Weekly Commentary — October 21st, 2019
The Week on Wall Street
Earnings helped give the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 a slight lift last week, offsetting investor disappointment over the small scope of the preliminary U.S.-China trade deal reached on October 11. Blue chips took a small weekly loss.
The Nasdaq and S&P respectively gained 0.40% and 0.54% on the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated just 0.17%. Outdoing these three benchmarks, the MSCI EAFE index tracking stocks in developed overseas markets rose 1.35%.,
The Early Earnings Picture
According to the stock market analytics firm FactSet, 15% of S&P 500 companies had reported results through Friday’s close. Of those companies, 84% announced that net profits topping projections, and 64% said that revenues had exceeded forecasts.
One big question is whether overall earnings for S&P 500 firms will show year-over-year growth. There was no year-over-year earnings gain evident in either Q1 or Q2.
Retail Sales Declined Last Month
Shoppers scaled back their purchases in September. The Census Bureau announced a 0.3% dip for retail sales, the first decrease in seven months.
Auto sales can influence this number, and car and truck buying fell 0.9% last month. A fall pickup in that category may help encourage another monthly advance.
If you buy your own health coverage, note that the open enrollment period for 2020 health insurance plans begins on November 1 in most states. The open enrollment window closes on December 15.
THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Tuesday: The National Association of Realtors publishes a report on September existing home sales.
Thursday: A report on September new home sales arrives from the Census Bureau.
Friday: The University of Michigan’s final October Consumer Sentiment Index appears, evaluating consumer confidence levels.
Source: Econoday, October 18, 2019
THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Monday: Celanese (CE), Halliburton (HAL), Sap (SAP), TD Ameritrade (AMTD)
Tuesday: McDonalds (MCD), Novartis (NVS), Procter & Gamble (PG), Texas Instruments (TXN)
Wednesday: Boeing (BA), Eli Lilly (LLY), Microsoft (MSFT), PayPal (PYPL)
Thursday: Amazon (AMZN), Comcast (CMCSA), Intel (INTC), Visa (V)
Friday: Anheuser-Busch (BUD), Verizon (VZ)
Source: Zacks, October 18, 2019
“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”
– Audrey Hepburn
Check Your Withholding Status Online
We recently talked about how important it is to check your withholding status, especially if you’ve experienced a life change, like buying a home, getting married or divorced, or growing your family. The IRS makes it easy to check your withholding status online with their Withholding Calculator.
The Withholding Calculator can help you determine whether you should submit a new W-4 to your employer, and you can also use the results to adjust your income tax withholding. If you have a more complex tax situation, you may need to use Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax form. This form can help you determine your self-employment tax, the alternative minimum tax, or tax on unearned income by dependents. Publication 505 can also help if you receive non-wage income, including capital gains, royalties, dividends, and more.
It’s important to check your withholding to make sure you are deducting the right amount of taxes. These handy tools can help.
* 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
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