STOCK MARKETS – Bad News…SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE – Good News


 STOCK MARKETS – Bad News

 SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE – Good News

 

Rising Interest rates along with trade tensions pushed the markets lower for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down (4.08%), the S&P500 down (4.18%), the Russell Small Cap Index off (5.22%) and the Nasdaq Composite losing the least, down (3.74%).

 

The Barclays Aggregate Bond Index finish up .44% for the week as some investors embraced the “safety” of bonds. The bond purchasing during the week, pushed the yield down from 3.23% to end the week @ 3.14%.

 

Over the pond, the MSCI EAFE International Index lost (3.91%) and the MSCI Emerging Market Stock Index was down (4.58%).

Is this the beginning of a correction? If so, will 3rd Quarter Corporate Earnings Reports and Guidance move the markets higher? This week starts the avalanche of earnings, so we’ll see very soon!

 

 

Social Security and Medicare Announcements

 

 

The Social Security Administration announced that monthly benefits will increase by 2.8% in 2019. This is very good news as the increases have been benign since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008. This increase will certainly more than offset the small increase in Medicare premiums.

 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid announced early, that the Medicare Part B premium will increase from $134 to $135.50 in 2019. This is a small 1.1% increase. The Part B deductible will increase from $183 to $185/year in 2019. The Part A Hospitalization deductible increases from $1340 to $1364.

 

For a listing of changes to the very important Part D Prescription Drug program, please click here for our previous Blog Medicare Open Enrollment – Part D Drug Program Changes for 2019.

 

TIDBITS

 

 

US Debt: In January 2008, the Congressional Budget Office released a 10-year forecast that our debt would total $12.704 trillion by the end of fiscal year 2018. The actual number came in at $21.516 trillion (source: The Budget and Economic Outlook).

 

Is Average Good: The major league batting average during the 2018 regular season was .248, based on 165,432 at bats across 30 teams. Imagine, failing 75.2% of the time and making millions!!

 

Politics: One political party has controlled the White House, the House of Representatives and the Senate in 22 of the last 60 years through 2018. Republicans control all 3 this year. Democrats last controlled all 3 in 2010.

 

 

Question of the Week

 

 

Who is the highest paid athlete over the last 12 months ending June 1, 2018?

a) LeBron James (Basketball, U.S.)

b) Floyd Mayweather (Boxing, U.S.)

c) Cristiano Ronaldo (Soccer, Portugal)

d) Roger Federer (Tennis, Switzerland)

 

Answer to Last Week’s Question of the Week

 

 

Medicare Part B covers Medical services, such as Doctor Visits, Diagnostic Tests and Procedures.

 

What percentage of the cost of Part B services does Original Medicare Pay? (Assumes no Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage Plan)

a) 100%

b) 70%

c) 50%

d) 80%

 

 

The correct answer is d) 80%