Market Update News
November 20, 2017
Presented By:  Todd Day, Portfolio Manager


Did The Bears Miss Their Chance?

The "BEARS" gave their all last week, but the "Buy the Dip" crowd wouldn't have any of it.  The S&P 500 had fallen about 1.3% by the close on Wednesday, but Thursday's gains erased all of the losses for the week.  The NASDAQ retraced 5 days of losses in about 5 hours to set a new all-time high at 12:28 on Thursday.  Giddy Up!

In the end the Dow and the S&P 500 ended slightly lower on the week, but the NASDAQ finished higher. 

Many of the talking heads will have you to believe that all of the angst is regarding concerns over the chances of any tax reform happening before year's end - or next year for that matter.  But, the fact is the economic backdrop around the globe has improved and continues to improve.  The fundamental backdrop has certainly improved even if you just look at the strength we have seen in most corporate earnings.  So, barring some market shock, the bears may have missed their chance last week - we'll see.  


Last week we got a lot of corporate earnings from the retailers.  Home Depot got things kicked off with same-store sales crushing Wall Street estimates, boosted by repairs after devastating hurricanes and wildfires.  Home Depot benefited from increased sales of big-ticket items and from a rise in the average shopper's purchases.  While many retailers are struggling to grow sales, home improvement businesses such as Home Depot and Lowe's continue to outperform.

Walmart beat expectations and thanks to a pretty good boost from hurricane related items and e-commerce exploded higher.  Even Target's stock rose in hopes some of the parking lot spillover from Walmart would help them out. 

Speaking of Target - they beat on the top and bottom lines and the shares popped, but then the guidance hit and the stock price unpopped.  It's going to be a disappointing holiday quarter.

Dick's Sporting Goods reported a big drop in profits, but they beat forecast - which had already been slashed - and lowered their guidance.

Best Buy shares slide after a big revenue miss and they forecasted a weak earnings outlook.

Away from the retailers, two tech stocks enjoyed a strong quarter.  Vodafone reported a strong quarter and raised their forecast and Cisco shares hit the highest level since the dot-com bust after reporting a robust quarter. 


Against an improving economic backdrop here and abroad, we got another week of some pretty good data. 

The Producer Price Index (PPI) was much hotter than estimates and U.S. core-inflation picked up for the first time since January.

Retail Sales came in a bit better and the prior data was revised higher. 

Industrial Production came in at a perky 0.9% verse an estimated .5% increase.

And homebuilder confidence is running at an 8-month high. 

All-in-all, the economic outlook is showing no signs of recession that the bond market is flashing a warning sign over - we'll wait and see how this plays out. 


Across the pond, European stocks have hit the pause button and it is not due to tax reform here in the U.S., maybe some profit taking and tensions in the Middle East, but nothing extraordinary.  There is rising concerns over Germany's failure to form a coalition government, but once again nothing extraordinary.

Across the other pond, there was more global selloff on disappointing Chinese data.  In Asia - Chinese Production, Retail Sales and Fixed Asset Investment all disappointed vs. the expectations in October, raising growth concerns about the world's No. 2 economy. 


Well, earnings season is for the most part over, so we'll be looking for a catalyst to keep the market moving forward.  The lack of economic data this week won't help that - existing home sales, durable goods and consumer sentiment. 

We'll keep our eyes on the Asian market jitters and troubles for Germany, so other than that -

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving and be safe 
in your travels. 

**NOTE** - There will not be a weekly market update next Monday - we will have a monthly market update and video the following Monday.  

"Never mind what others do; do better than yourself,
beat your own record from day to day, and you are a success."
 - William J. H. Boetcker
Salty (and Other) Caramel Apples

Serves 8

  • 8 whole apples, and more if using small apples
  • 4 11-oz packages of caramel melts
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Dash of salt
  • Toppings: mini chocolate candies (like M&Ms), crushed pretzels, kosher salt, chocolate chips, coconut, crushed pecans, crushed salted cracker (like Saltines)
  • Chopsticks


1.  Melt cream and caramels together in a double boiler (or glass bowl set on top of a simmering saucepot of water).


2.  Add salt and vanilla to melted caramel mixture, stirring until smooth.


3.  Turn apples upside down, and insert a chopstick into the bottom of 

each apple.


4.  Dip each apple into the melted caramel mixture, completely covering the apple up to the chopstick's base.


5.  Let excess caramel drip off of apple before rolling the caramel apple into whatever toppings you want to use (make sure you do this step carefully and quickly, before the caramel cools)


6.  Repeat process for each apple, placing coated apples on wax paper.


7.  Cool apples in refrigerator, and cover them in plastic wrap or cellophane.


Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Managing Taxes During a Divorce or Separation
When couples decide to divorce or separate, they likely must address various financial details related to their partnership. Depending on how complex a couple's finances are, carefully unwinding the tax intricacies may require a number of steps. If you are experiencing a divorce or separation, we understand how challenging these times can be. To help guide you, we've compiled some guidance on how to manage your taxes during the process:

1. Make any name changes: If you are changing your name, you need to update your personal information with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The name you list when submitting taxes to the IRS must match the information the SSA has on file. Find more info on the SSA website.

2.  Report any alimony you receive: Spouses that receive alimony must report this income to the IRS for the year they received the money. Also, be aware that alimony does not have tax withholding and may affect how much you owe in taxes when you file.


3.  Claim child support correctly: Former spouses or partners that make child support payments cannot include these amounts in their alimony deductions.


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

Square Your Putterface
A ccurately aligning your putter is critical if you want to consistently sink your shot. But, even if you read the line perfectly, you can end up seriously missing the hole if you open or close your putter's face at impact.
To identify whether you are accidentally shifting your putter, practice putting two balls at the same time:
1.   Place two balls next to each other on a green.  


2. Square your club behind both balls.

3. Try striking the balls at precisely the same time.

4. Note how the balls move:

  • Outside balls that roll farther mean you closed your face at impact.
  • Inside balls that roll farther mean you opened the face.
  • Balls that move the same distance mean you hit them squarely.
Continue practicing the above exercise until you can successfully square 
your putterface.

Tip courtesy of Golf Digest

Know These Common Aging Ailments
As we age, our bodies no longer function as well as they may have when we were younger. And while everyone ages differently, some common ailments exist as we grow older. So, before you worry that you have a pain no one else experiences, explore these typical ailments that occur in older age.
  • Lower Back Pain:  Back pain is common no matter one's age. But if you have more lower back pain in your older age, you may be experiencing the effects of arthritis. A visit to your doctor can help you identify the cause and physical therapy that can help improve the pain.
  • OsteoarthritisOne-third of adults over 60 years old suffer from osteoarthritis, which occurs when the protective cartilage between your bones degenerates, creating joint pain. To help combat the condition and minimize pain, be sure to stay active and strengthen muscles around the joints.
  • Carpal Tunnel:  This condition can peak between your 40s and 60s, and sometimes may require surgery, depending on its severity. Whether hereditary or brought on by arthritis or another cause, this ailment occurs when the nerve from your arm to your wrist becomes squeezed or pressed. You can lessen pain with short-term use of painkillers and also consult your doctor for recommended treatments.
Tips courtesy of WebMD 

Minimize Your Carbon Footprint
The ways you live your life, from how you wash laundry to the amount you throw away, all comes with a carbon-footprint price tag. In fact, simple choices around your home may be increasing the amount of carbon dioxide you release into the atmosphere. You can better control your contributions by knowing how many pounds of carbon you release and save by changing your habits. Here are some ways you can reduce your carbon footprint:
Recycle aluminum and steel: Reusing existing metals to make new cans minimizes carbon output. When you recycle, you reduce the energy needed to make an aluminum can by up to 95%and a steel can by 74%, saving 414 pounds of CO2 annually.
Wash laundry using cooler temperatures: Using hot water to wash your clothes contributes around 90% of your laundry's energy use. You can save up to 349 pounds of CO2 each year by switching half of your loads from hot to warm. For this effect, you also need to wash the other half of your loads with cold water.
Drive the speed limit: Obeying posted speed limits can do more than save you from driving tickets - it can also improve your fuel economy by 15% and decrease gas costs by $200 annually. Further, driving 65 miles-per-hour instead of 75 keeps 1,500 pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere annually.
Tip courtesy of Real Simple

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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.


These are the views of Horizon Financial Services, LLC, and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither Horizon Financial Services, LLC nor its Investment Advisor Representatives or Associates 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. 

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Investment Advisor Representative
Certified Retirement Financial Advisor
Horizon Financial Services, LLC
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Winston Salem, NC 27103
(336) 659-7060


Investment advisory services are offered through Horizon Financial Services, LLC, a North Carolina State Registered Investment Advisor.  Insurance products are offered through 

New Horizon Financial Services, Inc.  Horizon Financial Services, LLC and New Horizon Financial Services Inc. are affiliated companies.