Tariffs, Mid-Term Elections, Judge Kavanaugh, Oil…All in the News!!
We certainly have our selection of reading material these days! This week we are placing 10% tariffs on $200 billion of imported Chinese Goods. China, in response is slapping tariffs on $60 billion of imported US Goods. In addition, the negotiations that were scheduled have been cancelled. My question still is, how is the Tariff situation going to look when Thanksgiving arrives, how about New Year’s Day! Will there be actual progress leveling the playing field or will imports and exports simply get more expensive possibly negating the impact of the Tax cut. I read an article this weekend that suggests we may end up placing a tariff on all Chinese goods imported into the US!
The press is starting to have fun with Mid-Term Elections with the polls now suggesting a change of power in the House and possibly the Senate. Polls, as we know can be misleading. What happens if we have a division of power, meaning the Republicans control the Senate and the Democrats the House or if the Democrats control both the House & Senate? What will change? As always, time will tell.
This week has Supreme Court Nominee Judge Kavanaugh on the hot seat as Christine Blasey Ford is set to testify on Thursday about her being sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh. In addition, another woman is accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct several years ago. I wonder how much money both parties are using to attempt to influence the outcome?
Price of Oil
If you have not been paying attention, the price of Oil is up to $71.81 per barrel this morning which points to higher gasoline prices if the per barrel price does not come down. For the record, on 12/31/2017, the price of oil was $60.42 per barrel. Over the pond, the cost of Brent Crude is up to $80.42 per barrel.
Market Indexes for the Week
The market changed leadership, for at least a week with the Small Cap Russell 2000 down .53%, the Nasdaq Composite also down .29%. The Dow and the S&P 500 were in the black, up 2.25% and .89% respectively.
The large move of the week was definitely over the pond, with the MSCI EAFE Index up 2.90% and the MSCI Emerging Market Index up 2.27%.
Bonds for the week, as evidenced by Barclays Aggregate, lost .34%.
Our Federal Reserve on Wednesday, is widely expected to increase rates a ¼ of a point this week. There will be much speculation about how many more hikes in 2018 and how many in 2019.
- National Debt: On September 19, 2018, our National Debt reached $21.494 TRILLION, an increase of $1 Trillion from our outstanding debt of $20.493 Trillion on December 31, 2017. WOW!! (source: Treasury Department)
- Wages: For each $ spent for wages and salaries in the private sector, employers spend 44 cents on benefits. Average compensation is $23.78 per house while the cost of benefits averages an additional $10.41 per hour (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- Economic Expansion: If the current US business expansion lasts through July 2019, it will be the longest in history of the US at 121 months in length. (source: Bureau of Economic Research)
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
For a listing of our upcoming Medicare Workshops,
please click Medicare Workshops.
Answer to Last Week’s Question of the Week
Which National Football League (NFL) team brought in the most revenue in 2017?
a) Philadelphia Eagles
b) New England Patriots
c) Dallas Cowboys
d) Green Bay Packers
The correct answer is –
c) Dallas Cowboys with $4.8 billion in revenue in 2017.
Hey, I’d rather win the Super Bowl. The Eagles gross in 2017 was $2.65 billion in revenue. After attending yesterday’s game, seeing all the money spent on tickets, parking, tail-gating, food, beer, I’m a bit surprised we can’t close the gap!!!