Weekly Market Insights – February 26, 2024

Weekly Market Insights – February 26, 2024

Weekly Market Insights:
Stocks Hit New Highs On AI’s Promise

Presented by Cornerstone Financial Advisory, LLC

 

Stocks vaulted to new heights last week on the back of an artificial intelligence (AI) semiconductor company, marking investors’ belief that AI has the potential to transform the U.S. economy.

Stocks Rally To Record Highs

Stocks traded in a fairly tight range for the first half of the short week, yawning at the lack of economic data while awaiting earnings results from one key company that creates chips that power the artificial intelligence operations of many firms.

A strong Q4 corporate report and long-term message from Nvidia Corp. pushed the S&P 500 and Nasdaq to new closing highs on Thursday.

Nvidia’s market cap rose by $277 billion on the news, pushing it to a $2 trillion valuation. To put that in perspective, Nvidia’s market cap is now roughly the same size as Canada’s economy. Its 16% gain on Thursday was the largest one-day market cap increase by any U.S. company.1,2

Remember, companies mentioned are for illustrative purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any company connected with AI.

Source: YCharts.com, February 24, 2024. Weekly performance is measured from Friday, February 16 to Friday, February 23.
ROC 5 = the rate of change in the index for the previous 5 trading days.
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.

Inflection Point?

Nvidia’s seismic increase in market cap gave investors pause for reflection, wondering whether this marked an inflection point for artificial intelligence.

The main story that investors took away was that, because of its market dominance as the leading global provider of AI computer chips, Nvidia served as a proxy for AI. Some of the world’s most influential companies rely on Nvidia technology to power their own AI initiatives. Investors appear to have concluded that AI’s impact may just be starting, and anticipate it will be a driving economic force in 2024 and beyond.3,4

This Week: Key Economic Data

Monday: New Home Sales. Two-year Treasury Note Auction.

Tuesday: Durable Goods. Case-Shiller Home Price Index. Consumer Confidence.

Wednesday: GDP report (second estimate). Petroleum Status Report.

Thursday: Jobless Claims. Personal Income and Outlays.

Source: Investors Business Daily – Econoday economic calendar; February 19, 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: Workday, Inc. (WDAY), Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (ZM)

Tuesday: Dell Technologies Inc. (DELL), Agilent Technologies, Inc. (A), eBay Inc. (EBAY)

Wednesday: Salesforce Inc. (CRM), HP Inc. (HPQ)

Thursday: Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company (HPE)

Source: Zacks, February 19, 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.

“All you need in the world is love and laughter – to have love in one hand, and laughter in the other.”

– August Wilson

Be On Alert For IRS Scams

This tax season, the IRS expects an uptick in tax-related scams. In most cases, IRS “phishing” scams come in the form of bogus phone calls and emails that claim to come from the IRS.

Remember, the IRS will never:

  • Call you without mailing an official notice first.
  • Demand that you immediately pay your taxes over the phone.
  • Take a debit or credit card number over the phone.
  • Threaten to call law enforcement or immigration services to arrest you for failure to pay.

*This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific, individualized tax advice. Please discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.

Tip adapted from IRS.gov5

Loving Yourself First  

The rise of self-care over the past decade has brought attention to the concept of loving oneself—the basic philosophy behind it being that if we love and take care of ourselves with intention, we’ll be happier and healthier, and all the people in our lives will benefit, including our romantic partners.

Loving ourselves isn’t always easy. And it doesn’t mean always being overly indulgent but rather making choices that help support our overall well-being. For some people, that may look like taking time to relax if they have a lot of stress. For others, it can be making a to-do list to organize and accomplish tasks if they tend toward procrastination. We are being more self-aware and cheering ourselves on if we’re often overly harsh or being more introspective and searching for ways to improve if we are myopic about our shortcomings. All these things and many more are intentional actions we can take to be our best selves.

Tip adapted from PsychCentral.com6

Kristi and David live at opposite ends of a metro area but attend the same college. David left for campus 30 minutes before Kristi, and they met at a coffee house. Who was closer to campus when they met?

  

Last week’s riddle: What can explode slowly, with no smoke or flame?Answer: A population.

A sea otter floating.
 

Footnotes And Sources

1. MarketWatch.com, February 22, 2024.

2. US News & World Report, February 22, 2024.

3. CNBC, February 21, 2024.

4. The Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2024.

5. IRS.gov, November 20, 2023

6. PsychCentral.com, 2024.

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.

The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, may not materialize, and are subject to revision without notice.

The market indexes discussed are unmanaged, and generally, considered representative of their respective markets. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Indexes do not incur management fees, costs, and expenses. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is an unmanaged index that is generally considered representative of large-capitalization companies on the U.S. stock market. 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 technology and growth companies. The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) and serves as a benchmark of the performance of major international equity markets, as represented by 21 major MSCI indexes from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia. The S&P 500 Composite Index is an unmanaged group of securities that are considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

U.S. Treasury Notes are guaranteed by the federal government as to the timely payment of principal and interest. However, if you sell a Treasury Note prior to maturity, it may be worth more or less than the original price paid. Fixed income investments are subject to various risks including changes in interest rates, credit quality, inflation risk, market valuations, prepayments, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.

International investments carry additional risks, which include differences in financial reporting standards, currency exchange rates, political risks unique to a specific country, foreign taxes and regulations, and the potential for illiquid markets. These factors may result in greater share price volatility.

Please consult your financial professional for additional information.

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG is not affiliated with the named representative, financial professional, Registered Investment Advisor, Broker-Dealer, nor state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and they should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

Copyright 2024 FMG Suite.

Copyright © 2024
Cornerstone Financial Advisory, LLC

Weekly Market Insights – February 26, 2024

Weekly Market Insights – February 19, 2024

Weekly Market Insights:
Market Retreats On Inflation, Economic Reports

Presented by Cornerstone Financial Advisory, LLC

 

Stocks fell last week as investors reacted to disappointing inflation updates and other economic reports that fell short of estimates.

Stocks Snap Winning Streak

Markets were quiet Monday but opened lower Tuesday in response to the January inflation report that showed higher-than-expected consumer prices. But stocks regained some momentum on Wednesday and rallied Thursday despite disappointing reports on both retail sales and industrial production for January.1,2

News of higher-than-expected wholesale prices on Friday put investors back on edge and kept stocks from ending the week on a positive note. The weekly loss broke a five-week winning streak.3

Source: YCharts.com, February 17, 2024. Weekly performance is measured from Monday, February 12, to Friday, February 16.
ROC 5 = the rate of change in the index for the previous 5 trading days.
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 Perspective

Consumer Price Index data was one of the big pieces of news driving markets last week, with January’s numbers coming in at 3.1 percent compared to a year prior—cooler than December’s 3.4 percent year-over-year gain but warmer than the 2.9 percent consensus. Jittery Investors focused on the hotter-than-expected part.4

With the consumer report closely followed by disappointing inflation news on the producer level, attention quickly shifted to the Fed and what’s next for interest rates. While the Fed has indicated short-term rates may trend lower in 2024, the January inflation reports support Fed Chair Powell’s recent comments that the Fed is in no hurry to cut rates.4

This Week: Key Economic Data

Tuesday: Leading Indicators.

Wednesday: FOMC Meeting Minutes.

Thursday: Jobless Claims. Existing Home Sales. U.S. Fed Balance Sheet.

Source: Investors Business Daily – Econoday economic calendar; February 15, 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: Walmart Inc. (WMT), The Home Depot, Inc. (HD), Palo Alto Networks, Inc. (PANW)

Wednesday: NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA)

Thursday: Intuit Inc. (INTU), Booking Holdings Inc. (BKNG)

Friday: Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A, BRK.B)

Source: Zacks, February 15, 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.

“You miss 100% of the shots you never take.”

– Wayne Gretzky

Taking A Side Gig? Here’s How It May Affect Your Taxes

Taxpayers who work in the gig economy may benefit from a better understanding of how their work affects their taxes. Taxpayers who work in the gig economy may benefit from a better understanding of how their work affects their taxes. 

Here are some things taxpayers should know about the gig economy and taxes:

  • Money earned through this work may be taxable.
  • There are tax implications for the company providing the platform and the individual performing the services. 

This income may be taxable even if the taxpayer providing the service doesn’t receive a Form 1099-MISC, Form 1099-K, or Form W-2. This income may also be taxable if the activity is only part-time or side work or paid in cash. 

*This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific, individualized tax advice. Please discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.

Tip adapted from IRS.gov5

Show Your Heart Some Love 

February is American Heart Month. While genetics and family history are primary factors in disease development and survival, some lifestyle factors are associated with better heart health. However, make sure to discuss any medical concerns with your health care provider before beginning any dietary and fitness regimen. The following information is not a substitute for medical advice.

  • Manage your blood pressure: Make sure to get your blood pressure checked regularly. Hypertension is often asymptomatic.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese may increase disease risk.
  • Eat well and exercise: These two activities are associated with a lower incidence of heart disease.
  • Drink less alcohol and don’t smoke: These habits are seen more frequently in heart disease patients.
  • Sleep well and reduce stress: Lower cortisol levels may reduce your risk for heart disease.

While not all risk factors are controllable, some are. The list above is not comprehensive. Give your heart some love this month and talk to your doctor about the best ways to care for it.


Tip adapted from MedlinePlus.gov6

What can explode slowly, with no smoke or flame?

  

Last week’s riddle: If a single-engine airplane taxied not onto a runway but onto an enormous conveyor belt whose speed precisely equaled that of the plane in the opposite direction, could the plane still manage to take off? Answer: Yes, eventually. A plane’s wheels roll freely, and the thrust generated by the prop or jet engine will still be greater than drag, and the lift created by air flowing over the wing will still be greater than the aircraft’s weight.

A freediver swimming in a Mexican cenote

 

Footnotes And Sources

1. The Wall Street Journal, February 13, 2024.

2. CNBC, February 16, 2024.

3. The Wall Street Journal, February 15, 2024.

4. The Wall Street Journal, February 13, 2024.

5. IRS.gov, April 7, 2023.

6. MedlinePlus.gov, December 12, 2023.

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.

The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, may not materialize, and are subject to revision without notice.

The market indexes discussed are unmanaged, and generally, considered representative of their respective markets. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Indexes do not incur management fees, costs, and expenses. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is an unmanaged index that is generally considered representative of large-capitalization companies on the U.S. stock market. 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 technology and growth companies. The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) and serves as a benchmark of the performance of major international equity markets, as represented by 21 major MSCI indexes from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia. The S&P 500 Composite Index is an unmanaged group of securities that are considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

U.S. Treasury Notes are guaranteed by the federal government as to the timely payment of principal and interest. However, if you sell a Treasury Note prior to maturity, it may be worth more or less than the original price paid. Fixed income investments are subject to various risks including changes in interest rates, credit quality, inflation risk, market valuations, prepayments, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.

International investments carry additional risks, which include differences in financial reporting standards, currency exchange rates, political risks unique to a specific country, foreign taxes and regulations, and the potential for illiquid markets. These factors may result in greater share price volatility.

Please consult your financial professional for additional information.

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG is not affiliated with the named representative, financial professional, Registered Investment Advisor, Broker-Dealer, nor state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and they should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

Copyright 2024 FMG Suite.

Copyright © 2024
Cornerstone Financial Advisory, LLC

Weekly Market Insights – February 26, 2024

Weekly Market Insights – February 12, 2024

Weekly Market Insights: S&P Hits Record High

Presented by Cornerstone Financial Advisory, LLC

 

The stock market experienced solid gains last week, concluding the trading week on a positive note, thanks to robust corporate reports and favorable inflation news; this propelled the S&P 500 Index to achieve a new record high at the end of the week.

S&P Tops 5,000

At the start of last week’s trading, stocks faced downward pressure due to comments by Fed Chair Powell over the weekend, signaling that the Federal Reserve had no immediate plans to initiate interest rate cuts. Consequently, the yield on the two-year U.S. Treasury note, highly influenced by monetary policy, increased to its highest level in two months.1

By the end of trading on Monday, stocks had regained a significant portion of their previous losses. Influencing this market rally were positive corporate earnings reports. This trend continued throughout the week, contributing to the overall market momentum. By Friday, 67% of the companies listed in the S&P 500 had released their Q4 results, and an impressive 77% of those companies exceeded earnings expectations.2

Investors expressed enthusiasm on Friday after a report indicating that December’s inflation was lower than initially anticipated. This positive news revitalized buying activity, resulting in the S&P 500 surpassing 5,000 for the first time.3

Source: YCharts.com, February 10, 2024. Weekly performance is measured from Monday, February 5, to Friday, February 9.
ROC 5 = the rate of change in the index for the previous 5 trading days.
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.

Economic Strength

The strength of the U.S. economy has come into the spotlight. An analysis conducted by The Wall Street Journal recently proposed that the economy’s resilience could be attributed, at least in part, to the productivity driven by the technology sector.4

What might rein in that productivity? One possible influence could be the increase in oil prices witnessed last week. Additionally, shipping companies have been imposing surcharges for several months to mitigate recent conflict, and these charges may contribute to global inflation this year, potentially dampening investor enthusiasm.5

This Week: Key Economic Data

Tuesday: Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Wednesday: EIA Petroleum Report.

Thursday: Industrial Production. Retail Sales. Jobless Claims.

Friday: Housing Starts. Producer Price Index (PPI). Consumer Sentiment. 

Source: Investors Business Daily – Econoday economic calendar; February 8, 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: Arista Networks, Inc. (ANET), Waste Management, Inc. (WM)

Tuesday: The CocaCola Company (KO), Shopify Inc. (SHOP), AirBnB, Inc. (ABNB), Moody’s Corporation (MCO)

Wednesday: Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO), Sony Corporation (SONY), Kraft Heinz Company (KHC)

Thursday: Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT), Deere & Company (DE)

Source: Zacks, February 8, 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.

“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”

– Walter Winchell

Are You Prepared For A Natural Disaster? 

Natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or fires, can happen anytime, so preparing before disaster strikes is essential. Here are a few tips to help you prepare in case anything happens: 

  • Update Your Family’s Emergency Plans: Your emergency plans can include knowing where to go, where you keep all necessary documents and possessions, and what you need to be prepared for. Check up on the emergency plans for your home or business frequently because things can change.
  • Create Digital Copies Of Important Documents: Most financial organizations, such as banks and insurance companies, provide digital copies of bank statements, tax returns, and insurance policies anyway, and keeping all these digital copies saved and organized is an excellent practice to get into. If you only have paper copies of important documents, scan them and save them securely to access them in an emergency.
  • Document Valuables: Documenting valuables makes it easier to claim insurance and tax benefits after a natural disaster. A disaster loss workbook will help you compile a list of belongings and photographs that can make this process even more accessible for both the IRS and your insurance provider. 

These tips may help you have everything you need ready in the case of a natural disaster or other emergency.

*This tax tip is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for real-life advice. Consult your tax, legal, and accounting professionals for more specific information.

Tip adapted from IRS.gov6

Picking Up A Creative Hobby Is About More Than Passing The Time  

Creative hobbies like writing, knitting, and making clothes are about more than just passing time. Creative hobbies and side projects can make you happier, healthier, and more productive.

When considering a side project or hobby, experts suggest picking something low-risk, low-pressure, and a labor of love. The difference between a creative hobby and a side project is that creative hobbies are ongoing and don’t have a dedicated end goal. Side projects have a goal at the end of the tunnel. For example, your creative hobby could be writing, and your side project could be writing a book.

Coming up with a project or hobby can provide a big psychological lift and a boost to work productivity.


Tip adapted from Fast Company7

If a single-engine airplane taxied not onto a runway but onto an enormous conveyor belt whose speed precisely equaled that of the plane in the opposite direction, could the plane still manage to take off?

  

Last week’s riddle: Two men played five games of chess in the park. They both won the same number of games, yet none of the games they played ended in a draw. So how could this be? Answer: They were not playing each other.

A view of Mont-Saint-Michel at sunrise

 

Footnotes And Sources


1. The Wall Street Journal,February 4, 2024

2. FactSet.com, February 9, 2024

3. CNBC.com, February 9, 2024

4. WSJ.com, February 8, 2024

5. CNBC, February 9, 2024

6. IRS.gov, March 8, 2023

7. Fastcompany.com, October 9, 2023 

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.

The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, may not materialize, and are subject to revision without notice.

The market indexes discussed are unmanaged, and generally, considered representative of their respective markets. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Indexes do not incur management fees, costs, and expenses. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is an unmanaged index that is generally considered representative of large-capitalization companies on the U.S. stock market. 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 technology and growth companies. The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) and serves as a benchmark of the performance of major international equity markets, as represented by 21 major MSCI indexes from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia. The S&P 500 Composite Index is an unmanaged group of securities that are considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

U.S. Treasury Notes are guaranteed by the federal government as to the timely payment of principal and interest. However, if you sell a Treasury Note prior to maturity, it may be worth more or less than the original price paid. Fixed income investments are subject to various risks including changes in interest rates, credit quality, inflation risk, market valuations, prepayments, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.

International investments carry additional risks, which include differences in financial reporting standards, currency exchange rates, political risks unique to a specific country, foreign taxes and regulations, and the potential for illiquid markets. These factors may result in greater share price volatility.

Please consult your financial professional for additional information.

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG is not affiliated with the named representative, financial professional, Registered Investment Advisor, Broker-Dealer, nor state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and they should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

Copyright 2024 FMG Suite.

 

Copyright © 2024
Cornerstone Financial Advisory, LLC

Weekly Market Insights – February 26, 2024

Weekly Market Insights – February 5, 2024

Weekly Market Insights: Investors Move Past Mixed Fed Message

Presented by Cornerstone Financial Advisory, LLC

 

Stocks pushed higher last week as investors cheered mega-cap tech corporate reports and a better-than-expected employment report.

Stocks At New Highs

At the beginning of the week, stocks surged, anticipating fourth-quarter corporate updates from tech companies and the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting; this led to the S&P 500 Index reaching a new record high on Monday.

The market remained relatively stable for the rest of the week until Wednesday, when the Federal Reserve announced its decision to maintain interest rates within the 5.25-5.50 percent target range. The Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) news unsettled investors, who anticipated that rates would remain unchanged but expected more specific guidance on the Fed’s plan to lower interest rates.1

On Friday, the job report for January revealed the addition of 353,000 new jobs, surpassing the forecast of 185,000. This strong report did not negatively impact the markets. Instead, investors interpreted it as confirmation of a robust economy.2

Source: YCharts.com, February 3, 2024. Weekly performance is measured from Monday, January 29, to Friday, February 2.
ROC 5 = the rate of change in the index for the previous 5 trading days.
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.

Fed’s Mixed Signals

The Fed’s decision to keep rates steady left some investors disappointed, as they had been hoping for indications of rate cuts in the coming months; this led to a decline in stock prices on Wednesday, with increased selling towards the end of the trading day.

The Wall Street Journal’s headline after the FOMC meeting on Wednesday suggested that rate cuts were possible but not expected immediately. The FOMC’s policy language, released after the meeting, indicated a subtle shift from considering rate cuts to proposing they could be possible unless inflation became a concern.3

This Week: Key Economic Data

Monday: ISM Services Index.

Wednesday: International Trade in Goods & Services. EIA Petroleum Report.

Thursday: Jobless Claims. Fed Balance Sheet.

Source: Investors Business Daily – Econoday economic calendar; February 2, 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: McDonald’s Corporation (MCD), Caterpillar (CPL)

Tuesday: Eli Lilly and Company (LLY), Amgen Inc. (AMGN), Fiserv, Inc. (FI)

Wednesday: The Walt Disney Company (DIS), Uber Technologies Inc. (UBER), PayPal Holdings Inc. (PYPL)

Thursday: AstraZeneca Plc (AZN), S&P Global Inc. (SPGI), Philip Morris International Inc. (PM)

Friday: PepsiCo Inc. (PEP)

Source: Zacks, February 2, 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.

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”

– Jim Rohn

Vacation Home Rentals

If you receive money for the use of your primary residence, you may have to report this rental income on your tax return; this means that the “vacation home rental” classification can apply to your home, even if you don’t own multiple short-term rental properties. The rental expense deduction is limited in the case of a property used as a home; the rental expenses can’t be more than the rent received. The rental income may not require reporting if you rent the house to your tenant for fewer than 15 days during the year.

A vacation home is a house, apartment, condominium, or other dwelling that you use to generate income, but you can also use it as a residence during the year. For tax purposes, it’s critical to divide the expenses of a property into personal and business purposes.

To report rental income and rental expenses, use Schedule E. In addition, rental income may be subject to a net investment income tax.

*This tax tip is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for real-life advice. Consult your tax, legal, and accounting professionals for more specific information.

Tip adapted from IRS.gov4

Taking Care Of Your Mental Health 

Taking care of your mental health is just as important as your physical health—if not more so. Your mental health influences how you communicate with others, perform at work, and feel about yourself.

Here are some tips to help you focus on your mental health and understand what you need to be the best version of yourself:

  • Start your day with coffee or tea and enjoy the warm drink without thinking about what’s ahead.
  • Set up a getaway, even if you don’t go far. It could even be camping in your backyard.
  • Think of something in your life you want to improve and figure out what you can do to take a step in the right direction.
  • Learn something new, whether that’s a recipe, a song, a poem, or a skill.
  • Show some love to someone in your life. Write a letter, send a text, or give a loved one a phone call.
  • Go off the grid and leave your smartphone at home for a day (or a few hours).


Tip adapted from Mental Health America5

Two men played five games of chess in the park. They both won the same number of games, yet none of the games they played ended in a draw. So how could this be?

  

Last week’s riddle: What five-letter word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it? Answer: Short.

A camel caravan in front of the Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
 

Footnotes And Sources


1. CNBC.com, January 29, 2024

2. The Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2024

3. CNBC.com, February 2, 2024

4. IRS.gov, September 25, 2023 

5. Mhanational.org, October 9, 2023

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.

The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, may not materialize, and are subject to revision without notice.

The market indexes discussed are unmanaged, and generally, considered representative of their respective markets. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Indexes do not incur management fees, costs, and expenses. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is an unmanaged index that is generally considered representative of large-capitalization companies on the U.S. stock market. 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 technology and growth companies. The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) and serves as a benchmark of the performance of major international equity markets, as represented by 21 major MSCI indexes from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia. The S&P 500 Composite Index is an unmanaged group of securities that are considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

U.S. Treasury Notes are guaranteed by the federal government as to the timely payment of principal and interest. However, if you sell a Treasury Note prior to maturity, it may be worth more or less than the original price paid. Fixed income investments are subject to various risks including changes in interest rates, credit quality, inflation risk, market valuations, prepayments, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.

International investments carry additional risks, which include differences in financial reporting standards, currency exchange rates, political risks unique to a specific country, foreign taxes and regulations, and the potential for illiquid markets. These factors may result in greater share price volatility.

Please consult your financial professional for additional information.

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG is not affiliated with the named representative, financial professional, Registered Investment Advisor, Broker-Dealer, nor state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and they should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

Copyright 2024 FMG Suite.

Copyright © 2024
Cornerstone Financial Advisory, LLC

Weekly Market Insights – February 26, 2024

Weekly Market Insights – January 29, 2024

Weekly Market Insights: Excitement Around Big Tech Continues

Presented by Cornerstone Financial Advisory, LLC

 

Stocks continued their upward climb last week as excitement around big tech continued; positive economic reports stoked investors’ belief that the Federal Reserve has pulled off a soft landing.

Stocks Power Ahead

Big tech was back last week, pushing the Dow and the S&P 500 to new highs early in the week as markets resumed the late Q4 rally.

The so-called “Magnificent Seven” stocks—comprising 28% of the S&P 500 Index—resumed their pole position at the head of the pack as investors maintained their artificial intelligence (AI)-related bullishness and rewarded widespread cost-cutting at many tech giants. While the rally fizzled on Friday, the week’s gains were slow but steady.1,2,3

The big economic news last week was better-than-expected economic growth and inflation news. Real Gross Domestic Product grew at a 3.3% annualized clip in Q4 2023, ahead of Wall Street consensus expectations of 2%.

The Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Index, one of the Fed’s most favored inflation gauges, showed core inflation (excluding food and energy) cooled in December, with an annualized rate of 2.9%, beating consensus expectations. Core inflation was 3.2% on an annualized basis—its lowest level since March 2021. While the inflation update didn’t move markets much, it helped validate investors’ optimism that Fed policy has maintained economic growth while bringing inflation down.4

Source: YCharts.com, January 27, 2024. Weekly performance is measured from Monday, January 22, to Friday, January 26.
ROC 5 = the rate of change in the index for the previous 5 trading days.
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.

Earnings Season Feeds FOMO

The market digested Q4 earnings news from some of the largest companies, with enthusiasm feeling like FOMO. The “fear of missing out” drove much investor sentiment and seemed to build market momentum.

While the enthusiasm for AI continues to be one driver of technology stock prices, the spotlight last week was on layoffs. Over 23,000 workers at 85 tech companies have lost their jobs this month. The market appears to be rewarding the cost-cutting measures, with many tech giants repositioning themselves with AI in mind, and some analysts inferring that this emphasis on efficiency may encourage investors.5,6

This Week: Key Economic Data

Tuesday: FOMC Meeting. Consumer Confidence. Home Price Index.

Wednesday: FOMC Announcement/Fed Chair Press Conference.

Thursday: Jobless Claims. ISM Manufacturing Index. Fed Balance Sheet.

Friday: Employment Situation.

Source: Investors Business Daily – Econoday economic calendar; January 26, 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: Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), Alphabet Inc. (GOOG, GOOGL), United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS), Starbucks Corporation (SBUX)

Wednesday: Mastercard Incorporated (MA), The Boeing Company (BA), Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP)

Thursday: Apple Inc. (AAPL), Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN), Meta Platforms, Inc. (META), Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)

Friday: Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM), Bristol Myers Squibb Company (BMY)

Source: Zacks, January 26, 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.

“I believe in intuitions and inspirations. I sometimes feel that I am right. I do not know that I am.”

– Albert Einstein

Couples Who Work Together, Tax Together  

As more households decide to start a business, many couples learn about the tax responsibilities related to such businesses. Here are some things to consider when working together:

  • You should establish whether you have a partnership business (in which both spouses have an equal say in business affairs, services, and capital) or an employee/employer relationship (with one spouse substantially controlling management decisions). These relationships involve different tax situations.
  • If an employee/employer relationship exists, the second spouse (employee) may be subject to income, Social Security, and Medicare tax.
  • If there is a partnership relationship, you may need to report the business income on Form 1065, US Return of Partnership Income.

*This information is not intended to substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.

Tip adapted from IRS.gov7

Four Tips To Help You Sleep Better  

Sleep is one of the most important things we do to stay healthy and energized. Much more goes into getting a good night’s sleep than simply resting your head on the pillow, so here are some tips for getting your shut-eye:

  • Increase bright light exposure during the day. You probably already know that it helps to keep your room dark while you sleep, but did you know it’s also beneficial to get enough bright light during the day? These contrasts tell your body when it’s time to go to sleep. This natural clock is called your circadian rhythm.
  • Reduce blue light exposure in the evening. The luminance from our devices (smartphones, tablets, and TVs) is called blue light and can disrupt your sleep cycle. Try to limit blue light at least two hours before bedtime. Some devices offer a setting that automatically “warms” the light to limit these blue hues.
  • Try to wake up and sleep consistently, even on weekends, as this is another way to set up your body’s circadian rhythm for success.
  • Adjust your bedroom temperature. Did you know that the temperature in your bedroom can affect your sleep? Some studies show that temperature matters even more than noise, and some sleep experts recommend keeping your bedroom at around 70 degrees.


Tip adapted from Healthline8

What five-letter word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?

  

Last week’s riddle: I am gentle enough to soothe the skin, light enough to reflect the sky, yet hard enough to crack rocks. What am I? Answer: Water.

Sleepy koala on a eucalyptus tree

 

Footnotes And Sources


1. The Wall Street Journal, January 22, 2024

2. CNBC.com, January 22, 2024

3. The Wall Street Journal, January 25, 2024

4. CNBC.com, January 25, 2024

5. Slickcharts.com, January 26, 2024

6. CNBC.com, January 26, 2024

7. IRS.gov, July 27, 2023

8. Healthline.com, October 9, 2023

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.

The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, may not materialize, and are subject to revision without notice.

The market indexes discussed are unmanaged, and generally, considered representative of their respective markets. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Indexes do not incur management fees, costs, and expenses. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is an unmanaged index that is generally considered representative of large-capitalization companies on the U.S. stock market. 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 technology and growth companies. The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) and serves as a benchmark of the performance of major international equity markets, as represented by 21 major MSCI indexes from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia. The S&P 500 Composite Index is an unmanaged group of securities that are considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

U.S. Treasury Notes are guaranteed by the federal government as to the timely payment of principal and interest. However, if you sell a Treasury Note prior to maturity, it may be worth more or less than the original price paid. Fixed income investments are subject to various risks including changes in interest rates, credit quality, inflation risk, market valuations, prepayments, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.

International investments carry additional risks, which include differences in financial reporting standards, currency exchange rates, political risks unique to a specific country, foreign taxes and regulations, and the potential for illiquid markets. These factors may result in greater share price volatility.

Please consult your financial professional for additional information.

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG is not affiliated with the named representative, financial professional, Registered Investment Advisor, Broker-Dealer, nor state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and they should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

Copyright 2024 FMG Suite.

Copyright © 2024
Cornerstone Financial Advisory, LLC

Weekly Market Insights – February 26, 2024

Weekly Market Insights – January 22, 2024

Weekly Market Insights: Big Win For Big Tech

Presented by Cornerstone Financial Advisory, LLC

 

Stocks finished higher last week, with big tech again leading amid lingering uncertainty over how continued economic strength would influence the Fed’s rate decision.

Stocks Dip, Then Rally 

Stock prices dropped early in the week before rising to new highs as the week ended. The four-day trading week began with more Q4 bank earnings, which disappointed. The news pushed the financial sector and the broader S&P 500 Index lower on Tuesday. The yield on the 10-year Treasury climbed after a Fed Governor said the central bank may adjust rates as much as markets expect. That and a stronger-than-expected holiday retail sales report put pressure on stock prices.1,2,3

Tech stocks drove the Thursday rally, with the S&P and Nasdaq recouping their 2024 losses. Stocks continued their tech-led climb on Friday, with the S&P 500 rising to an all-time high—its first record close in over two years. The Nasdaq gained 1.70% on Friday, capping a solid week for the tech-heavy index.

Source: YCharts.com, January 20, 2024. Weekly performance is measured from Monday, January 15, to Friday, January 19.
ROC 5 = the rate of change in the index for the previous 5 trading days.
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.

Navigating The Middle

Sentiment see-sawed last week as investors tried to anticipate the Fed’s next move. The week was full of economic news that suggested continued resilience in the economy, which may add complexity to the Fed’s next decision.

December retail sales came in strong, +0.6% for the month, besting economists’ expectations of +0.4%. November and December combined to depict a robust holiday shopping season. Unemployment dipped unexpectedly for the second week of January–a sign of a resilient U.S. labor market. That labor news and hotter-than-expected housing starts pushed the yield on the 10-year Treasury to 4.14%, its highest level in more than a month.4,5,6,7

This Week: Key Economic Data

Tuesday: US Two-Year Note Auction.

Wednesday: PMI Composite. Petroleum Status Report. 

Thursday: Gross Domestic Product, Advance estimate of Q4 and Year 2023. Durable Goods Orders. Jobless Claims. Housing Starts.

Friday: Personal Income and Outlays.

Source: Investor’s Business Daily, Econoday economic calendar; January 19, 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: United Airlines Holdings Inc. (UAL)

Tuesday: Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), The Procter & Gamble Company (PG), Netflix, Inc. (NFLX), Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ)

Wednesday: Tesla, Inc. (TSLA), Abbott Laboratories (ABT), International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), AT&T Inc. (T)

Thursday: Visa Inc. (V), Intel Corporation (INTC), T-Mobile US, Inc. (TMUS), Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (MMC), Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC)

Friday: American Express Company (AXP), Colgate-Palmolive Company (CL)

Source: Zacks, January 19, 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.

“Thus every action must be due to one or other of seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reasoning, anger, or appetite.”

– Aristotle

Keep These Tips In Mind When Selling A Home 

If you are selling your home, you may be able to exclude the sale’s capital gain from your tax return. The first thing to consider is the home’s ownership and use. To claim the exclusion, you must have owned the home and used it as your primary residence for at least two years.

If you are selling your main home, you may be able to exclude from your return the sale’s capital gain of up to $250,000 for single filers and up to $500,000 on joint returns. If you own more than one home, you can exclude only the gains on selling your main home. However, the loss may not be deductible if you experience a loss in selling your home. You can also choose not to claim exclusion, in which case you must report the gain on your tax return.

Some taxpayers must also report forgiven or canceled debt as income on their tax return, including foreclosure or other processes in which a lender forgives or cancels mortgage debt on the home.

*This information is not intended to substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.

Tip adapted from IRS.gov8

Tips For Keeping A Gratitude Journal  

A gratitude journal is a great way to practice giving thanks for even the small things in life. We all have things we’re thankful for, and regularly acknowledging them helps us stay present and gracious. 

 Are you looking to start a gratitude journal? These tips will help you get started and love the practice. 

  • The first thing to do is to get some beautiful stationery and pens that make you happy every time you look at them.
  • Once you have suitable materials, start with a prompt. Most people initially writing a gratitude journal don’t know where to start. Using a simple prompt will get your gratitude juices flowing.
  • When thinking about things you’re grateful for, focus on depth over breadth. Rather than listing several small items, detail the things you’re more grateful for.
  • Try subtraction, not just addition, when considering things you’re grateful for. Reflect on what your life would be like without them.
  • Don’t overdo it and burn yourself out. Journaling once or twice a week rather than every day may be more effective, especially as you build the habit. 

Keeping a gratitude journal encourages us to pay attention to the good things we’d otherwise take for granted.

Tip adapted from Greater Good Magazine9

I am gentle enough to soothe the skin, light enough to reflect the sky, yet hard enough to crack rocks. What am I?

  

Last week’s riddle: You can rearrange the letters in insatiable to make another ten-letter word that starts with the letter b. What is this ten-letter word? Answer: Banalities.

Man inside an ice cave in Iceland

 

Footnotes And Sources


1. CNBC.com, January  16, 2024.

2. CNBC.com, January 17, 2024.

3. CNBC.com, January 17, 2024.

4. CNBC.com, January 16, 2024.

5. MarketWatch.com, January 17, 2024

6. CNBC.com, January 18, 2024. 

7. The Wall Street Journal, January 19, 2024.

8. IRS.gov, March 8, 2023

9. Greatergood.berkeley.edu, October 9, 2023

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.

The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, may not materialize, and are subject to revision without notice.

The market indexes discussed are unmanaged, and generally, considered representative of their respective markets. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Indexes do not incur management fees, costs, and expenses. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is an unmanaged index that is generally considered representative of large-capitalization companies on the U.S. stock market. 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 technology and growth companies. The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) and serves as a benchmark of the performance of major international equity markets, as represented by 21 major MSCI indexes from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia. The S&P 500 Composite Index is an unmanaged group of securities that are considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

U.S. Treasury Notes are guaranteed by the federal government as to the timely payment of principal and interest. However, if you sell a Treasury Note prior to maturity, it may be worth more or less than the original price paid. Fixed income investments are subject to various risks including changes in interest rates, credit quality, inflation risk, market valuations, prepayments, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.

International investments carry additional risks, which include differences in financial reporting standards, currency exchange rates, political risks unique to a specific country, foreign taxes and regulations, and the potential for illiquid markets. These factors may result in greater share price volatility.

Please consult your financial professional for additional information.

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG is not affiliated with the named representative, financial professional, Registered Investment Advisor, Broker-Dealer, nor state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and they should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

Copyright 2024 FMG Suite.

Copyright © 2024
Cornerstone Financial Advisory, LLC