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.
PODCAST OF THE WEEK
Economic Awareness: Labor Numbers Reflect Uncertainty
Stocks closed mixed last week as signs of continued economic recovery and upbeat earnings helped some sectors while the struggles persisted for high-growth companies.
Energy, financials, materials, and industrials led the market higher on more upbeat news regarding the economic recovery.
But technology and other high-valuation companies didn’t participate in the rally, weighed down by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s comments that interest rates may need to rise. Despite a decline in long bond yields, high growth stocks were under selling pressure for most of the week.4
On Friday, a miss on April employment numbers seemed to dial back fears that the Fed might have to adjust interest rates. Stocks rallied on the news, especially some of the hard hit high-valuation companies.5
Labor Market Puzzle
The labor market appears to be gaining momentum ahead of a fuller summer reopening. The Automated Data Processing National Employment Report showed that private payrolls rose by 742,000 jobs (the largest gain since September 2020), while new jobless claims fell to under 500,000, sending its four-week average to the lowest point since the pandemic began.6,7
With expectations set very high, the April employment report (266,000 new jobs) came in well short of the consensus estimate of one million new jobs. Businesses have complained about difficulties in hiring workers, with individuals delaying their return to the workforce due to health concerns and ongoing school closings.5
This Week: Key Economic Data
Tuesday: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS).
Wednesday: Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Thursday: Jobless Claims.
Friday: Industrial Production. Consumer Sentiment.
Source: Econoday, May 7, 2021
This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings
Monday: Duke Energy (DUK), Simon Property (SPG), Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (APD), Marriott International (MAR).
Tuesday: Electronic Arts (EA), Palantir Technologies, Inc. (PLTR).
Wednesday: Coupang, Inc. (CPNG).
Thursday: The Walt Disney Company (DIS).
Source: Zacks, May 7, 2021
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”
– Amelia Earhart
Starting a New Hobby? These Tips Can Help You Understand the Tax Situation
Whether you're picking up painting or cooking up new concoctions in your kitchen, starting a new hobby is always fun and a great way to learn something new. Did you know that there are also some tax considerations when starting a new hobby? Especially if you are considering turning your newfound passion into a business.
Taxpayers are expected to report any income earned from hobbies, even if it's not a licensed business. To compare, businesses are done to make a profit, while hobbies are done for recreation, not to make a profit. Here are nine factors that can help you determine whether a hobby could also be considered a business, according to the IRS:
You may also be able to deduct some of the expenses associated with your hobby. Within certain limits, taxpayers can usually deduct ordinary and necessary hobby expenses. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted for the activity. A necessary expense is one that is appropriate for the activity.
* 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.gov8
HEALTHY LIVING TIP
3 Stretches for Your Lower Back
We spend so much time sitting in our cars and at our desks that it's no wonder that our lower backs can get tight and even sore. These three lower back stretches will help improve flexibility, recovery, and may even help if you have lower back pain.
Tip adapted from Very Well Fit9
I'm tall when I'm young and short when I'm old. What am I?
Last week’s riddle: Forward I am heavy, but backward I am not. What am I? Answer: The word “ton” backward is the word “not.”
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Big Sur, California.
Footnotes and Sources
2. The Wall Street Journal, May 7, 2021
3. The Wall Street Journal, May 7, 2021
4. FoxBusiness.com, May 4, 2021
5. CNBC, May 7, 2021
6. Reuters, May 5, 2021
7. The Wall Street Journal, May 6, 2021
8. IRS.gov, January 19, 2021
9. Verywellfit.com, September 22, 2020
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May 10, 2021: Economic Awareness & Lifestyle Living
May 11, 2021