Weekly Commentary — May 6th, 2019
The Week on Wall Street
Stocks were up and down last week, and the three major benchmarks ended up little changed after five trading days. The S&P 500 rose 0.20% for the week; the Nasdaq Composite, 0.22%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.14%.
The Fed Emphasizes Patience
The Federal Reserve held interest rates steady at its May meeting. Its May 1 policy statement noted “solid” job growth and economic activity but only tame inflation pressure.
While the Fed was not expected to make a move, some investors wondered if its latest policy statement might hint at the possibility of a rate cut later this year. No such hint appeared. Fed chair Jerome Powell told the media Wednesday that “we don’t see a strong reason for moving in one direction or the other.”[iii]
Indications of a Thriving Economy
Employers added 263,000 net new jobs in April. Economists polled by Bloomberg forecast a gain of 190,000. The jobless rate fell to 3.6% last month, the lowest in half a century.
This better-than-expected employment snapshot comes on the heels of a first-quarter gross domestic product reading that surprised to the upside. In another bit of good news, personal spending rose an impressive 0.9% in March.[iv],[v]
On Wednesday and Thursday, stocks fell in the wake of the Fed policy statement. Friday, they more or less recouped their losses after the impressive April jobs report. Ups and downs like these come with the territory when you invest; the key is to stay patient and think long term instead of short term.
THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Friday: The April Consumer Price Index, monitoring monthly and annual inflation.
Source: Econoday / MarketWatch Calendar, May 3, 2019
THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Monday: Occidental Petroleum (OXY), Tyson Foods (TSN)
Tuesday: Allergan (AGN), Anheuser-Busch (BUD), Lyft (LYFT)
Wednesday: Green Dot (GDOT), Hostess Brands (TWNK), Walt Disney Co. (DIS)
Thursday: AXA Equitable Holdings (EQH), Keurig Dr. Pepper (KDP), News Corp. (NWSA)
Friday: Enbridge (ENB), Marriott International (MAR), Viacom (VIA)
Source: Morningstar.com, May 3, 2019
“Achievement is talent plus preparation.”
– Malcolm Gladwell
Tips to Protect Your Financial Information When Shopping Online
Cybercriminals are looking for any opportunity to steal your tax and financial data. Theft of your Social Security number could result in a false tax filing. Take these extra steps to protect your financial information, Social Security numbers, and credit card data:
Avoid unprotected Wi-Fi.Unprotected, public Wi-Fi, available in coffee shops or other public places, could give thieves the ability to view your browsing activity.
Check your URLs for the “s.” If there is an “s” in “https” at the start of the URL, then the site is secure. There may also be a “lock” icon in the browser’s URL bar. Also, be careful making purchases at unfamiliar sites or clicking on links from pop-up ads.
Secure your computer. Lock down your computers, phones, and tablets using security software. This will help to protect your devices from malware that could steal data or infect the device with a virus.
Password length matters. Use a minimum of 10 characters or longer, with a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid words, if possible.
* 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[vi]
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