Monthly Market Update
September 6, 2017
Presented By:  Todd Day, Portfolio Manager

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Hear Todd's Recap of August


A Teflon Market

Stocks finished higher for the month of August, with the NASDAQ turning in the best performance while the Dow and S&P finished up .05% and .2% respectively.  It could have been much worse with all of the political and geopolitical noise, and then throw in an historic Hurricane to wrap up the month, but the markets remained resilient yet again.  


Earning season is for the most part over and the results -  impressive.   We saw earnings growth and revenue growth that followed up last quarter's strong results.  There were some positive surprises in the retail sector where expectations had been ratcheted down so low that many left for dead retailers came in better than expected.   One of the biggest disappointments was Lowes.  Their results paled in comparison to Home Depot, and don't be surprised if we don't see some activist investor come in and try to shake things up. 

We also got a surprise from two tech titans - Amazon and Google.  Both are seeing their expenses  go through the roof as they continue to take over the world.  Outside of those two, tech earnings were the strongest among all sectors. 


The highlights in August for the economy had to do with the revised GDP figures, better than expected retail sales and poor housing data.

The 2nd revision to Q2 GDP was a stunner - revised up to 3% from 2.6% -That's double what we did the first quarter. 

The consumer got back in the game last month with retail sales figures well ahead of expectations. 

On the housing front, new home sales, existing home sales and building permits were all down.  The National Association of Realtors continues to point to a lack of supply and rapidly rising home prices for the slowdown.  Granted, a hurricane or two may change this....


Across the pond, European stocks hit the pause button in August as the political and geopolitical events cast a shadow of doubt over the markets.  The economic data continues to improve for the region as it appears that more and more member countries of the EU are participating in the recovery.  One big concern that we'll keep an eye on is the strength in the Euro against the dollar.  The ECB wants a weaker Euro and they have gotten anything but over the last several months.  This could start to erode gains on the international front.


September hasn't been good to investors in some time and given that we are staring down the barrel of a government shutdown, a showdown with North Korea and hurricanes, September could be a little dicey. 

On the economic front, jobs, retail sales, housing data and inflation will be the most anticipated reports.  As far as the FED goes, we aren't expecting them to raise rates at this month's meeting but we'll be monitoring for the chances of a December hike, but like I have said, until we see some inflation, they aren't going anywhere anytime soon. 

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

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving."
-        Albert Einstein
Grilled Lamb Meatballs and Pepper Skewers


        • 1/2 cup fresh mint sprigs, chopped
        • 2 medium-sized shallots, chopped
        • 1 tablespoon oregano sprigs, chopped
        • 1/2 teaspoon cumin, ground
        • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
        • 1 pound lamb, ground
        • 2 bell peppers, core removed and chopped
        • 2 pitas, toasted and cut into quarters
        • 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
        • 1/4 cup hummus
        • Tomatoes, sliced for serving

If using bamboo skewers, be sure to soak them ahead of time.

1.      In a bowl, mix together the mint, shallots, oregano, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper.


2.      Add the ground lamb to the spices and thoroughly mix.


3.      Create 1-inch meatballs from the lamb.


4.      Thread skewers with the meatballs and chopped bell peppers, alternating each item.


5.      Grill skewers on medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes, flipping the skewers once to cook on both sides. Grill until internally cooked to 165° F.


To Serve

6.      Plate skewers with dollop of hummus, sliced tomatoes, and toasted pita.


Recipe adapted from Good Housekeeping 

Tax Benefits for Armed Forces Members
If you or a loved one served our country as an armed forces member, specific tax details could lower tax liabilities. Current armed forces members serving in a war zone can receive additional benefits. For those navigating a financial life within the armed forces, here are some tax benefits to keep in mind.
  • Tax-Free Combat Pay: When actively serving in or directly supporting a war zone, your salary is tax free-either partially or in full. Some additional details apply, so be sure to identify what to do for your specific situation.
  • Extended Filing Deadlines: Some armed forces members, such as people in combat zones, can qualify to receive automatic filing extensions. They may also be able to receive extensions on other tax details.
  • Free Tax Help: Members can receive free tax help at most military bases during the filing season and for ongoing assistance. Check with your base to see what is available for your locale.
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


Improve Control in Fairway Sand
Fairway bunkers intimidate many golfers. Fortunately, a few simple tweaks to your setup can give you confidence and control to hit the ball out of the sand with a smooth swing. Here are some tips to help you improve your control in these challenging situations.
  • Step 1 - Select the right club:  Ultimately, your goal is to hit the ball before you make contact with the sand. A key to doing so is to choose a club longer than what you typically use. You still need to ensure the club can get the ball out of the bunker.
  • Step 2 - Open the club face:  You don't want to dig into the sand, so make sure you open your club face. Keeping it open will add loft to your short. Gripping your club lightly to free your swing will also help avoid tension.
  • Step 3 - Stay centered on the ball: Make sure you center the ball so it's in line with your hands and clubshaft, and never ground your club. In your backswing, stay centered by making a full shoulder turn while minimizing movement in your lower body. This focus will keep you from laterally moving away from your target while not hurrying the through swing.
Tip courtesy of GolfDigest

Know These Symptoms of a Weak Heart From Cardiomyopathy
Heart disease comes in many shapes and forms, including cardiomyopathy. This condition results when heart muscles weaken and become thick and stiff. Early-stage sufferers may show no signs of the disease, but symptoms often reveal themselves as the condition worsens.
Here are some common signs of a weak heart:
  • You are out of breath either when you exert energy or when you are resting.
  • You have swollen legs, ankles, and feet.
  • You feel tired all the time.
  • You have rapid, pounding, or fluttering heartbeats that may signal an irregularity.
  • You feel dizzy, lightheaded, or faint.
Be sure to consult with your doctor if you experience any symptoms.

Tip courtesy of Mayo Clinic

Control Gnats and Fruit Flies Naturally
Gnats and fruit flies may be small, but they can be mighty annoying. You can control them in your home, though, without relying on toxic chemicals. If you are trying to beat the bugs, here are some tips to help.
  • Fix Window or Door Cracks:  Gnats and fruit flies just need a tiny space to enter your home. Discourage them from moving in by sealing or repairing all the cracks and gaps in your doors and windows.
  •  Clean Your Kitchen Sink Drain: Dark, moist environments-like drains full of food-are a boon to these bugs. Keep the drain clean and toss a lemon into a disposal to clean it. You can then add a couple drops of vegetable oil in there to coat and kill remaining bugs.
  •  Set Vinegar Traps: Grab a mason jar, and cut small holes into the lid. Fill the jar with a bit of apple cider vinegar and some drops of dish soap. Top the lid onto the jar, and let the trap sit out overnight to attract the bugs.
Tip courtesy of

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