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 Raise White Flag to Bad News
Stocks retreated last week as bond yields increased following the Treasury's announcement indicating “a larger-than-expected funding need” and a downgrade in the federal government’s debt rating.
Stocks struggled as investor sentiment turned cautious amid rising bond yields. Markets were rattled initially by news that the Treasury raised its borrowing requirement for the third quarter by more than a quarter of a trillion dollars and on news that the Bank of Japan announced it would allow bond yields to rise after years of capping them.
Rising yields continued to pressure stocks in the wake of a surprise rating downgrade of U.S. government debt by a major credit rating agency due to its belief in expected fiscal deterioration over the next three years.
Stocks rebounded Friday morning, rising on modest employment data only to reverse and add to the week’s losses.
Mixed Signals from the Labor Market
Fresh employment data last week gave some conflicting signals about the labor market. A new JOLTS (Job Openings and Turnover Survey) report showed a small decline in job openings and layoffs in June, leaving 1.6 job openings for each available worker.4
Automated Data Processing’s (ADP) employment report reflected strong private sector hiring with a 324,000 increase in jobs, exceeding the consensus forecast of a 175,000 gain.5
The government’s monthly employment report saw a cooling in hiring as employers added 187,000 jobs in July. This was slower than seen in the first six months but enough to shave the unemployment rate from 3.6% to 3.5%.6
This Week: Key Economic Data
Thursday: Consumer Price Index (CPI). Jobless Claims
Friday: Producer Price Index (PPI). Consumer Sentiment
Source: Econoday, August 4, 2023
This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings
Monday: Skyworks Solutions, Inc. (SWKS)
Tuesday: Eli Lilly and Company (LLY), Duke Energy Corporation (DUK), United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS), ONEOK, Inc. (OKE)
Wednesday: The Walt Disney Company (DIS)
Source: Zacks, August 4, 2023
"When the sun is shining I can do anything; no mountain is too high, no trouble is too difficult to overcome."
– Wilma Rudolph
Add Social Security Numbers of Your Dependents on Your Return
On your tax return, add the Social Security Numbers for your children and other dependents. Otherwise, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) might deny any dependent credits you might be due, including the Child Tax Credit.
If you don’t have the number you need by the tax filing deadline, the IRS suggests filing for an extension rather than sending in a return without a Social Security number.
*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.gov7
4 Potential Health Benefits of Coffee
Coffee may help you live longer: Recent studies found that coffee drinkers are less likely to die from certain causes of death, including coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and kidney disease.
Your liver may thank you: Research shows that coffee drinkers are more likely to have liver enzyme levels within a healthy range than people who don't drink coffee.
You may decrease your risk of getting Alzheimer's disease: The caffeine in two cups of coffee may protect against developing the condition. Researchers found that women aged 65 and older who drank two to three cups of coffee a day were less likely to develop dementia in general.
Your body may process glucose better: Studies have found that people who drink more coffee are less likely to have type 2 diabetes.
Tip adapted from John Hopkins Medicine8
What has three feet yet cannot run or walk?
Last week’s riddle: This word signifies a gap between hills or mountain ranges. Yet remove just one letter, and it signifies a gap between buildings. What is this six-letter word? Answer: The word valley, which becomes alley with a letter subtracted.
Amber Fort, Jaipur, India
Footnotes and Sources
2. The Wall Street Journal, August 4, 2023
3. The Wall Street Journal, August 4, 2023
4. CNBC, August 1, 2023
5. CNBC, August 2, 2023
6. The Wall Street Journal, August 4, 2023
7. IRS.gov, October 7, 2022
8. John Hopkins Medicine, April 24, 2023
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The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, may not materialize, and are subject to revision without notice.
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