LOTS GOING ON! Earnings/The Fed/Jobs/China/Brexit

A lot of STUFF this week!  Over 150 S&P 500 companies report earnings this week, including Apple.  The Federal Reserve is widely expected to cut rates for the third time this year.  The China trade negotiations are being perceived positive by the markets and the Friday Jobs report will be forgiven no matter what the number without any significant surprises.  Oh, I forgot Brexit!  As of this morning, the UK was given 3 additional months to leave?  What will really happen?  I don’t even know if time will tell on this one!

Earnings

So far, almost 200 S&P 500 companies have reported 3rd quarter corporate earnings, of which 78% beat consensus.  The overall forecast for the quarter has been revised from a negative 3.2% to a negative 2% rise in corporate earnings.  I view this as positive so far, as the consumer continues to spend and business are in a “wait and see” mode.

The Fed

Jerome Powell and Company is widely expected to lower rates for the third time.  When you take a step back and realize the US Stock Markets are again touching all-time highs and unemployment is so low, I cannot wonder what these rate decreases will mean if Global economic growth re-accelerates…..  Keep in mind, central banks around the world are continuing to stimulate their economies, and appear willing to do whatever is necessary.  At least until they can’t!

Jobs on Friday

The first Friday of each month typically brings the all-important US Jobs Report.  As long as we can create around 150,000 jobs per month, that will be viewed positive.  Economists suggest it takes approximately 150,000 new jobs per month to replace workers who have exited the workforce either because of retirement, death, or disability.  So 150K is not great, however it should keep things status quo for a while.

Markets Last Week

US Markets are again approaching all-time highs.  Will the Fed, Apple, Trade, Jobs finally push us over the top?

All equity boats rose as the Dow Jones rose .7%, the S&P 500 1.23%, the Nasdaq Composite 1.90% and the Russell 2000 1.53%.

Over the pond, the developed markets MSCI EAFE International Index rose 1.27% and the Emerging Market Stock Index 1.17%.

Bonds remained fairly resilient and the Barclay’s Bond Index slipped a mere .15%.  The 10 Year US Treasury closed last week @ 1.80% up from the 1.75% the prior week.

 

Question of the Week…

Which parts of Medicare enable a Medicare Beneficiary to visit with any Doctor in the United States that accepts Medicare?

      (It’s possible that more than 1 answer is correct!)

  1. Medicare Advantage Plans
  2. Medigap (Supplement) Plans
  3. Parts A & B
  4. Part D
  5. Medicare Vision and Dental Plans

Answer to last week’s question…!

Nursing Home Costs are something that all of us want to avoid.  Based on the most recent data what is the average annual cost of a Nursing Home stay in New Jersey?

  1. $200,000
  2. $58,000
  3. $110,000
  4. No Cost to Stay

The correct answer is #3: $110,000/year is the average cost of a semi-private room in a Nursing Home!

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