4th Quarter Begins! NAFTA, Musk, Earnings, GDP and More! *REVISED*

4th Quarter Begins!

NAFTA, Musk, Earnings, GDP and More!



Today we kick off the 4th quarter of 2018. The 4th quarter has typically been the strongest season for stock market returns. If what’s happening this morning is an indication, we’ll be off to a good start.

Interestingly last evening, I saw the futures market up around 100 points on the Dow and then an hour later I saw the announcement that the US, Canada and Mexico have agreed to replace NAFTA. The specifics of the agreement will be learned as the day and week progress. Certainly appears to be a positive step. Can we now successfully negotiate with China?


Elon Musk



Elon Musk was slapped with a $20 million fine for his tweet suggesting Tesla would become a public company at the “high” price of $420/share. Tesla does make a beautiful automobile and I salute their innovation and success, but what was he doing when he made that tweet? Some people just don’t know when to …………….



GDP and Earnings Season



During the 4th quarter, we can look forward to Corporate Earnings reports, 3rd Quarter GDP announcements, Fed Reserve decision on rates, again, as well as much known and of course, much unknown information that we’ll sure hear about.

So far this year, GDP has been reported up 2.2% in the 1st quarter and 4.2% in the 2nd quarter leaving us up 3.2% for 2018. The tax cut added to the 2nd quarter as consumers started to realize they have additional cash flow. In addition, exports were heavy in front of the Tariff implementation. Economists are suggesting that in the 4th quarter, growth will begin to see the impact of the Tariff battle between the US and China and that may subtract around 1%. We’ll see!

In a few weeks, we’ll begin to hear from Corporate America with their 3rd quarter results and guidance about their future. I’ve read reports that some of the estimates are being guided downward as some industries and business have already started to feel the Tariff impact. All in all, I expect the earning season to be very good, as the consumer is alive and spending freely!



Economic Data for the Week



This week features reports on US Manufacturing, as well as the US Service Sector. On Friday we’ll see employment report for September. I believe other issues in the news will impact markets more than these reports.






Open enrollment period begins October 15th and runs through December 7th. This is the time you can shop and change your Part D, Prescription Drug Plan for 2019. Most companies who offer the Part D Plan change their formulary each year. If you don’t shop your plan, you may be surprised when you renew your prescriptions in 2019 and you have a higher co-payment than 2018. In addition, this is the time you can change from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another which becomes effective January 1, 2019.


Please look for an upcoming Blog reviewing this Open Enrollment Period.


If you are approaching age 65 and/or have not yet signed up for Medicare, our Medicare Workshop covers all aspects of Enrollment Periods, the differences between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans. In addition, we cover Medicare Supplement (Gap), the Part D Prescription Drug Program and more.


Our next Medicare Workshop will be held on Wednesday, October 10th; to sign up, please click Medicare Workshop Registration.



Question of the Week?



It’s Major League Baseball Playoff Time!


During the 1997 World Series between the New York Yankees and the LA Dodgers, Reggie Jackson hit a record of 5 home runs in the series. In the 2009 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies, which Philly also hit 5 home runs, tying the record?


a) Ryan Howard

b) Carlos Ruiz

c) Jason Werth

d) Chase Utley

e) Shane Victorino


Answer to Last Week’s Question of the Week



How much income can a single person and a married couple make, in order to NOT pay a surcharge (Income Related Monthly Adjustment) for Medicare premiums, Part B and D?


a) Single $100,000   –   Married Couple $200,000

b) Single $85,000     –   Married Couple $170,000

c) Single $200,000   –   Married Couple $400,000

d) There are no surcharges for Medicare


The correct answer is –

 b) Single $85,000 – Married Couple $170,000


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