Stocks Up as Data Comes In
In This Issue
Domestic markets ended last week in positive territory, as the S&P gained 0.76%, the Dow was up 0.05%, and the NASDAQ increased 0.96%. [1] This performance marked the 5 th week in a row that the S&P 500 and Dow posted gains. [2] Meanwhile, international stocks in the MSCI EAFE stumbled, losing 1.47% for the week. [3] 
Once again, trade and corporate earnings were in the news last week. We learned that the U.S. is considering increasing tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports. In response, China announced their own tariffs ranging from 5%-25% on $60 billion of U.S. products.[4]   

Corporate earnings season also continued, and so far, more than 78% of S&P 500 companies have beaten estimates. [5] If the trend holds, the 2 nd quarter will likely average more than 20% growth in earnings per share. Companies have also detailed positive perspectives for the rest of 2018, showing that this strong corporate performance should continue. [6]  

Of course, last week's trade and earnings weren't the only topics on investors' minds. We also received a number of data reports that shaped our understanding of the economy's health.  

Key Findings from Last Week
  • Consumers are earning and spending more. The latest data for personal consumption and personal income revealed both measures increased by 0.4% in June. In addition, the report included revised data from 2013-2017, which indicated that people earned $1.05 trillion more during that time period than initially thought.[7] 
  • Tariff concerns are affecting manufacturing. The manufacturing sector continues to expand at a faster rate than in 2017, but the pace of growth slowed more than anticipated in July. Respondents to the ISM Manufacturing Index survey shared concerns about tariffs, steel and aluminum disruptions, and transportation challenges.[8]  
  • The Federal Reserve is on track for a September rate hike. The Fed didn't raise rates this month, but projections show a 93.6% chance that it will do so in September.[9] The latest jobs report detailed steady wage increases, which helped ease Fed concerns about inflation.[10] 
This week is relatively light on economic data, but we will continue to analyze last week's reports and the remaining corporate earnings releases. If you have any questions about where the economy is today or what may lie ahead, we're here to talk.  

Tuesday: JOLTS
Thursday: Jobless Claims
Friday: Consumer Price Index  

Notes: All index returns (except S&P 500) exclude reinvested dividends, and the 5-year and 10-year returns are annualized. The total returns for the S&P 500 assume reinvestment of dividends on the last day of the month. This may account for differences between the index returns published on and the index returns published elsewhere. International performance is represented by the MSCI EAFE Index. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly .

"If plan A fails, remember there are 25 more letters."  

- Chris Guillebeau


Apple Ring and Peanut Butter Sandwiches
Serves 1

  • 1 apple
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • Cinnamon
  1. Cut one cored apple so it sits flat and slice into thick rounds.
  2. Spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter on half the slices.
  3. Make into sandwich with remaining slices.
  4. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Recipe adapted from Good Housekeeping [11]

The Long and Short of Improving Your Putts

To putt or not to putt? That's not even the question when your ball lands on the green. The question is: How do you adjust your technique to sink both the short ones (from the hole) and the long ones?

After all, short and long putts require two different styles. What makes for successful short shots usually doesn't work for the longer ones.

What's the most common mistake for putts within five feet? A careless routine, coaches say. Many players don't adequately prepare for the short putts by ensuring their feet are in the proper position to aim the putter. The best approach is to aim the putter face down the start line and then take a comfortable stance.

The big mistake for the long putts? Club grip pressure. Amateurs typically squeeze the putter too tightly, thinking the stronger grip will send the ball further. Tighter grips tend to reduce players' sensitivity for putting distances. Light grips allow golfers to gain a better feel for the swing throughout the stroke. Longer strokes - not impact speed - produce more distance.

So, think aim for the short putts and light grip for the long putts.

Tip adapted from GolfDigest[13]
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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.

Diversification does not guarantee profit nor is it guaranteed to protect assets.

International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors.

The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. The DJIA was invented by Charles Dow back in 1896.

The Nasdaq Composite is an index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market and is considered a broad indicator of the performance of stocks of technology companies and growth companies.  

The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) that serves as a benchmark of the performance in major international equity markets as represented by 21 major MSCI indices from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia.
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.

Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

You cannot invest directly in an index.

Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Fixed income investments are subject to various risks including changes in interest rates, credit quality, inflation risk, market valuations, prepayments, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.

These are the views of Platinum Advisor Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named representative,  
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