Hurricane Florence and Tariffs, Do They Matter?

Hurricane Florence and Tariffs, Do they Matter?

 

We wish all those affected by Hurricane Florence a safe, organized and expeditious return to their normal lives. Watching the news over the weekend certainly made me feel very deeply for all those impacted.   The threat of the damage of the Hurricane along with the threat of imposing $200 Billion additional tariffs on Chinese goods coming into the US has the market saying, “I don’t think it really matters”.

 

Last week the market averages all finished higher with the Dow up .93%, the S&P 500 climbing 1.19%, the Russell 2000 up .54% and the Nasdaq Composite up 1.36%. Over the pond, the MSCI EAFE International Index also finished north, up 1.78% and the MSCI Emerging Market Index breaking its negative trend, finishing up .59%.

 

Bonds, as measured by the Barclays Aggregate Index were down .11% for the week. The closely watched US Treasury 2-10 Slope now stands at .21%.

 

Economic Data

 

Last week, retail sales rose below expectations at .01%. Weaker Automobile sales were sighted as the reason for the weakness; however gas station and restaurant sales were a positive. Certainly not surprised by restaurant sales being positive, as restaurants are packed. The August Consumer Price Index came in below expectations at .2% with a drop in costs for medical care and apparel.

 

This week’s data features the Manufacturing Survey on Tuesday, followed by US Housing Starts on Wednesday and Existing US Homes Sales on Thursday.

 

 

TIDBITS

 

  • Income Taxes: Approximately 44.4% of all US Individual Taxpayers will pay ZERO Federal Income Tax for tax year 2018. (source: Tax Policy Center)

  • America’s 5 largest banks control 47% of all banking assets, up from 29% in 1998. (source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)

  • The total cost of the Social Security program in 2018 (1.003 trillion) is projected to exceed its total income (1.001 trillion) resulting in the 1st deficit since 1982. Remember Social Security was reformed shortly thereafter in 1985.

  • The state of New Jersey is projected to invest $3.2 billion during the current 2019 fiscal year, which ends 6/30/2019 to fund the state employees defined benefit pension plan. In year 2023, the projected contribution is $6.6 billion. Question, where are the additional funds going to come from? Increase Taxes or additional debt?

 

 

 

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

 

Answer to Last’s Week Question of the Week

 

How much did the original Apple I computer retail for?

a) $24.99

b) $99.99

c) $999.99

d) $666.66

 

The correct answer is –

d) $666.66 – In July 1976, Wozniak “liked repeating digits” and because of a 1/3 markup on the $500 wholesale price. One of the 200 sold was auctioned in 2015 for $200,000.

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