A Mild Week for the Market
In This Issue
The Week on Wall Street
A short and relatively placid trading week wrapped up Thursday, with the major indices turning in mixed performances.  Nothing really catalytic emerged to drive the market last week, and volumes were low.

Earnings Season Update
More than 78% of S&P 500 firms reporting so far this earnings season have surpassed analyst expectations, according to FactSet. Since guidance tends to be conservative, there is the possibility that more companies will beat forecasts than expected. [5] 

The initial public offering market remained strong. Two high-profile technology companies came public on Thursday and were met with enthusiasm from investors. As mentioned in recent weeks, 2019 could be a banner year for IPOs.

Retail Sales Rebound
March's 1.6% gain was the biggest monthly advance seen since September 2017. Sales of cars and gasoline rose more than 3%.

If the upcoming March consumer spending report is also impressive, concerns about the current business cycle peaking may recede. [6] 

Final Thought
Nearly 800 companies will report earnings this week, including some high-profile names. This kicks off five weeks of active daily earnings reports.

Investors will watch corporate profits, guidance, and fundamental indicators with great interest, to try and glean whether the economy is strengthening or softening. Reports on first-quarter economic growth and existing home sales will command particular attention.

Monday: March existing home sales figures from the National Association of Realtors.
Tuesday: March new home sales numbers from the Census Bureau.
Friday: The first estimate of first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) from the federal government, and the final April University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, a gauge of consumer confidence levels.

Source: Econoday / MarketWatch Calendar, April 18, 2019
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision. The release of data may be delayed without notice for a variety of reasons, including the shutdown of the government agency or change at the private institution that handles the material.

Blattel News

May 27: Office Closed
Our office, and the stock market, will be closed on Memorial Day.
July 4 & 5: Office Closed
Our office will be closed for Independence Day weekend. The stock market will close at noon on July 3 and be closed July 4.

September 2: Office Closed
Our office, and the stock market, will be closed on Labor Day.

"If you're offered a seat on a rocket ship, don't ask what seat! Just get on."

- Sheryl Sandberg

Spectacular Blood Orange Tart with Toasted Meringue
Serves 8


  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 5 Tbsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1¾ cup, plus 2 Tbsp., all-purpose flour
  • 1⅔ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup, plus 1 Tbsp., cornstarch
  • 3 tsp. all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1½ cups fresh blood orange juice
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 5 large egg whites
  • ½ tsp. cream of tartar
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Blend together the butter, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add flour and stir until the mixture comes together into a soft dough.
  4. Carefully press the dough into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan, going up the sides to about 2 inches.
  5. Press evenly along the bottom and sides of the pan, so the dough is about ¼-inch thick. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  6. Once the dough comes out of the refrigerator, line the inside of the unbaked shell with parchment paper, and put in about 3 cups of any type of dry beans or rice for weight.
  7. Place the tart shell onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
  8. Remove the beans and parchment and continue to bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown, then cool completely.

  1. Put the sugar, cornstarch, flour, and salt, with water and blood orange juice, into a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Whisk together and bring to a boil, stirring frequently until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  3. Blend in the butter and stir until smooth.
  4. Whisk egg yolks together in a mixing bowl.
  5. To temper the batter, pour ½ cup of the egg yolks into the blood orange mixture while whisking.
  6. Continue to temper by whisking the egg mixture into the blood orange mixture, then lower heat to medium and simmer, while whisking until thick.
  7. Once the mixture is thickened, remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes, then pour into the baked tart shell.
  8. Refrigerate the tart - it should set in about 4 hours, but don't refrigerate longer than 48 hours.

  1. Prepare the meringue with a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites until frothy, then add cream of tartar.
  2. While continuously beating, add sugar, 2 Tbsp. at a time, until it is dissolved into the mixture.
  3. Add vanilla, and continue to beat until stiff, white peaks form.

To serve, top the tart evenly with the meringue, creating peaks. Lightly toast the peaks with a brulee torch.

Recipe adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon [7]

Tax Refunds

About 80% of Americans will receive a tax refund this year. If you're one of them, you may have questions about "where's your refund"?  

It sounds obvious, but "Where's My Refund?" is actually the best place to start. Visit www.irs.gov/refunds to find the latest refund information. Here are some common questions about the information that the IRS Where's My Refund? service can provide:

When will my refund information be available? 
The information will be available 24 hours after you file electronically or 4 weeks after you mail a paper return.  

How will I know my tax return is processed?  
Where's My Refund? will report on your tax return, from receipt to completion. You'll find out whether your return is in received, approved, or sent status.

How often does "Where's My Refund?" update? 
Once per day, usually in the evening.  

Can I get information faster by calling? 
No. IRS phone representatives won't have access to your refund status until 21 days after you filed electronically or 6 weeks after you mailed your paper return.  

* 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 [8]

Practice Breathing for Serenity

Breathing deeply is a simple practice for calming your mind and body as well as reducing stress. There are many breathing techniques that can be used with practicing yoga, meditating, or even, on their own. Here is one simple technique can help calm the nervous system, and you can practice it wherever you want - The 4-7-8 Relaxing Breath:
  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whooshing sound.
  • Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose, filling your lungs as you quietly count to four.
  • Next, hold your breath for a count of seven.
  • Exhale completely through your mouth. Push all the air out, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight. You've completed one breath cycle.
  • Inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times, for a total of four breaths.

There are many other breathing techniques you can research and try for reducing anxiety, improving lung capacity, and achieving a calmer state of mind.

Tip adapted from www.drweil.com [10]

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Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.
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[5] www.cnbc.com/2019/04/18/stocks-market-earnings-retail-sales-and-jobless-data-in-focus.html

[6] www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-retail/us-retail-sales-post-biggest-gain-in-one-and-a-half-years-in-march-idUSKCN1RU1GI

[7] www.spoonforkbacon.com/2017/03/blood-orange-tart-with-toasted-meringue/

[8] www.irs.gov/refunds/tax-season-refund-frequently-asked-questions

[10] www.drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/stress-anxiety/breathing-three-exercises/

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