Monthly Market Update
July 31, 2017
Presented By:  Todd Day, Portfolio Manager

Click on the Arrow Below
Hear Todd's Recap of July


Black Swans

The Dow, S&P 500, NASDAQ and Russell 2000 all notched new all-time highs on multiple occasions during July as an earnings bonanza sparked a buying panic.   A more dovish tone from FED Chair Yellen also gave a boost to global equities, as rate hike chances fell for September and December.   Investors were also willing to look past the antics in DC, as well as, turned a blind eye to North Korea's crazy leader, who test fired more missiles in defiance of pretty much everyone.   
So, if investors can look past all that, here are a other few risks on the horizon that may actually garner their attention:
  1. FED Chair Yellen overshoots, hiking rates too much and too soon.
  2. The European Central Bank runs out of bullets to fund monetary stimulus.
  3. China experiences a debt meltdown.
  4. DC faces a government shutdown over the debt ceiling, which Congress must address upon their return, not to mention tax reform, which has been floated as coming in the fall. 
Could any of these scenarios...turn out be fateful black swans?  Yes, of course, but remember this: A harmless white swan can look black in the right lighting conditions.  Sometimes, that is all it takes to incite panic.  


Second quarter earnings season got off to a bumpy start with the big banks not impressing Wall Street, analysts or investors.  Despite 3 rate hikes since December driving margins, trading revenues were sharply lower and that has many concerned.  But, it was not all lost as a number of companies surprised Wall Street:  Caterpillar, McDonald's, Dominos, DuPont, AT&T, Verizon, Facebook and UPS.

Most of the time, investors cheer when we get earnings from Amazon and Google, but it was not to be this go-round.  Although Amazon blew it out on revenues, earnings were sharply lower because of increased expenses and Google parent, Alphabet, on Monday saw shares slide as the market reacted to a massive fine by the European Commission, and word that success in mobile, cloud and YouTube is coming with higher costs.


Following a soft patch for economic data, recent economic data has begun trending more positive, suggesting growth could accelerate in the coming months. 

Data released last week showed that U.S. GDP had annualized growth of 2.6%, which was more than double that of Q1.  Other measure of economic growth, such as U.S. manufacturing PMIs and Durable Goods Orders all accelerated in July. 

The biggest issue coming from the economic data has to be the retail sales figures.  We already know consumers are ditching brick and mortar retailers in groves thanks to Amazon, but still the overall retail sales figures have been very disappointing. 


Congress is going home for the summer and Wall Street is gearing up for the final month of the season in the Hamptons.  As July heads out the door and August makes its debut, the lack of players doesn't mean there won't be a game. 

Looking into the month ahead, there are a few things investors still paying attention need to watch. 

Earnings - with a little over half the S&P 500 reporting so far, 73 percent have posted results better than Wall Street estimates.  What is even more important is that companies raising forward guidance have been more than double of those reducing forward guidance. 

This week features one of the market's biggest names, in a report that investors should be watching closely.  Apple on Tuesday will disclose its results, with analysts expecting big things.

Tech stocks have been the market leaders for most of the year, but the trade seemed to hit at least a bit of a wall last week.  Strong results from Apple could help the sector get its mojo back.

Jobs Friday - We'll need to get to the end of the week for the really big news. The top market headline likely will come Friday when the Labor Department releases its nonfarm payrolls count. 

June saw a nice rebound for the jobs count with 222,000 new positions as the unemployment rate sat at a solid 4.4 percent, according to FactSet.  Economists expect July to be a bit softer, with growth of 180,000.

What the market will be focused on more, though, is whether U.S. workers are making any more money. The annual pace of hourly earnings showed 2.5 percent growth in June, and is expected to stay right there for July.

Politics - following Trump's worst week of his Presidency, perhaps the dysfunction will cool off during the dog days of August, and perhaps there can be a focus on the still-improving economy. 

The big question is when, if ever, this finally catches up to the market and pulls stocks down from their lofty highs.

So, Stay tuned and we will keep you posted....

"Remember there's no such thing as a small act 
of kindness.
Every act creates a ripple with no logical end."
- Scott Adams
Skillet Lemon Chicken with Artichokes


* 1 tsp olive oil
* 6 small chicken thighs (2 lbs.)
* 1 medium onion , chopped
* 2/3 cup dry white wine
* 1 TBSP butter
* 14 oz. artichoke hearts, quartered
* 1 medium lemon, sliced thinly with seeds removed
* Parsley for garnish, chopped
* Rice, steamed


*     Preheat oven to 425°F.
*     Heat olive oil on medium-high heat in a 12-inch skillet.

*      Cover chicken with 1/2  tsp of salt and pepper, each. 
*     Place chicken skin-side down in the skillet, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes or until it turns golden brown.

*     Move chicken to a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, with the chicken's skin-side up.

*     Place in chicken in oven and roast for 15 minutes or until it fully cooks to an internal temperature of 165°F.
*     Add to skillet the chopped onion and 1/4 tsp salt, and cook for 3 minutes on medium heat.
*     Pour dry white wine into skillet, and simmer onions for 2 minutes, scraping up browned pieces.
*     Add butter and stir until melted. Add artichoke hearts and lemon to 
the skillet.

To Serve:

*    Plate chicken with steamed rice, and spoon sauce over dish.
*    Add flair to the dish by garnishing with the chopped parsley.

Recipe adapted from Good Housekeeping

Receive In-Person Tax Support From the IRS
If you need helping managing your taxes, the IRS has an array of services online that can provide a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) platform. Sometimes, however, you may need a deeper level of support. Taxpayers seeking in-person support have the choice to schedule a face-to-face meeting.

*   Find your closest IRS Tax Assistance Center (TAC): You can locate the nearest TAC by using the Contact Your Local Office Tool on the IRS website.


*   Request to schedule an appointment: To receive in-person tax support, you must call the following number to make your appointment: 844-545-5640.

Before You Call:
Just remember that the IRS encourages you to manage your tax details through their DIY platform or phone support before requesting an in-person meeting.
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

Overcome the Fried Egg Lie
Golfers facing the difficult bunker lie, the fried egg, need to use a soft-yet-powerful swing to get the ball out in one stroke. Unless you make some adjustments to how you approach your swing, you could find yourself stuck in the sand time and again.
To overcome your fried egg lie, follow these steps:

1. Open clubface slightly.

To start, make sure that you control your ball's velocity. Focus on shifting your weight toward your front foot to open your clubface and relax your hands. By doing so, you emphasize your clubhead's dig, which further requires this approach. This shift in weight allows the club to dig more effectively into the sand trap.
2.  Follow an outside-and-up backswing path.
Some golfers mistakenly think they need to follow through to a normal position to get out of a fried egg lie. However, when you swing, you want your momentum to transfer into the sand rather than move through it. To do so, once you're ready to swing, relax your hands to allow your club to naturally follow a backswing that moves outside and up. You need your clubhead buried into the sand by at least an inch behind the ball. By stopping the clubface at impact while keeping soft hands and an open clubface you will encourage more height and less speed.
Tip courtesy of Tom Stickney / Golf Tips Magazine
Eat These Foods to Help Your Eye Health
Many people eat carrots to help improve their vision. But we can go beyond just one root vegetable to boost our eye health. Research reveals that most food with antioxidant properties are good for your eye health. 

T hese foods have carotenoid compounds like beta-carotene, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids, among other nutrients. You can give your vision a boost and support improved eye health by eating the following foods:
            • Broccoli
            • Collard greens
            • Kale
            • Peas
            • Peppers
            • Pumpkin
            • Sweet potato
            • Swiss chard
            • Apricot
            • Avocado
            • Blueberries
            • Cantaloupe
            • Grapefruit
            • Honeydew
            • Mango
            • Oranges
            • Papaya
            • Peaches
            • Tangerines
            • Tomatoes

Tip courtesy of Mayo Clinic

Ways to Stay Cool Without Using an AC
Summer is officially here, bringing heat and humidity across much of the country. Many people crank their air conditioners to stay cool. But, running AC units adds to your utility bills and energy consumption.

If you're looking to decrease how often you rely on your AC during the summer, follow these tips for staying cool.
Draw energy-efficient curtains: Hanging the right curtains and closing them during the day can do wonders to keep the heat down in your house. Choose medium-colored curtains that have a white plastic backing. Using these types of curtains can reduce the heat gains by 33%.
Close the blinds during the day: Blinds work similarly to curtains to block out the sun. By using highly reflective blinds and closing them during the day, you can reduce heat gains by 45%.
Change the type of light bulbs you use:
Incandescent light bulbs give off immense, unused heat, wasting 90% of their energy. Switching your light bulbs to CFLs can greatly reduce the heat in your home.
Tip courtesy of
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