Jobs Report Leaves Markets Flat Last Week & December 15 Tariffs?

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!

Last Friday’s job report showed the US adding 266,000 jobs in November, bolstered by the return of formerly striking GM employees.  The prior 2 months were revised adding an additional 41,000 jobs.  The unemployment rate came in at 3.5%, which is an absolute WOW!!!!!!

No wonder why restaurants, stores and the roads are so crowded!

For the week the Dow was down a slight (.06%).  The S&P 500 rose .21%; the Russell 2000 led the way domestically moving up .59%.

Over the pond, the MSCI EAFE developed market stock index rose .38% and the Emerging Market Stock Index moved higher by .88%.

Bonds fell a slight (.22%) as indicated by the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index.  The 10 Year US Treasury Yield finished the week at 1.84%.

Are there any predictions about jobs, the stock and bond markets for 2020?  Not an easy prediction!!

Will Tariffs Increase on December 15?

On Sunday, December 15th, an additional tax or tariff is scheduled on Chinese imports.  $156 billion in Chinese goods, including cell phones, laptops and toys are set to increase in price.  This is really the first set of tariffs the will directly impact US consumers.

Most strategists are suggesting it will be a surprise if this happens and are banking on the December 15th date being pushed back.   Is President Trump going to let these tariffs possibly hurt US holiday shopping and the stock market?  As Trump is hard to predict, I’m thinking he does want to markets to finish on a high note for 2019, however I would not bet the house as the New Year is right around the corner and anything can happen!!!

Medicare Open Enrollment Ending

A quick reminder that the annual Medicare Open Enrollment period ends in a week.  If you have not shopped your Part D prescription drug program, you still have a short window to do so.   Keep in mind, companies do make changes to the formulary.  If you don’t shop and you find that your out of pocket costs are higher in 2020, you will be stuck until 2021. As always, please feel free to reach out to our office with any Medicare enrollment questions you may have. Also, the Medicare page on our website is a great resource to reference!

2020 Key Financial Data is out NOW! 

To help you get a jump-start on your 2020 tax planning, our 2020 Key Financial Data is out now! Use this handy reference for the 2020 tax rate schedule, tax deadlines, retirement plan contribution limits, and much more! If you have any questions, please contact our office for more information – 856-354-3200, or email Ellen:

Question of the Week…

How much did the average parent spend on Holiday shopping in 2018?

  1. $1498
  2. $968
  3. $525
  4. $1950

Answer to last week’s question…!

Following are a list of potential advantages of doing Roth IRA Conversions.  Which is NOT an advantage?

  1. Future Tax-Free Income
  2. Income Tax Savings when you do the conversion
  3. Roth IRA distributions will not impact your Medicare Premiums
  4. Roth IRA distributions will not be included into the Provisional Income Calculation for taxing your Social Security Retirement Check

The correct answer is # 2 — Income tax savings when you do the conversion. When you do a Roth IRA conversion, you must recognize the amount of the conversion as ordinary income.  You also must be careful because if your income exceeds certain limits, you may pay higher current taxes on your Social Security Retirement Benefits and in 2 years, you can see your Medicare Parts B & D premiums going higher as you could be subject to the Income Related Monthly Adjustment.








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