Optimism Spurs a Broad Rally
In This Issue
The Week on Wall Street
Stocks rallied last week as optimism about a potential U.S.-China trade deal grew. The S&P 500 advanced 0.80% during the 4-day trading week to 2,792.67. The Nasdaq Composite improved 0.86% to 7,527.54, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.64% to 26,031.81.
The renewed prospects for a trade pact were not the only development investors found appealing last week. There were indications that the Federal Reserve might be a bit less committed to its plans to raise interest rates further this year. [1][2] 

A Look at the Fed Minutes
There were no surprises from the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors, who released the transcript from their January meeting on Tuesday. Investors pore over the meeting minutes looking for clues about the Fed's next move on short-term interest rates.

Fed policymakers appeared split on what's next. Some felt another rate hike was needed to help slow the strong economy, while others favored a "wait-and-see" approach. [3] 

Home Sales Slump
In January, existing home sales were at their slowest pace since November 2015, and down 8.5% year-over-year. One factor: rising home values. Last month, the median single-family home sale price was $247,500, almost $7,000 higher than a year ago.

Mortgage rates have now fallen for three consecutive weeks, a development that may influence home buying decisions in coming months. Thursday, a Freddie Mac survey found the average interest rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate loan at just 4.35%. [4][5] 

Final Thought
The Dow Jones and Nasdaq have posted gains for nine straight weeks and are now at levels unseen since early November. Concerns over volatility have decreased, but that does not mean it is off the table. Whatever the market does in the coming weeks and months, remember your investing strategy should be based on your goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon. [2]

Tuesday: Fed chair Jerome Powell begins two days of testimony on monetary policy in the Senate.
Wednesday: The National Association of Realtors releases its latest pending home sales index.
Thursday: The federal government provides its first estimate of fourth-quarter economic growth.

Source: Econoday / MarketWatch Calendar, February 22, 2019
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision. The release of data may be delayed without notice for a variety of reasons, including the shutdown of the government agency or change at the private institution that handles the material.

Tuesday: AutoZone (AZO), Home Depot (HD), Medpace (MEDP)
Wednesday: Apache (APA), Best Buy (BBY), Office Depot (ODP)
Thursday: Anheuser-Busch (BUD), Dell Technologies (DELL), Splunk (SPLK)

Source: Morningstar.com, February 22, 2019
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.

"It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation."
Herman Melville

Roasted Sunday Chicken
Serves 4

  • 2 bunches of fresh herbs, such as basil, flat-leaf parsley, marjoram
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 fresh bay leaves or 3 dried bay leaves
  • 1 2- to 4-lb. whole chicken (preferably, free range)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary 
  1. Place a roasting tray in the oven, then preheat the oven to 425°F.

  2. Chop the herbs, cut the lemon in half, and tear or crumble the bay leaves.
  3. Rub the cavity inside the chicken with sea salt.
  4. To season, carefully grab the skin at the top of the chicken breasts and gently pull away from the meat of the breast. Rub in salt, insert pieces of butter, and push in most of the chopped herbs.
  5. After putting the lemon halves, bay leaf and rosemary sprigs inside the chicken, return the skin of the chicken breast over the flesh.
  6. Tuck the wings under and firmly tie up the legs.
  7. Rub oil and butter over the chicken skin, sprinkle on the remaining herbs, and add salt and pepper, to taste.
  8. Put a few small slashes in each thigh to allow the heat to penetrate directly.
  9. Take the heated tray out of the oven and drizzle with enough oil to coat the pan. Put the chicken into the tray (breast-side down and leaning to one side), then place in the oven and brown skin. Roast for five minutes, then lean it to the other side. Cook for an additional five minutes, then place the chicken on its bottom and cook for approximately one more hour until skin is crispy and golden brown and juices run clear.
Recipe adapted from jamieoliver.com [6]

Emerge from the Sand

Everyone loves the beach... unless you're golfing. Getting stuck in the sand is the best way to torpedo your score. To get out of the bunker, most golfers try technical swings that involve their wrists.

Leave that stuff to the pros and go for something more predictable. Try lining up in the middle of the ball and put most of your weight on your forward leg. Keep your wrists straight, swing the club back to hip level, and then swing through the ball. You should try to end with the club head at hip level. With a little practice, this should get you out of the sand nearly every time.

Tip courtesy of Michael Easter | Men's Health[8]
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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.

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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.

A 30-year fixed rate mortgage is a conventional home loan meeting the lending requirements of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but it is not a mortgage guaranteed or insured by any government agency. Private mortgage insurance, or PMI, is required for any conventional loan with less than a 20% down payment.

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[1]  quotes.wsj.com/index/SPX



[2] www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-reclaims-26000-and-ends-at-3-12-month-peak-as-stock-market-levitates-on-tariff-hope-2019-02-22

[3] www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-20/fed-minutes-show-officials-unsure-on-need-for-rate-hikes-in-2019

[4]  tradingeconomics.com/united-states/existing-home-sales

[5] www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/02/21/mortgage-rates-fall-third-week-row

[6] www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/chicken-recipes/my-perfect-roast-chicken/

[8] www.menshealth.com/trending-news/a19531965/expert-approved-golf-tips/

[9] www.healthline.com/nutrition/gut-microbiome-and-health#section8
[10] www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning/tips/a24885/make-at-home-cleaners/

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