Market Update News
November 13, 2017
Presented By:  Todd Day, Portfolio Manager


Earnings Season Has Been Good - BUT - Here Come the Retailers!

The major averages finished lower last week snapping an 8-week win streak, yet they are still tracking higher for the month.  Stocks came under pressure as reports trickled out regarding the Senate's tax bill proposal which included delaying the corporate tax cut and stocks were not happy. However, the week could have finished much worse, but the dip buyers are still showing up.
But what a year it has been, the Dow has closed at a new high more than 55 times this year, 52 for the S&P 500.  For the year, the S&P 500 is up 17%, the Dow is up 20%, but the NASDAQ is up a hefty 26%.  


Well - so far earnings season has been pretty good, but now we are hearing from the retailers and what we have heard so far, is less than exciting.
Sears just reported a same store sales decline of - 15.3% for Q3 - if you're holding a gift card, I suggest you use it today.  Kohl's and Macy's beat earnings, but investors know things are bleak.    

Disney missed on the top and bottom lines, held down by ESPN.

Alibaba held "singles day" last week, a holiday they invented themselves.  According to Bloomberg, they had $1 billion in sales in just two minutes.  The first item ordered was delivered in 12 minutes.  Your move Amazon...

Lastly, General Electric announced a corporate restructuring and the big news was they would cut their dividend by 50% - FIFTY PERCENT.  The stock was actually up slightly in early trading. 


Last week was a slow week for economic data.  We saw the consumer sentiment fall ever so slightly in the latest read, but still at very lofty levels.  Jobless claims spiked slightly higher, but still remain very low.

Probably the biggest concern for analysts and economists is the continued flattening of the yield curve - (the spread between the 2 year U.S. Treasury yield and the yield between the 10 year U.S. Treasury). 

Typically when the shorter term yields are rising and the longer term yields are falling, economists believe it is saying something about the economy - recession.  However, there are no other signs that recession is on the horizon, in fact, anything but.  One year ago, the spread has 100 basis points.  Two weeks ago, that spread narrowed to 84 basis points.  Last Monday, the spread was only 76 basis points and today - 70 basis points.  Historically, that spread is around 200 basis points.  We'll be watching this closely. 

Two weeks ago, we got the latest read on the jobs situation and the economy added 261,000 jobs in October.  There was certainly some bounce back from the hurricane impacted numbers the month before.  The unemployment rate fell to 4.1% and the labor force participation rate inexplicably fell - we must just be running out of workers. 

This week's earnings focus will be on the retailers.  We heard from a few last week and as we know, it wasn't too good. 

On the economic front, we'll get inflation data from the PPI and CPI.  Monthly retail sales numbers will also be on deck and housing starts.  

Stay tuned and we'll keep you posted. 

Every individual matters. Every individual has a role 
to play.
Every individual makes a difference.
 - Jane Goodall
Beefy Corn and Black Bean Chili
Serves: 6

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 16-ounce bag of seasoned, frozen black beans and corn
  • 2 teaspoons no-salt chili powder mix
  • 1 can (14 ounces) beef broth
  • 1 can (14 ounces) tomato sauce with chili seasoning
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Green onions, sliced (optional)


1.  Add ground beef and chili spices to a large Dutch oven or pot.

2. Cook seasoned beef on medium-high heat until just browned (about 6 minutes). Stir to crumble beef as it cooks.

3. Drain fat from cooked beef.

4. Add beans, corn, tomato sauce, and beef broth to pot, and bring mixture to a boil.

5. Cover pot and reduce heat, simmering for 10 minutes.

6. Remove lid and simmer 5 minutes longer.

7. Serve and garnish with sour cream and green onions.

Recipe adapted from MyRecipes

Deductions for Job Searches
Searching for a job can be a long, arduous process. Fortunately, one benefit job seekers may be able to enjoy is the ability to deduct some job-search expenses on their federal tax returns. When looking for a position in the same line of work, you may be able to write off certain related expenses, regardless of whether you found a job. Here are some details to keep in mind:
Deductible Costs
Not every cost is deductible when searching for employment. Here are some common deductions:
  • Resumes: You can deduct costs from printing your resumes and mailing them to employers.
  • Travel costs: If you need to travel for your job search, you can deduct related expenses, such as transportation and lodging.
  • Placement agency: Fees you pay for help from an employment or job placement agency are deductible.
Non-Deductible Costs
You cannot deduct some expenses when searching for a job, such as those related to:
  • Changing the industry you work in
  • Taking a long break between being an employee
  • Looking for your first job
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

Splash in the Sand to Improve Your Bunker Play
Cleanly getting out of a sand trap can be tricky, and many golfers consistently struggle to hit solid shots from a bunker. But, with some slight tweaks, you can improve your bunker shot and move beyond the sand. The key is having the right perspectives and choosing the right club for the job.
Avoid the Standard Approach
Golfers will frequently hit two inches behind the ball and then slam the sand so it explodes. But while this technique may be common, that doesn't make it the best option. Doing so can cause you to tense your hands and cause you to bury your club in the sand-making you either blade your ball over the green or leave it in the bunker.
Correct Your Approach

1. Disregard the sand for a moment and envision your normal, full swing and stance.

2. Choose your club by the length of your bunker shot, which could be anything from a 60-degree wedge to a 9-iron. Two factors will affect this choice: your distance from the pin and how much green you have ahead.

3. Focus on trying to "splash" your club into the sand, rather than explode or hit it. Control your hand's sense of feel and maintain constant pressure, and aim to create a splash divot of 6 to 8 inches and roughly ½-inch deep.

Note: Using the same swing technique, you'll want to use less lofted clubs for longer bunker shots, and swing softer for harder sand.

Tip courtesy of Randy Chang | Golf Tips Magazine

Eat These Foods to Keep Skin Healthy

Skin is the body's largest organ, and the food choices we make can either help or hurt its health. Here are some common foods and minerals you can eat to help keep your skin nourished and hydrated.
The mineral selenium may help you protect your skin from free radicals that create wrinkles, dry skin, and tissue damage. Consuming selenium may even assist in preventing skin cancer. Here are some foods with high amounts of selenium:
  • Brazil nuts
  • Button mushrooms
  • Lamb
  • Oysters
  • Shrimp
  • Whole-wheat pasta

Vitamin A
Consuming Vitamin A can help you avoid flaky, dry skin. Vitamin A can also help improve wrinkles and brown spots, especially if you use a skin product that includes the vitamin. Here are some foods that provide vitamin A in your diet:
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Eggs
  • Leafy greens
  • Low-fat dairy foods
  • Orange
Tips courtesy of Mayo Clinic

Buying Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-Certified Products
Do you know the source of the wood products you use? If not, the printer paper, newly built deck, or other wood-based products you use could be destructing forest ecosystems and threatening wildlife. You can help protect these forests by opting to buy wood products with the FSC certification.
How do wood products hurt ecosystems?
When wood comes from illegal, uncontrolled forestry operations, its harvest can destroy important forests, threatening indigenous tribes and local communities that rely on these lands for their livelihood. Removing forests also wipes away the homes of animals that depend on them, such as orangutans and elephants. The United States is among the world's major consumer countries that together import roughly $6 billion of illegally harvested wood each year.
What is FSC-Certified wood?
The Forest Stewardship Council is the only global certification system in forest management that uses an independent third-party to rank practices for social, environmental, and economic standards. Products with an FSC Certification are verified to be responsibly sourced, with no forest ecosystems harmed during the harvesting process.
You can learn more about the FSC certification on The Nature Conservancy's website .
Tip courtesy of The Nature Conservancy

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