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: Inflation Cools, Stocks Warm Up
Stocks rallied last week thanks to fresh confirmation of inflation’s cooling trend and growing optimism that an inflation slowdown may provide the Fed with space to ease up on future rate hikes.
Investor sentiment came into the new year weighed down by recession fears and concerns that Fed rate hikes may “go higher for longer.” Last week a different narrative emerged. Sustained declines in inflation, a rate hike cycle nearing an end, and a resilient economy that may avoid recession resulted in a broad-based rally.
Moderating inflation was evident in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) report released on Thursday, which, in combination with a strong labor report the previous Friday, gave investors confidence that the environment for stocks had improved. Stocks extended their gains to end the week as a few money center banks kicked off a new earnings season with upbeat reports.
Inflation’s Cooling Trend
December’s CPI report showed a 0.1% decline in prices from November and a 6.5% increase from a year ago. It was the sixth-consecutive month of decelerating year-over-year increases. Core prices (excludes food and energy) slowed to 5.7%, a decline from the previous month’s 6.0% year-over-year rise. For the last three months, core prices have risen at an annualized rate of 3.1%–the slowest pace in over a year.4
Falling gasoline prices (-9.4%) accounted for most of the monthly decline in the CPI. Used car prices (-2.5%) were another bright spot.5
This Week: Key Economic Data
Wednesday: Producer Price Index (PPI). Retail Sales. Industrial Production.
Thursday: Housing Starts. Jobless Claims.
Friday: Existing Home Sales.
Source: Econoday, January 13, 2023
This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings
Tuesday: The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS), The Charles Schwab Corporation (SCHW).
Wednesday: United Airlines Holdings, Inc. (UAL), The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (PNC), Prologis, Inc. (PLD).
Thursday: Netflix, Inc. (NFLX), The Procter & Gamble Company (PG).
Friday: Schlumberger Limited (SLB), PPG Industries, Inc. (PPG).
Source: Zacks, January 13, 2023
"I didn’t know that I was different and now I realize how very different I was. But difference is what makes the world beautiful."
– Venus Williams
Tax Benefits for Charitable Giving
Giving back to others feels good and is a great way to support your community and those in need, but it also has tax advantages. According to the IRS, most charitable contributions are deductible as an itemized deduction when you file your taxes, including cash and property contributions.
Some contributions aren’t tax-deductible, so check the current tax law or talk to your account before deducting charitable gifts from your tax return. You can even use the Interactive Tax Assistant on the IRS website to see if your charitable contribution is deductible.
* 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
Goals That Stick
Remember, your goals should be specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely. Here are some to get you started:
We’d love to know: what goals are you setting this winter?
Tip adapted from Healthline7
You need to take a gallon of oil out of a barrel of oil. How can you do it using only a 3-gallon container and a 5-gallon container?
Last week’s riddle: It is a short and simple word, and something that everyone needs. Put an 'r' on the end and you have a new friend, but if the first letter goes away, you are sad. What is this word? Answer: Love.
Crooked River, Smith Rock State Park, Oregon
Footnotes and Sources
2. The Wall Street Journal, January 13, 2023
3. The Wall Street Journal, January 13, 2023
4. The Wall Street Journal, January 12, 2023
5. CNBC, January 12, 2023
6. IRS.gov, November 15, 2022
7. Healthline, December 23, 2019
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