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 Sag, Job Numbers Soar
The overhang of Fed Chair Powell’s Jackson Hole speech the previous week carried over into last week as investors recalibrated stock valuations amid a seemingly more assertive monetary policy stance.
Stocks Extend Losses
Investors remained unnerved by the aggressive tone of Jerome Powell’s speech and subsequent comments from Fed officials suggesting a higher rate hike than the market expected at the Fed two-day meeting ending September 21. The probability of a 75 basis point hike in September rose to nearly 65%, up from just 28% a month ago. 4
Stocks moved steadily lower before finding some footing on Thursday. Friday’s employment report appeared to strike a “goldilocks” note (i.e., labor gains not so strong that it might trigger greater Fed hawkishness but robust enough to allay imminent recession fears). After early gains, stocks turned lower ahead of the holiday weekend.
Employers added 315,000 jobs in August, maintaining the labor market’s remarkable resiliency amid a contracting economy. The unemployment rate rose to 3.7%, up from last month's 3.5%. The gain followed an uptick in the labor participation rate, which expanded from 62.1% to 62.4%. Wages continued to grow, rising 0.3% in August and 5.2% from 12 months ago. 5
Sectors seeing the most significant increases in new jobs were professional and business services, healthcare, and retail. Lagging sectors were manufacturing, financial, and wholesale trade. 6
This Week: Key Economic Data
Tuesday: Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Services Index.
Thursday: Jobless Claims.
Source: Econoday, September 2, 2022
This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings
Thursday: Zscaler, Inc. (ZS), Docusign (DOCU).
Friday: The Kroger Co. (KR).
Source: Zacks, September 2, 2022
"Education is the transmission of civilization."
– Will Durant
What to Do If You Get an Identity Theft Letter From the IRS
The IRS can scan tax returns for potential fraud, and if a tax return seems suspicious, they will flag it for further review. In these cases, the IRS will send the taxpayer a letter notifying them of potential identity theft. Because the tax return won’t be processed until you respond to the letter, it’s essential to follow the steps outlined. The letter will likely have everything you need to know.
The three different types of identity theft letters that the IRS may send out include:
* 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.gov 7
Zentangles Are a Fun and Creative Way to Destress
Doodling is a great way to relax and destress for a few minutes, and Zentangles take doodling to the next level. They are fun and easy to learn. You can create some fantastic little pieces with just a few techniques.
Zentangles are made from smaller patterns pieces together. The designs can be as simple as little circles, lines, and curves. Together, they can make a whole picture! You can add shading and contrast to accentuate your design. The idea behind Zentangles is to decompress and relax while creating an excellent, unique layout.
Tip adapted from Zentangle 8
A sudden noise startles a gopher, an owl, and a skunk at the edge of a forest. The owl flies off and the gopher retreats into his burrow, but the skunk runs for the trees. How far can that skunk run into the forest?
Last week’s riddle: What can run but never walks, has a mouth but never eats, has a head but never thinks, and has a bed but never sleeps? Riddle answer: A river.
Limestone Karsts, Phang Nga Bay, Thailand
Footnotes and Sources
2. The Wall Street Journal, September 2, 2022
3. The Wall Street Journal, September 2, 2022
4. The Wall Street Journal, August 29, 2022
5. CNBC, September 2, 2022
6. CNBC, September 2, 2022
7. IRS.gov, April 12, 2022
8. Zentangle.com, May 26, 2022
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