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 Stumble with CPI on Deck
Rising concerns about further rate hikes sent stocks lower to kick off the second half of trading.
Stocks were dragged lower last week by news reigniting fears of additional interest rate increases. It started with the minutes from June’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting, which revealed a majority of voting members supported at least two more rate hikes. But a strong employment report from Automated Data Processing (ADP), a payroll processor, unnerved investors, sending stocks lower and bond yields higher.
Markets stabilized after Friday morning’s federal government’s monthly employment release showed a less-than-expected increase in nonfarm payrolls. But stock prices turned down in the afternoon, adding to the week’s losses.
Mixed Labor Market Signals
Wall Street was rattled by an unexpected surge in new private-sector jobs last Thursday. ADP reported private sector employers had added 497,000 jobs in June, blowing away the consensus estimate of 220,000. Leisure and hospitality led the gains with 232,000 new hires, followed by construction (97,000).4
Friday’s release of monthly employment data painted a more moderate picture, with 209,000 new jobs added in June, well below the estimate of 240,000 and May’s downwardly revised total of 306,000. Friday’s report added to data released earlier in the week (a decline in job openings and a rise in jobless claims) that suggested that the labor market may be cooling.5
This Week: Key Economic Data
Wednesday: Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Thursday: Producer Price Index (PPI). Jobless Claims.
Friday: Consumer Sentiment.
Source: Econoday, July 7, 2023
This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings
Thursday: Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL), Pepsico, Inc. (PEP), Cintas Corporation (CTAS).
Friday: JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH), Citigroup, Inc. (C), Wells Fargo & Company (WFC), BlackRock, Inc. (BLK).
Source: Zacks, July 7, 2023
"Self-pity in its early stages is as snug as a feather mattress. Only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable."
– Maya Angelou
IRS Program Helps Seniors Prepare Taxes
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a tool called Free File, which offers online tax preparation, direct deposit of refunds, and electronic filing choices. This tool can be helpful for taxpayers on a fixed budget, including seniors and retirees. Here are some things to know about the tool:
*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.gov6
Aloe Vera: One Powerful Plant
Aloe vera is one of those medicinal plants that can be used for almost everything. It is a cactus-type plant that grows well in many climates and has thick, juicy leaves that store water. Because of this, aloe vera is loved for its hydrating properties. Let's look at some of the many benefits of aloe and how you can include it in your daily routine.
The thick, sticky gel that is in aloe leaves has some powerful bioactive compounds, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants.
Aloe vera is also known for its healing properties. It may help heal wounds and treat skin problems with its antibacterial, antiviral, and antiseptic properties. Also, it can be used as a topical treatment for first and second-degree burns.
Lastly, aloe vera might also help lower blood sugar levels by enhancing insulin sensitivity and improving blood sugar management. There has been some preliminary evidence that aloe vera may have benefits for people with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
What lives above a star but never burns, has 11 neighbors, and can replace the letters P, Q, R, or S in some cases?
Last week’s riddle: What 9-letter word remains an English word each time you remove a letter from it until it becomes a 1-letter word? (Hint: You can remove letters from any part of the word.) Answer: Startling (Starting, Staring, String, Sting, Sing, Sin, In, I).
Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica
Footnotes and Sources
2. The Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2023.
3. The Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2023.
4. CNBC, July 6, 2023.
5. CNBC, July 7, 2023.
6. IRS.gov, January 23, 2023
7. Medical News Today, February 15, 2023
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