Market Update News
September 25, 2017
Presented By:  Todd Day, Portfolio Manager


Geopolitical Tensions Heat Up!

Once again, geopolitical tensions clouded the markets but the Dow and S&P 500 still managed to finish positive.  The tech heavy NASDAQ finished the week down as traders look to be taking some profits from the year's biggest winners.  It's still up over 20% year-to-date. 
THE Dow has now had 42 record closes this year.  It is up almost exactly 1,000 points for the quarter -- 999.96 to be exact.  The Russell 2000 set a new high on Friday - so these are not things we see in a downtrend. 


We are only two weeks from the beginning of third quarter earnings releases and it will be good to get there, as it will give market participants something other to talk about besides hurricanes and North Korea. 

Toys "R" Us filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week, as a result of a crushing post-LBO debt load and relentless competition from warehouse and online retailers, the "latest blow to a retail industry reeling from store closures, sluggish mall traffic and the gravitational pull of Amazon.  This makes it the second largest U.S. retail bankruptcy in history, trailing Kmart in 2002. 


All eyes were on the Federal Reserve last week and their decisions and communication was largely as expected, with no change to short term interest rates.  They did confirm they would start to "normalize" their balance sheet (unwind) starting in October.  They still keep talking about one more rate hike this year, so most expect it will be in December (I don't think they will do it). 

Housing data still not exciting the markets - housing starts and building permits came in a bit better than expected.  Effects from Hurricane Harvey impacted the starts numbers but weren't an impact on permits.  Existing home sales slump to a 1-year low, the National Association of Realtors says "There are simply not enough homes for sale."

Inflation has been virtually nonexistent for several months, but that may be starting to change.

The index of leading economic indicators rose a solid 0.4 percent in August in results, that however, does not fully reflect the impact of Hurricane Harvey.


Across the globe, most markets finished the week higher despite the continued back and forth between North Korea and the President.  Standard & Poor's had downgraded China's sovereign credit rating due to that nation's increasing debt levels.  Moody's also downgraded the UK on Brexit concerns and growth prospects. 


This is the final week of the month and the quarter, and the markets will be focused on the continued rhetoric between North Korea and the President but hopefully this will only be rhetoric.
On the economic front, we will get new home sales, durable goods, final revision to Q2GDP and personal consumption. 

We will also get a lot of news out of Europe as the Germans headed to the polls over the weekend. 

So, stay tuned, and next week we will recap September and the third quarter, and we will look ahead to what may shape the markets in October. 
It takes as much courage to have tried and failed
as it does to have tried and succeeded. 
~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Fish with Fire-Roasted Summer Veggies

Serves 4

          • 4 ears shucked corn
          • Cooking spray
          • 3 cups cherry tomatoes, divided
          • 2 TBSP canola oil, divided
          • 4 oz shallots, peeled and halved lengthwise
          • 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
          • ¾ tsp black pepper, divided
          • 4 6-oz halibut fillets, skinned
          • 2 tsp balsamic glaze
          • 2 TBSP chopped fresh basil (optional)


1. Preheat grill to medium (350°F to 400°F) and coat ears of corn with 
cooking spray.

2. Place 1 cup tomatoes, 1 TBSP oil, and shallots in a bowl; toss to coat. Place tomato mixture in a grill basket.

3. Add corn to grill; cook 6 minutes or until lightly charred, turning occasionally
4. Add tomato mixture to grill; cook 4 minutes or until tomatoes blister and turn lightly brown.

5. Shave off corn kernels from ears; discard cobs.

6. Coarsely chop shallots; set aside.

7. Place grilled tomatoes, remaining 1 TBSP oil, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper in a food processor; process until smooth.

8. Coat fillets with cooking spray; sprinkle with ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Add fillets to grill; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired doneness. Remove and keep warm.

9. Slice remaining 2 cups tomatoes in half. Combine with corn, shallots, 2 TBSP pureed tomato mixture, remaining ¼ tsp salt, and remaining ¼ tsp pepper in a bowl.

10. Place 1 cup corn mixture on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with 1 fillet, 1 tsp pureed tomato mixture, and ½ tsp balsamic glaze. Top with basil, if desired.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Summer Newlyweds Should Think About Taxes*
Newlyweds have good reason to consider how their marriage may affect their tax situation. The IRS offers these tips to help in planning:
Report changes in:
Name. When your name changes through marriage, it is important to report that change to the Social Security Administration. Your name on your tax return must match what is on file at SSA. If it doesn't, it could delay your refund. To update information, file Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. It is available on, by calling (800) 772-1213, or at a local SSA office.
Address. If your marriage means you have moved, the IRS and U.S. Postal Service need to know. To do that, send the IRS Form 8822, Change of Address. Notify the postal service by going to or a local post office.
Consider changing withholding. Newly married couples must give their employers a new Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, within 10 days of the marriage. If both of you work, you might move into a higher tax bracket or be affected by the Additional Medicare Tax. Use the IRS Withholding Calculator at to help complete a new Form W-4. See Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, for more information.
Decide on a new filing status. Married people can choose to file their federal income taxes jointly or separately each year. While filing jointly typically is more beneficial, figure the tax both ways to find out which works best for your situation. Remember, even if you married on Dec. 31, for tax purposes, the law says you are married for the whole year.
Choose the right tax form-it could help save money. Newly married taxpayers may find they now have enough deductions to itemize them on their tax returns. Newlyweds can claim itemized deductions on Form 1040, but not on Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ.
Other details may apply, and you can find more information on the IRS website.
* 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 advisor.
Tip courtesy of

Lose the Golf Fat and Thin Shots
The two main causes of fat and thin shots are poor weight distribution and early release of the hands.
Make sure your weight is not behind the ball line and your clubface is not ahead of your hands. One or both of these mistakes will cause the fat or thin shot. The center of your hips and sternum should not be behind the ball. To eliminate this problem, you must have at least 70% to 80% of weight on the forward side at impact. Your hands also should be slightly ahead of the clubface with some shaft lean.
If you shift your weight and hands forward, the center of your hips will be past the ball and your sternum will be in line with or slightly ahead of the ball. This produces more of a downward strike, creating better contact, power and distance.
The Fix
For right-handed players, from the top of the swing, start down by driving your right hip down toward the ball. This will move your weight left and through the ball. At the same time, swing your arms down, keeping your forearms close together, and swing through the ball with the handle leading the clubface. This will help you to develop a late release of the clubhead.

Tip courtesy of Stan Moore | Golf Tips Magazine
Prevent Drownings

Splashing and playing in natural bodies of water can be a great way for families and friends to spend time together. Be sure your take precautions if you plan to swim, or ride in a boat, canoe, or other water vehicle. Here are important tips to heed to protect yourself and others from drowning.
  • Wear a U.S.Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Make sure all passengers put on a life jacket, regardless of distance to be traveled, size of boat, or swimming ability of boaters.
  • Know the meaning of and obey warnings represented by colored beach flags. These may vary from one beach to another.
  • Watch for dangerous waves and signs of rip currents. Some examples are water that is discolored and choppy, foamy, or filled with debris, and moving in a channel away from shore.
  • If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore. Once free of the current, swim diagonally toward shore.
  • Do not use air-filled or foam toys, such as water wings, noodles, or inner-tubes, in place of life jackets. These toys are not designed to keep swimmers safe.
  • Do not drink -alcohol is involved in about one-third of all recreational and boating fatalities.

Tips courtesy of CDC

Green Your Pets
Are you looking for ways to reduce your pets' pawprint on the environment? These tips can help ensure your pet is living green, which could mean a healthier pet, too.
1. Look for eco-friendly pet toys and bedsGive your furry pals products made from recycled materials or sustainable fibers such as hemp, and made with nontoxic ingredients. A hemp collar and leash is hypoallergenic and the fabric gets softer with wear and tear. For bedding, look for pet beds made with organic cottons.
2. Put No. 2 in its place. When you are walking your dog, be a good neighbor and environmental steward-pick up their poo using a biodegradable bag so that your dog's waste doesn't take 100 years to decompose in a landfill. Cat owners should avoid clumping clay litters. The clay is strip-mined, which is harmful to the environment, and the clay sediment contains carcinogenic silica dust that your cat can ingest.
3. Adopt a "recycled" pet from a shelter or rescue group. There are 70,000 puppies and kittens born and abandoned every day in the United States. One of the best and most humane things you can do is to adopt a "recycled" pet from a local animal shelter or animal rescue group. They will thank you with unconditional love, endless snuggles, and sloppy kisses.
Tips courtesy of The Nature Conservancy
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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.


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

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 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 indexes 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.


The Housing Market Index (HMI) is a weighted average of separate diffusion indices based on a monthly survey of NAHB members designed to take the pulse of the single-family housing market. Each resulting index is then seasonally adjusted and weighted to produce the HMI.


The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator of housing activity,  measures housing contract activity, and is based on signed real estate contracts for existing single-family homes, condos and co-ops.  The PHSI looks at the monthly relationship between existing-home sale contracts and transaction closings over the last four years. The results are weighted to produce the index.


The Chicago Board Options Exchange Market Volatility Index (VIX) is a weighted measure of the implied S&P 500 volatility. VIX is quoted in percentage points and translates, roughly, to the expected movement in the S&P 500 index over the upcoming 30-day period, which is then annualized.


The BLS Consumer Price Indexes (CPI) produces monthly data on changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services. Survey responses are seasonally adjusted and weighted to produce a composite index.


The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) is a composite economic index formed by averages of several individual leading economic indicators, which are weighted to produce the complete index.


Google Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.


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.


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