Markets drifted lower last week as uninspired investors digested mixed news on the economic front.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.91% while the Standard & Poor’s 500 slid 1.48%. The Nasdaq Composite index stumbled 1.54% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slipped 0.26%.1,2,3
Stocks Drift Lower
Stocks traded without much conviction last week, pushed lower, in part, by a broad retreat in technology. Rising interest rates also dampened enthusiasm, feeding concerns over their effect on current stock valuations.
Markets seemed deaf to a stream of news, moving little on the House impeachment vote, encouraging news on the vaccine front, reassurances from Fed Chair Powell, or a jump in jobless claims. Energy and financials continued their recent advance, while smaller capitalization stocks rose on expectations of becoming beneficiaries of any stimulus bill.4,5
Stocks turned lower to close the week, following the unveiling of president-elect Biden’s stimulus plan and a weaker-than-expected retail sales number.6
New Stimulus Proposal
Biden revealed his long-anticipated stimulus proposal last week, announcing a $1.9 trillion spending plan to provide further help to an unsteady economy.
This Week: Key Economic Data
Thursday: Housing Starts. Jobless Claims.
This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings
Tuesday: Netflix (NFLX), Bank of America (BAC), Goldman Sachs (GS), J.B. Hunt Transportation (JBHT).
“Nature has undoubtedly mastered the art of winter gardening and even the most experienced gardener can learn from the unrestrained beauty around them.”
– Vincent A. Simeone
Need Last Year’s Tax Returns?
Help is available for taxpayers who need tax information for prior years, but who did not keep copies of their returns. There are ways to get the information you need.
Keep in mind the IRS recommends that taxpayers keep copies of their returns and any documentation for at least three years after they are filed:
* 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.
Tip adapted from IRS7
Being SMART About Fitness Goals
Putting exercise on the backburner? You might want to make it a priority. Here’s why. “For many of us, the struggle isn’t knowing what to do or not having options, it’s actually doing it,” says Olga Hays, an American Council on Exercise-certified wellness promotion specialist at Sharp HealthCare. “With so much disruption and uncertainty in our lives, it is simply too tempting to put exercising on the back burner.”
According to Hays, in order to stick with a workout regimen, you need to be intentional about making regular physical activity one of your priorities. Here’s where setting SMART goals can help.
Instead of simply saying you’re going to “exercise more,” state a SMART exercise goal. SMART stands for:
Tip adapted from Sharp.com8
Four cars approach an intersection with four-way stop signs simultaneously, each car coming from a different direction. After stopping, the drivers all accelerate at the same time. However, there is no accident. How is this possible?
Last week’s riddle: Yesterday was Wednesday’s tomorrow. Tomorrow is Sunday’s yesterday. Given those circumstances, what day would today be? Answer: Friday.
Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.
Footnotes and Sources
1. The Wall Street Journal, January 15, 2021
2. The Wall Street Journal, January 15, 2021
3. The Wall Street Journal, January 15, 2021
4. CNBC.com, January 14, 2021
5. Yahoo.Finance.com, January 14, 2021
6. The Wall Street Journal, January 15, 2021
7. IRS.gov, October 20, 2020
8. Sharp.com, September 9, 2020
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The market indexes discussed are unmanaged, and generally, considered representative of their respective markets. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Indexes do not incur management fees, costs, and expenses. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
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Weekly Market Insights: Mixed Reaction from Markets
January 20, 2021