Stocks Rally as August Ends

Weekly Commentary — September 3rd, 2019

The Week on Wall Street

Fears of an impasse in the U.S.-China trade dispute lessened last week. While additional U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports were scheduled to take effect on September 1, China’s government communicated that it would refrain from taking retaliatory measures for the moment.

U.S. stock benchmarks advanced during the week. The S&P 500 rose 2.79% across five trading days, and the Nasdaq Composite and Dow Jones Industrial Average respectively gained 2.72% and 3.02%. The MSCI EAFE international index added just 0.25%.[1],[2]

Positive News in the Trade Dispute

Thursday, a spokesman for China’s commerce ministry said that negotiations could resume this month, and that discussions need to focus on “removing the new tariffs to prevent escalation.”

In addition, officials in Beijing indicated they would hold off on responding to the U.S. tariff hikes announced Friday by the White House.[3]

Mixed Consumer Confidence Signals

The Conference Board’s monthly consumer confidence index was at 135.1 in August. Analysts polled by Reuters had projected a reading of 129.5. Consumers’ view of the present economic situation was the best since November 2000.

On the other hand, the University of Michigan’s monthly consumer sentiment index (based on a different collection of survey data) dropped 8.6 points during August to 89.8; that was its biggest monthly descent in nearly seven years.[4],[5] 

What’s Next

After a pause for the Labor Day holiday, U.S. financial markets have an abbreviated trading week. The August jobs report may influence Friday’s Wall Street session, and any news pertaining to U.S.-China trade talks could also influence the markets. 

THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA

Tuesday: The Institute for Supply Management releases its August purchasing managers index (PMI) for the factory sector, assessing U.S. manufacturing activity.

Thursday: ISM presents its August PMI for the service sector, and payroll giant ADP publishes its latest private-sector employment snapshot.

Friday: The Department of Labor offers its August employment report.

Source: Econoday / MarketWatch Calendar, August 30, 2019

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS

Wednesday: Palo Alto Networks (PANW), Slack Technologies (WORK)

Thursday: Lululemon Athletica (LULU)

Source: Zacks, August 30, 2019

 

 

“A man is not paid for having a head and hands, but for using them.”

– Elbert Hubbard

 

 

Self-Employed, Independent Contractor, or Employee: Know the Different Kinds of Employment 

We wanted to bring you a quick summary about the differences between self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and employees. Here are the key takeaways:

  • If you provide services to other businesses, you are generally considered self-employed.
  • If you own a business, you must decide whether the people you hire are independent contractors or employees. This designation will determine what tax requirements both you and the individual have.
  • According to the IRS, a quick way to decide if the person you’re working with is an independent contractor or an employee is to decide whether you have a say in how the work gets done. They share that “an individual is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done.” For example, if you hire an individual to manage your social media pages, but they work their own hours and only deliver the content to you, they’re likely an independent contractor. If you hire someone in your office to run your social media pages and you dictate when and how that work should be done, they’re likely an employee.

* 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[6]

 

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If you have any questions or would like to learn more about developing strategies to pursue a prosperous and safe future, contact me today at Derek.Merkler@Parsonex.com! You can also visit my website to learn about how I help our service members and veterans plan for and achieve financial independence.

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[1]https://www.wsj.com/market-data

[2]https://quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/990300/historical-prices

[3]https://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-futures-up-over-250-points-as-china-tamps-down-fears-of-further-trade-war-escalation-2019-08-29

[4]https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/27/us-consumer-confidence-august-2019-index-dips.html

[5]http://www.sca.isr.umich.edu/

[6]https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/independent-contractor-self-employed-or-employee

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