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: Modest Losses After Choppy Week
Rising bond yields and improving economic conditions led to a choppy week of trading that ended in modest losses for investors.
The stock market began the week on a positive note, rising on optimism over the economic reopenings and a decline in bond yields. Technology shares staged a strong turnaround from the previous week.
Following the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting announcement reaffirming the Fed's easy-money policies, the Dow Industrials and the S&P 500 recorded new record closing highs.4
Markets reversed themselves on Thursday as a surge in yields sent technology and other high-growth stocks lower. During the session, the 10-year Treasury yield moved above 1.75% (the highest in 14 months), and the 30-year Treasury breached 2.5% for the first time since August 2019.5
Stocks closed out the week mixed as technology reclaimed some of the previous day's losses.
The Fed Stands Pat
The Fed restated its commitment to no interest rate hikes through 2023. As expected, the FOMC also voted to continue its monthly bond purchases of at least $120 billion.
FOMC members projected that the economy would grow 6.5% this year, a sharp improvement over its previous estimate of a 4.2% gain. The forecast for the unemployment rate by year-end is 4.5%, down from the current rate of 6.2%. While Fed Chair Powell said that he anticipates inflation rising this year, he expects price increases to be temporary, with inflation staying within the Fed’s 2% target for the next several years.6
This Week: Key Economic Data
Monday: Existing Home Sales.
This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings
Tuesday: Adobe, Inc. (ADBE), Gamestop Corporation (GME).
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
“Spring will come and so will happiness. Hold on. Life will get warmer.”
– Anita Krizzan
IRS Offers Free Tax Prep Option for Military Personnel
Each year, the Internal Revenue Service takes a moment to remind active duty military personnel that the "IRS Free File" offers them multiple choices for free federal tax preparation.
"The IRS takes special steps to help military members and their families with their taxes, and the Free File program is part of that effort," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "Almost 10% of the IRS workforce are veterans. We greatly appreciate the service to the nation of every veteran and their supportive families, and we will do all we can to assist them."
* 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
HEALTHY LIVING TIP
Yoga for Stability
You don’t have to pull out the yoga mat and get your designer leggings on to enjoy some of the many benefits of this relaxing practice. Even if you’ve never done yoga before, these poses may help you improve your balance and stability:
I have no heart or mind, but I do have two legs. Yet they only touch the ground when I am not carrying things around. What am I?
Last week’s riddle: Where does today come before yesterday? Answer: In the dictionary.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Sunrise through a Joshua tree, Joshua Tree National Park, California.
Footnotes and Sources
2. The Wall Street Journal, March 19, 2021
3. The Wall Street Journal, March 19, 2021
4. CNBC, March 17, 2021
5. CNBC, March 18, 2021
6. CNBC, March 17, 2021
7. IRS.gov, January 21, 2020
8. SilverSneakers.com, March 12, 2018
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The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, may not materialize, and are subject to revision without notice.
The market indexes discussed are unmanaged, and generally, considered representative of their respective markets. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Indexes do not incur management fees, costs, and expenses. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
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March 22, 2021: Modest Losses After Choppy Week
March 23, 2021