Whether you can profit from appreciating the assets used in the activity.

You can also deduct some of the expenses associated with your hobby. Within certain limits, taxpayers can typically deduct ordinary and necessary hobby expenses. An ordinary expense is common and accepted for the activity, while a necessary expense is appropriate.

*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.gov6

3 Stretches For Your Lower Back

We spend so much time sitting in our cars and at our desks that it’s no wonder that our lower backs can become tight and even sore. These three lower back stretches will help improve your flexibility and recovery and may even help if you have lower back pain.

  • Figure 4 Stretch: The Figure 4 stretch will stretch your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. To do the stretch, lay on your back with both feet on the ground. Then, cross your left foot over your right knee. Gently bring your right leg to a 90-degree angle. If you would like to increase the intensity of the stretch, grab the back of your thigh and bring your right knee toward your torso. Repeat on the other side.
  • Inner Thigh Stretch/Butterfly Stretch: This stretch addresses your inner thigh and lower back. Sit on the ground and bring your feet together in front of your knees with the soles of your feet touching. Let your knees fall to the side. To increase the stretch, bring your feet closer to your torso.
  • Pigeon Pose: To assume the pigeon pose, bring one leg to 90 degrees from your torso and stretch the other leg behind you so your right calf is perpendicular to your hips. To intensify the stretch, bend at the hips over your front leg. Repeat on both sides.

Tip adapted from Very Well Fit7

Rigid is my spine, my innards are mostly pale, yet I am always ready to tell a tale. What am I?

  

Last week’s riddle: What should the following number be in this series: 103, 107, 109, 113, 127, ___ ?  Answer: 131, as the whole series is made up of prime numbers.

Bullring Shopping Centre Birmingham, England, UK

Footnotes And Sources


1. CNBC.com, May 14, 2024

2. The Wall Street Journal, May 15, 2024

3. CNBC.com, May 17, 2024

4. CNBC.com, May 14, 2024

5. The Wall Street Journal, May 15, 2024

6. IRS.gov, November 15, 2023

7. Very Well Fit, January 24, 2023

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