Your Weekly Summary – August 6, 2018

US Stock Market Indexes Higher

 

The threat of higher tariffs did nothing to hold back the US Stock Market last week, as the S&P 500 rose .79%, the Nasdaq Composite .96%, the Russell 2000 .63% and the Dow .05%. Over the pond, the International MSCI EAFE Index was down 1.45%. 

 

The Barclay’s Aggregate Bond Index rose .14%, currently down 1.5%, year-to-date.

 

At the FOMC meeting last Wednesday, the Fed upgraded its view of the US economy, acknowledging strong growth. However as widely expected, held short-term rates steady. Most views are that the Fed will hike rates 2 or possible 3 more times in 2018. In the UK, the Bank of England raised rates to .75%, the highest since 2009.

 

The jobs report last Friday suggested the US added 157,000 jobs in July, fewer than expected. The US unemployment rate stands @ 3.9%, however pessimists are concerned that wage growth is sluggish.

 

Interest Rates

 

The 10 year US Treasury yield dipped slightly to 2.95% from 2.96% the week prior, however the 2 to 10 year slope widened slightly to .31% from .29%. Interestingly, the longer end of the bond market continues not to believe the economic recovery will continue gaining strength. If this belief changes, the longer end of the curve could be challenging for a while.

 

Tidbits

 

  • 19% of the US population is currently receiving a monthly benefit payment from Social Security. Approximately 62 million beneficiaries out of 328 million Americans. (Source: Social Security) 
  • 6.28 million Americans were out of work as of 7/31/2018. Nine years prior on 7/31/2009 there were 14.60 million out of work.
  • During the first 7 months of this year, the total debt outstanding of the US government increased by $820 billion to $21.313 trillion (Source: Treasury Department)

 

Question of the Week?

 

From 1928 through 2017, which calendar year did the S&P 500 have the greatest percentage gain.

a) 2009

b) 2003

c) 1954

d) 1933

 

Answer to Last Week’s Question of the Week!

 

The question was: “Which Medical Profession has the highest current paying job?”

 

a) Plastic Surgeon

b) Cardiologist

c) Medical Director

d) Orthopedic Surgeon

e) Anesthesiologist

 

The answer is: d) Orthopedic Surgeon: averaging $450,000.

 

 

On a personal note, we had to put our beloved four legged family member, “Jeter” to sleep last Friday.  

“Jeter, you lived a great life. Thank you for being our best friend and for a wonderful 14 years!!”

 

 

 

 

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Paul Levin CFP®, ChFC®, RICP®

Retirement Income Certified Professional®