Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: June 1, 2021-Upbeat Feelings Boost Market, Plus SFG News and Events

June 1, 2021


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Upbeat Feelings Boost Market


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Upbeat Feelings Boost Market

Optimism over the economic reopening and renewed enthusiasm for technology and other high-growth companies powered the stock market higher last week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.94%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 climbed 1.16%. The Nasdaq Composite index led, picking up 2.06%. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, added 0.46%

Solid Gains
Stocks rallied on renewed confidence in the economic recovery, lower inflation worries, and rising comfort with Fed officials talking about the potential for easing of its monthly bond purchases. Technology, communication services, and reopening stocks were among the market leaders.
Investor sentiment was buoyed late in the week by an encouraging jobless claims number and the unveiling of a Republican infrastructure proposal. A somewhat hotter-than-expected inflation indicator on Friday did nothing to dampen optimism as stocks added to their gains ahead of the three-day Memorial Day weekend.
Jobless Claims Reach Pandemic Lows
In a sign of further recovery in the labor market, the number of initial jobless claims fell to a pandemic low, continuing the downward trend in worker layoffs. New jobless claims totaled 406,000 for the week, well below the pandemic high of nearly 1.5 million, though still above the …

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Weekly Update: May 25, 2021-Inflation Concerns Continue, Plus SFG News and Events

May 25, 2021


Table of Contents



Inflation Concerns Continue


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Inflation Concerns Continue

Stock prices fluctuated amid inflation concerns and bargain hunting, leaving stocks mixed for the week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.51%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 dropped 0.43%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index advanced 0.31%. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, gained 0.67%.

Lots of Motion, Little Movement

Stocks began last week extending their losses from the previous week, as the slide in technology and other high-growth stocks resumed. Inflation worries also weighed on the market.

After steep declines in early Wednesday trading, market sentiment took a more positive turn, allowing stocks to pare their losses as the session came to a close, despite news that the Fed could be contemplating tapering its monthly bond purchases.

This positive momentum continued into Thursday, aided by a declining initial jobless claims number and a strong rebound in technology. The rebound lost steam into Friday’s close, leaving stocks little changed for the week.

The Fed Hints at a Turn

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) on Wednesday released the minutes of its April meeting. The report suggested that a number of committee participants had raised the idea that—if the economy continues to make progress—it might be appropriate to…

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Weekly Update: May 18, 2021-Stocks React to Big CPI Shift, Plus SFG News and Events

May 18, 2021


Table of Contents



Stocks React to Big CPI Shift


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Stocks React to Big CPI Shift

A surge in consumer inflation unsettled investors, leading to a turbulent week of trading on Wall Street.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 1.14%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 1.39%. The Nasdaq Composite index dropped 2.34% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, lost 3.02%.

Inflation Concerns
The market has been troubled recently by building inflationary pressures. Investors are concerned that rising prices may hurt corporate profits and force the Fed to tighten its monetary policy sooner than anticipated. Worse, investors fear the Fed may have to react more aggressively if it waits too long to act.
After back-to-back losses, the retreat in stock prices culminated on Wednesday, following the release of the higher-than-anticipated Consumer Price Index (CPI) report.
Stocks managed to claw back some of the week’s losses with a Thursday-Friday rebound, sparked by investors doing some bargain hunting.
Consumer Prices Spike
Wednesday’s release of April’s CPI inflamed investors’ inflation fears, as consumer prices rose 0.8% in April and jumped by 4.2% year-over-year. These numbers were above expectations.
April price increases were led by a remarkable 10% increase in used cars, with additional pockets of sharp increases, notably in transportation services and commodities. Perhaps equally concerning is that energy costs showed a decline during April, a price weakness that may…

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Weekly Update: May 11, 2021-Labor Numbers Reflect Uncertainty, Plus SFG News and Events –

May 11, 2021


Table of Contents



Labor Numbers Reflect Uncertainty


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Labor Numbers Reflect Uncertainty

Stocks closed mixed last week as signs of continued economic recovery and upbeat earnings helped some sectors while the struggles persisted for high-growth companies.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 2.67%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 1.23%. But the Nasdaq Composite index, home for many high-growth companies, lost 1.51%. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, advanced 1.20%.

Mixed Market
Energy, financials, materials, and industrials led the market higher on more upbeat news regarding the economic recovery.
But technology and other high-valuation companies didn’t participate in the rally, weighed down by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s comments that interest rates may need to rise. Despite a decline in long bond yields, high growth stocks were under selling pressure for most of the week.
On Friday, a miss on April employment numbers seemed to dial back fears that the Fed might have to adjust interest rates. Stocks rallied on the news, especially some of the hard hit high-valuation companies.
Labor Market Puzzle
The labor market appears to be gaining momentum ahead of a fuller summer reopening. The Automated Data Processing National Employment Report showed that private payrolls rose by 742,000 jobs (the largest gain since September 2020), while new jobless claims …

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Weekly Update: May 4, 2021-Earnings Season Crests Some Expectations, Plus SFG News and Events –

May 4, 2021


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Earnings Season Crests Some Expectations


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Earnings Season Crests Some Expectations

Stocks meandered around a flatline in a busy week of corporate earnings, ending the trading week slightly lower.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.50%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 was flat (+0.02%). The Nasdaq Composite index surrendered 0.39%. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, rose 0.18%.

Seeking Direction
Though the S&P 500 and Nasdaq established new record highs at the start of the week, stocks struggled to find traction as the week wore on.
Investor sentiment was dampened by rising COVID-19 infections in India and Japan, along with mounting inflation worries. Stocks finally caught some lift from strong quarterly reports issued by two big technology companies and an upbeat first-quarter Gross Domestic Product growth number, sending the S&P 500 to a fresh record high.
Once again, though, stocks failed to follow through, as the market retreated in the final day of trading to …

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Weekly Update: April 26, 2021-Mixed Signals, Choppy Week, Plus SFG News and Events

April 27, 2021


Table of Contents



Mixed Signals, Choppy Week


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Mixed Signals, Choppy Week

The crosscurrents of strong corporate earnings, rising global cases of COVID-19, and the specter of higher capital gains taxes led to a choppy week of trading that left stock prices slightly lower for the week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.46%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 slipped 0.13%. The Nasdaq Composite index fell 0.25% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, dropped 0.47%.

A Directionless Week
Despite continued better-than-expected corporate earnings, stocks retreated as concerns over rising global COVID-19 infections weighed on investor sentiment. A mid-week rally erased much of these losses, with reopening stocks and small cap companies leading the market.
The stock market resumed its decline in reaction to reports that President Biden supported a capital gains tax increase on wealthy Americans. The Biden news prompted worries that stocks could come under pressure this year if such an increase were to go into effect next year.
Solid economic reports, along with a reassessment of the capital gains news, helped stocks to …

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Weekly Update: April 12, 2021-Tech Stocks On the Rise, Plus SFG News and Events

April 13, 2021


Table of Contents



Tech Stocks On the Rise


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Tech Stocks On the Rise

Strong economic data and a resurgent technology sector propelled stocks to solid gains last week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 1.95%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 picked up 2.71%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index gained 3.12%. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, gained 1.96%.

Technology Leads
A blow-out jobs report and an all-time high in the ISM-Services Index, coupled with the continued rebound in technology stocks, powered the Dow Industrials and S&P 500 to record highs to open a new week of trading.
After taking a breather mid-week, stocks resumed their climb amid lower bond yields, widening momentum in vaccination efforts, and falling concerns over corporate tax rate hikes. As bond yields settled lower, technology shares rallied, lifting the S&P 500 to another record high on Thursday, its 19th closing record high this year.
Despite a surge in March producer prices, stocks added to their gains to close out a…

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Weekly Update: April 5, 2021-S&P 500 Rises Above 4,000, Plus SFG News and Events

April 6, 2021


Table of Contents



S&P Rises above 4,000


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


S&P Rises Above 4,000

Overcoming a rocky start, stocks rallied into the close of a holiday-shortened week of trading as technology shares staged a powerful recovery and investors reacted positively to President Biden’s infrastructure spending proposal.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.24%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 picked up 1.14%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index rose 2.60%. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slipped 0.43%.

S&P 500 Hits 4,000
Monday opened with two banks reporting they face losses due to the default of a small U.S. hedge fund. That news, combined with rising yields, higher new cases of COVID-19, and a public warning of new virus variants, started the week off on an unsettled note.
Despite the shaky start, upbeat economic reports helped spark a rally that was paced by gains in the technology sector. The market also reacted positively on Wednesday to the introduction of…

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Weekly Update: March 29, 2021-Rocky Week Despite Upbeat Signals, Plus SFG News and Events

April 6, 2021


Table of Contents



Rocky Week Despite Upbeat Signals


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Rocky Week Despite Upbeat Signals

A rocky week with wide price swings led to mixed results for stocks last week, as investors grappled with anxieties over economic growth and weakness in technology and other high-growth stocks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.36%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 1.57%. The Nasdaq Composite index fell 0.58% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slipped 1.67%.

Stocks Churn
After a promising start to the week, stocks turned negative on mounting concerns about economic growth in Europe, with broad losses in energy, cyclicals, and technology.
Though bond yields backed off their highs and Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen and Fed Chair Jerome Powell both struck an optimistic tone on the economy, stocks posted back-to-back losses on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Thursday trading was emblematic of the week’s volatile action. The S&P 500 dropped nearly one percent earlier in the day following Powell’s comment about the Fed eventually rolling back its bond purchase program, then rallied to close with a…

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Weekly Update: March 22, 2021-Modest Losses After Choppy Week, Plus SFG News and Events

March 23, 2021


Table of Contents



Modest Losses After Choppy Week


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Modest Losses After Choppy Week

Rising bond yields and improving economic conditions led to a choppy week of trading that ended in modest losses for investors.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.46%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 declined 0.77%. The Nasdaq Composite index lost 0.79% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, gained 1.24%.

Rising Yields
The stock market began the week on a positive note, rising on optimism over the economic reopenings and a decline in bond yields. Technology shares staged a strong turnaround from the previous week.
Following the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting announcement reaffirming the Fed’s easy-money policies, the Dow Industrials and the S&P 500 recorded new record closing highs.
Markets reversed themselves on Thursday as a surge in yields sent technology …

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