S&P 500 Nearly Makes History
In This Issue
The Week on Wall Street
The S&P 500 came within 0.1% of a record close Friday. Stocks were lifted last week by positive news on U.S.-China trade negotiations, plus earnings announcements.

Another Hint of Progress in Trade Talks
Friday, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative stated that parts of a new trade deal with China were near completion. No specifics were given as of Friday's close, but the USTR noted that negotiators had "made headway" on key issues.

Analysts think both sides may cancel certain tariffs as part of a deal. President Trump has said that he would like to sign a new trade accord with China's President, Xi Jinping, next month.[4]

A Gain for Consumer Sentiment
Rising to a final October mark of 95.5, the University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index advanced 2.3 points month-over-month. During August and September, the index's level varied from 89.8 to 93.2.[5]

What's Next
The Federal Reserve meets this week. Will it make another interest rate cut? And if it does, could that be the last rate cut for a while? Traders will study the language of the statement and listen carefully to Fed chair Jerome Powell's Wednesday press conference for clues.

Tuesday: The Conference Board presents its October Consumer Confidence Index.
Wednesday: The Federal Reserve makes its latest statement on monetary policy, and Automatic Data Processing (ADP) publishes its October private-sector payrolls report.
Thursday: The Department of Commerce offers September consumer spending data.
Friday: November begins with the Department of Labor's October jobs report and the Institute for Supply Management's newest Purchasing Managers Index for the factory sector, a gauge of U.S. manufacturing activity.

Source: Econoday, October 25, 2019
The Econoday economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. 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.

Blattel News

By Bob Blattel

This year's festival brings in 389 films, 25 short programs from 63 countries, 6 continents, and has 64 free events. This is my fourth year of reviewing narrative feature films for Cinema St. Louis, who puts on the festival. 2019 has some of the best feature films, documentaries, and shorts that I have ever seen.
If you go to the Cinema St. Louis website and hit the Festival bar, you will find dates, locations, times, and descriptions of the various films, as well as trailers for them. There are so many good choices, that it is hard to just pick a couple of them. I will give you a few ideas: The Marriage Story, A Hidden Life, Just Mercy, Clemency, The Report, The Two Popes, and Princess of the Row.
The Princess of the Row received an A+ review by me. It's about a returning veteran who lives on skid row in L.A. His 12-year-old daughter tries to visit him at every opportunity - she sometimes skips school and runs away from foster families just to be with him. I found it to be a touching movie with great acting, directing, and writing. It will show at the Tivoli Theater Saturday, November 16th, at 2:30 pm with director Max Carlson.
I hope to see some of you at the festival. Please let me know what you think of any film that you see. More information can be obtained at www.cinemastlouis.org under STL Film Fest.

You're Invited
We welcome all of our clients to stop by our office  for some good conversation and light refreshments as we kick off the holiday season with our Holiday Open House. 

We invite our clients to stop by our office at 1258 Jungermann Road between 3:30 pm and 6:30 pm for some holiday cheer on Friday, December 6th. Please consider bringing a toy to donate to our annual Holiday Magic Toy Drive.


November 1 - December 6: Holiday Magic Toy Drive
Please consider donating a toy to a needy child during our annual Holiday Magic Toy Drive.
November 8 from 9-10 am: Workshop
Join us for the Retire on Purpose workshop. You will receive actionable tips on what you can start doing today to enrich your life in retirement. A great experience for those about to retire or who have recently retired!  Register yourself and your guests today - Retire on Purpose Workshop.
November 28 & 29: Office Closed
Blattel & Associates will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.

"I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey."

- The Criminologist, The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Snickerdoodle Spider Cookies

Get into the Halloween spirit with these cookies, which are equally spooky, cute, and delicious. Plus, they're super simple to make and will wow any crowd. 

[24 servings]


For the Cookies:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
For the Decorations:
  • 24 chocolate candy spheres with smooth chocolate filling, such as Lindt Lindor Truffles. You can also use peanut butter cups or Hershey Kisses.
  • 48 decorative candy eyeballs
  • ½ cup chocolate frosting

  1. Mix butter, peanut butter, and both sugars together. Beat in the eggs.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir into wet mixture until completely mixed.
  3. Roll into 1-inch balls, and flatten each ball with a fork, making a crisscross pattern.
  4. Bake at 375° F for 10 minutes. When you take them out, quickly press a dimple into the middle of each cookie.
  5. When the cookies are fully cooled, place a piece of candy in the middle of each one.
  6. Put the frosting in a pastry bag and cut a small opening. With the chocolate frosting, draw eight legs onto each cookie.
  7. Put a small amount of frosting on the back of each candy eyeball, then stick two to each cookie. 

Recipe adapted from All Recipes [6]

Don't Let eFiling Your Tax Return Spook You

There are many good reasons to file your tax return online, including the fact that it's:
  • Accurate and complete - Filing your tax return digitally is the most-accurate, complete way to file. This means that it's processed faster, and you get your tax return in your pocket sooner.
  • Safe and secure - Software companies and accountants that have the ability to eFile tax returns have met strict security guidelines set forth by the IRS. When you eFile, you can receive notifications from the IRS ensuring that everything was filed correctly.
  • Faster refunds - Compared to paper returns, eFiled tax returns are usually processed faster. In addition, you can choose direct deposit and have your refund deposited directly into your bank account.
  • It's easy and free - You can eFile on your own through IRS Free File, the IRS free tax preparation and eFiling service. You can also eFile your taxes using online platforms, many of which offer a free level of service as well as a premium one if you have more-complex filing needs. 
* 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 [7]

Protect Your Teeth With a Candy Buyback Program

With Halloween comes lots of sweet treats and whether you're dipping into your child's candy from trick-or-treating or are keeping a stash for yourself, we want to offer this tip to help protect your teeth (and your health).

If you'd prefer not to eat candy for the next few months, many local businesses offer "candy buyback" programs where you can donate candy to nonprofit organizations or sell it back for cash. Many dentist offices coordinate with veteran and military programs and send the candy overseas in care packages. Some businesses even donate on your behalf when you trade in your candy. Either way, these buyback programs are a fun way to give back (and save yourself some calories). Save a few chocolate bars for yourself, and do some good with the rest. Simply search your local area for a buyback program near you. 

Tip adapted from Halloween Candy Buy Back [9]

Share the Wealth of Knowledge!
Please share this market update with family, friends, or colleagues. If you would like us to add them to our list, simply click on the "Forward email" link below. We love being introduced!



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.

Diversification does not guarantee profit nor is it guaranteed to protect assets.

International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors.

The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. The DJIA was invented by Charles Dow back in 1896.

The Nasdaq Composite is an index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market and is considered a broad indicator of the performance of stocks of technology companies and growth companies.

The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) that serves as a benchmark of the performance in major international equity markets as represented by 21 major MSCI indices from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia.

The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.

Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

You cannot invest directly in an index.

Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Fixed income investments are subject to various risks including changes in interest rates, credit quality, inflation risk, market valuations, prepayments, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.

These are the views of Platinum Advisor Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named representative,
Broker dealer or Investment Advisor and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named representative nor the named Broker dealer or Investment Advisor gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your financial advisor for further information.

By clicking on these links, you will leave our server, as the links are located on another server. We have not independently verified the information available through this link. The link is provided to you as a matter of interest. Please click on the links below to leave and proceed to the selected site.

[1] www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stock-futures-step-cautiously-higher-setting-investors-up-for-fresh-run-at-records-2019-10-25

[2] www.wsj.com/market-data

[3] quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/990300/historical-prices

[4] reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-china/u-s-china-close-to-finalizing-parts-of-phase-1-trade-pact-ustr-idUSKBN1X40EF

[5] investing.com/economic-calendar/michigan-consumer-sentiment-320

[6] www.allrecipes.com/recipe/240007/peanut-butter-spider-cookies

[7] www.irs.gov/newsroom/five-good-reasons-to-e-file-your-tax-return

[8] www.golfdigest.com/story/sean-foley-dont-fake-turn

[9] www.halloweencandybuyback.com/

[10] www.worldwildlife.org/pages/10-green-halloween-tips

Visit My Site