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WEEKLY UPDATE - JANUARY 13, 2020
The Week on Wall Street
The market had a choppy five days, with traders reacting to geopolitical developments and weaker-than-expected jobs data. Even so, the three major U.S. equity indices posted weekly gains and continued their strong start to the new year. During Friday's trading session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average topped 29,000 for the first time.
Rising 1.75% for the week, the Nasdaq Composite outgained both the Dow (up 0.66%) and the S&P 500 (up 0.94%). The story for foreign stocks was different: the MSCI EAFE index declined 0.30%.
Holiday Hiring Numbers
Wall Street was unimpressed by the latest jobs report from the Department of Labor. Employers added 145,000 net new workers in December; economists surveyed by Dow Jones had forecast a gain of 160,000. Wages grew less than 3% year-over-year for the first time in 17 months.
Unemployment remained at a 50-year low of 3.5%, however. The broader U-6 jobless rate, which also includes the underemployed, declined to 6.7%, the lowest in 26 years of recordkeeping.
Oil Prices Decline
The rally in crude oil spurred by strained U.S.-Iran relations ebbed this past week. At Friday's closing bell, WTI crude was worth $59.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 6.36% for the week and 3.31% year-to-date.
A new earnings season starts Tuesday, with big banks leading off and reporting fourth-quarter results. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will be in Washington, D.C., through Wednesday, and during his visit, he and President Trump are expected to sign the phase-one trade deal between the U.S. and China.
THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
The December Consumer Price Index, providing a look at inflation last month and for all of 2019.
December retail sales figures from the Department of Commerce.
The University of Michigan's preliminary January Consumer Sentiment Index, assessing consumer confidence levels from multiple angles.
Source: MarketWatch, January 10, 2020
The MarketWatch economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. 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.
"Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement."
- One 15 oz. can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
- ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup of lime juice
- 2 Tbsp. tahini
- 1 (or more, to taste) peeled clove of garlic, or equivalent minced garlic¼ tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. paprika
- Combine all ingredients, apart from spices, into blender; blend until smooth.
- Add spices and blend until evenly distributed.
- Looking for smoother consistency? Add a tablespoon of water and blend, as desired.
- Spicier? Add more cayenne, or other spices, to taste.
Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com
Did you know that if you owe $52,000 or more to the Internal Revenue Service, the IRS can revoke your passport? That's right. Under the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, the IRS has the power to revoke the passport of any taxpayer owing $52,000 or more, including penalties and interest.
Notably, if you are currently paying off the debt or are contesting a tax bill in court, you should not be affected. However, anyone under an IRS tax lien could find their ability to travel hampered.
If you have any questions about tax debts or other complex tax issues, contact a qualified attorney or tax specialist.
* 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 professional.
Adapted from IRS.gov
Avoid Overthinking Greenside Bunker Shots
Getting out of a greenside bunker with a lip of 3' or less is really pretty simple. Some golfers try to micromanage or overthink the shot: they try to pick it off the sand, or they open their stance or their clubface to the point where they are altering their entire swing path.
Focus on basics rather than extremes. Open your stance a few degrees to the left (assuming you play right-handed), aim slightly left of your target, and work your feet into the sand and increase the flex in your knees. You want to come down about 2" behind the ball, accelerating through the impact area, so that you are essentially throwing the ball onto the green on a "carpet" or "spray" of sand. A sand wedge (54-60 degrees of loft) is the right tool for the job.
Tip adapted from Plum Creek Golf
Reduce Your Risk of Getting Sick With One Simple Trick!
During the 2018-2019 flu season, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that nearly 43 million people contracted the flu. The CDC says the best method of flu prevention is receiving the annual vaccine, but handwashing can also significantly reduce your risk of catching the flu as well as other contagious illnesses.
Just 20 seconds of briskly washing your hands with soap and rinsing under running water could lower your overall risk of respiratory illness by around 20%. Gastrointestinal ones, up to 30%. It's fast, easy, convenient, and very inexpensive, yet many of us take this healthy habit for granted. In fact, 81% of us don't regularly wash our hands after using the restroom. Yikes!
While this information should not substitute for medical advice from your health care provider, implementing better habits, like frequent handwashing, may be a good tool to help you and your loved ones stay healthier this flu season.
Tip adapted from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Clean Out Electronic Clutter
If you were lucky enough to get an upgraded phone or computer this holiday season, you might not know what to do with the old one. Fortunately, there are many green options to get rid of your old electronics that are also good for the environment.
Old electronics that are still in good working order can be cleared of personal information and either donated or passed on to someone else who can use them.
Electronics not working well enough to be donated? Check out your local area for scheduled electronic waste recycling days. Special recycling centers in your area might also specifically deal with recycling electronics too.
Tip adapted from
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