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: Stocks Weather Summer Storm of News and Indicators
Stocks extended their August declines last week as higher yields and weak economic data out of China soured investor sentiment.
Rising bond yields, driven primarily by strong economic data and the release of the minutes from July’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting that pointed toward Fed officials’ potential need to raise rates further, weighed on stocks throughout the week.
In a week of light trading typical of August, stocks were additionally buffeted by a string of economic data that painted a flailing economic recovery in China and warnings of potential downgrades of dozens of U.S. banks by Fitch, a credit-rating agency.
After the 10-year Treasury yield rose to its highest level since October 2022 on Thursday, yields eased on Friday, helping to arrest the week’s downward trend.4
Retail Sales Surprise
Retail sales jumped 0.7% in July, the fourth-consecutive month of increasing consumer spending on goods. The report supported the growing narrative that the U.S. may be able to avoid a recession in the near term. The strong spending data, supported by a robust labor market, also may have placed the Fed in a more difficult position in trying to bring inflation down to its target rate without more rate hikes.5
Consumer spending was higher in most categories, including bars and restaurants, grocery and hardware stores, and back-to-school items like books and clothing. Sales of autos and electronics fell, a possible consequence of higher borrowing costs.5
This Week: Key Economic Data
Tuesday: Existing Home Sales.
Wednesday: Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) Composite Flash. New Home Sales.
Thursday: Durable Goods Orders. Jobless Claims.
Source: Econoday, August 18, 2023
This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings
Monday: Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (ZM)
Tuesday: Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (LOW)
Wednesday: Nvidia Corporation (NVDA), Autodesk, Inc. (ADSK), Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI), Snowflake, Inc. (SNOW)
Thursday: Marvell Technology, Inc. (MRVL), Ulta Beauty, Inc. (ULTA), Workday, Inc. (WDAY), Dollar Tree, Inc. (DLTR)
Source: Zacks, August 18, 2023
"Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference."
– Jane Goodall
Is it Time for a Paycheck Checkup?
There's no better time than the present to check your withholding status and make sure your paycheck accurately reflects the taxes you should be paying.
These paycheck checkups are a great practice when something happens in your life that may change your tax status, such as getting married or getting divorced, having a baby, getting a new job, or getting a raise or promotion at work. You can also adjust your withholding status if you want to change how much tax you withhold due to other circumstances.
During your paycheck checkup, you can also check other factors, such as how much you contribute to your health insurance or retirement plan. These expenses can also impact your tax liability.
*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.gov6
5-Minute Core-Strengthening Workout
Even if you only have a little time to dedicate to a core workout, this circuit will get you going and only takes 5 minutes. Here are the moves:
Which of these five words doesn’t belong on this list: that, what, cat, sat, chat.
Last week’s riddle: A man tells a friend that he married three women yesterday, which was legal. In fact, it was routine. How can he make such a statement? Answer: The man is a Justice of the Peace.
Footnotes and Sources
2. The Wall Street Journal, August 18, 2023
3. The Wall Street Journal, August 18, 2023
4. CNBC, August 18, 2023
5. The Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2023
6. IRS.gov, April 10, 2023
7. Mind Body Green Movement, April 24, 2023
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