Markets have been attempting to rally…. Last week, the Producer Price Index “Inflation” number was released that pointed lower, as did the Consumer Price Index, the week prior. Markets attempted to rally, then 3 Federal Reserve officials spoke, suggesting that rate hikes are not having the desired impact, saying rates may need to go higher than previously thought. There went the rally!!!
For the week, the markets were flat to slightly down for both stocks and bonds.
With only 25 companies in the S&P 500 left to report 3rd quarter earnings, it’s obvious the Fed rate hikes are having an impact. Minus energy stocks, corporate profits did in fact drop for the 3rd quarter by just under 4%. I expect more of the same for the next couple of quarters, as consumers and companies grapple with higher costs of borrowing and the prices of goods/services.
It will be interesting to see how consumers spend during this holiday season. Going into next year, I expect consumer spending will slow. How much and for how long? Ask the Fed!
Major data reports that will matter for the remainder of the year begin on December 2nd, with the November employment report. On December 13th, we ‘ll hear the all-important Consumer Price Index numbers for November, which is also a day prior to the Fed’s last interest rate announcement for 2022.
Many people, including myself, are expecting the rapid decline in new and existing home sales to filter into inflation data over the next few months. Let’s hope it happens sooner than later, so the Fed can think about giving the economy time to absorb the previous rate hikes, before adding more uncertainty.
Medicare – Last Chance
The open enrollment period comes to an end on December 7th. I’ll be so very happy to not watch any more of those insulting Medicare Advantage commercials, suggesting so much of your healthcare is for free.
If you are a client age 65 or older, you certainly know that I am in favor of Original Medicare plus a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) & the Part D Prescription Drug program. The advantage is a broad choice of physicians and hospitals. This is typically not a concern… until something happens. At that time, we all want the best selection of experienced physicians and facilities.
If you are enrolled under Original Medicare with the supplement and drug program, it is wise to examine your current drug program to make certain you have the most cost-effective plan based on your medications.
If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, I suggest checking on the following:
- Provider Network: Are your doctors still in the network? Can you see the specialists you desire?
- The drug formulary: Are your drugs still being covered? What are the out-of-pocket costs for your drugs?
- Copayments: How much will it cost to see the doctor and of course, specialists?
- Monthly premium: Is it going up?
- Out-of-pocket maximum: Is it changing?
If you would like to discuss the differences between Medicare Advantage and Original Medicare, please reach out.
I would like to wish everyone a very enjoyable and safe Thanksgiving. I hope everyone can take a moment to really reflect on the good in their lives and tell the people you love, you love them!!