The following economic awareness entry is based on short-term events and therefore should not be taken as information towards making investment decisions, which are of a long-term nature. It is only meant to provide clarity regarding current economic events, as there is often a large degree of incorrect information dispersed through the media or other sources.
Economic Awareness: Markets Weigh Menu of Uncertainty
Stocks spent last week digesting the sharp gains of previous weeks as investors assessed a tightening yield curve, the war in Ukraine, and an uncertain outlook for economic growth and inflation.
Stock prices bounced around following strong gains in two previous weeks as money managers appeared to reposition their portfolios ahead of the first-quarter close. Oil was under pressure all week as prices fell on news that Shanghai imposed a strict lockdown due to COVID infections. President Biden announced a sustained release of oil from the country’s strategic petroleum reserve.
Bond yields reversed their recent climb. The flattening in the yield curve triggered some concerns about economic growth and the possibility of a recession.
With economic growth worries overhanging the market, last week’s employment reports showed continued strong demand for workers. The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey reported the number of open positions remained near record highs, with job openings exceeding the number of available workers by a record five million. Afterward, the Automated Data Processing employment report saw private payrolls grow by 455,000 in March, slightly above consensus expectations.4,5
Finally, the government’s monthly jobs report showed that employers added 431,000 jobs in March, lowering the unemployment rate to 3.6%. That’s approaching the 50-year low of 3.5% reached in February 2020.6
This Week: Key Economic Data
Monday: Factory Orders.
Tuesday: Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Services Index.
Wednesday: Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) Minutes.
Thursday: Jobless Claims.
Source: Econoday, April 1, 2022
This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings
Wednesday: Levi Strauss & Co. (LEVI).
Thursday: Conagra Brands (CAG).
Source: Zacks, April 1 2022
"Imagination is the highest kite that can fly."
– Lauren Bacall
Self-Employed Tax Obligations
There are a few tax considerations to consider when you work for yourself. Generally, you’re required to file and pay estimated taxes every quarter.
Determine if you are subject to tax: Subtract your business expenses from your income. If your expenses are less than your income, the difference is part of your income. If your expenses are more than your income, the difference is a net loss.
Make quarterly payments if you’ve determined you need to make quarterly payments using Form 11040-ES.
Filing annually: If you’re filing annually, you’ll need to use Schedule C to report income or loss. To file your Social Security and Medicare taxes, you should file Schedule SE Form 1040.
Deductions: If you’re using part of your home for business, you may be able to make certain deductions, such as for your office or a portion of your home’s square footage used for business purposes.
* 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.gov7
Restorative Yoga - Long and Easy Stretching
Whether you have been curious about yoga but have never tried it, or if you're a seasoned yogi looking for something new, restorative yoga has something for everyone. This gentle yoga uses props like blocks, blankets, and straps. Stretches and poses are held for a longer time, yielding many benefits.
Here are a few ways that restorative yoga can be beneficial for many people:
Check your local yoga studios or gyms to enroll in a restorative yoga class. If you can’t find one, there are online yoga courses you can try. It might be a stretch worth taking (ask your doctor if yoga might be right for you).
Tip adapted from www.mindbodygreen.com8
What do a shark, a zipper, and a comb all have in common?
Last week’s riddle: New furniture will be delivered to your office on the day before five days from the day after tomorrow. If today is August 18, when will the furniture arrive? Answer: August 24.
Lava falls near Kilauea Volcano, Big Island, Hawaii
Footnotes and Sources
2. The Wall Street Journal, April 1, 2022
3. The Wall Street Journal, April 1, 2022
4. CNBC, March 29, 2022
5. CNBC, March 30, 2022
6. The Wall Street Journal, April 1, 2022
7. IRS.gov, September 15, 2021
8. Mindbodygreen.com, June 27, 2012
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