Weekly Commentary — November 18th, 2019
The Week on Wall Street
Stock benchmarks were little changed for much of last week, but a rally occurred Friday after news broke that the U.S. and China could be closing in on the first phase of a new trade pact.
At Friday’s close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed the 28,000 level. The Dow rose 1.17% for the week, outgaining the S&P 500 (which advanced 0.89%) and the Nasdaq Composite (which added 0.77%). The MSCI EAFE index, representing developed overseas stock markets, fell 0.77%.,
Will There Be a Trade Breakthrough?
Friday, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross told the media that “in all likelihood,” a phase-one trade deal between China and the U.S. would presently happen, stating that the talks were “down to the last details.” Thursday evening, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow expressed similar optimism, noting that negotiations were “coming down to the short strokes.”
That said, the Wall Street Journal reported last week that President Trump is not yet committed to signing a phase-one trade deal. Secretary Ross noted that such an agreement would be “relatively limited in scope.”,
Consumers Boost Their Buying
Retail sales advanced 0.3% in October, according to the Department of Commerce. That surpassed the 0.2% gain forecast by economists polled by MarketWatch. Even so, households bought fewer big-ticket items than they did in September.
THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Wednesday: Minutes from the October Federal Reserve meeting appear.
Thursday: The National Association of Realtors presents data on October existing home sales.
Friday: The University of Michigan publishes its final Consumer Sentiment Index for November (an assessment of consumer confidence).
Source: Econoday, November 15, 2019
THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Tuesday: Home Depot (HD), Medtronic (MDT), TJX Companies (TJX)
Wednesday: Lowe’s (LOW), Target (TGT)
Thursday: Intuit (INTU), Ross Stores (ROST)
Source: Zacks, November 15, 2019
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
– George Bernard Shaw
It’s Never Too Early to Start Thinking About 2020 Taxes
Even though it’s only November, it’s never too early to start thinking about your
2020 taxes in April. There are a few things you can do to prepare early, including:
- Doing a paycheck checkup. We’ve recently talked about the importance of making sure your withholding status is correct, and if you haven’t already done so, now’s the time.
- Gathering your documents. You’ll need your W-2 and Form 1099 from any other payer (and if you’re self-employed).
- Confirming that your employer and bank have accurate addresses. You should start to receive tax documentation in January.
- Setting up an e-Filing profile and signing up for direct deposit for a faster refund.
Remember, even though the filing deadline is April 15, you can always file your taxes before then as soon as you have all your documentation. The sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your tax refund. How early do you plan for the next year’s filing?
* 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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