Virus Anxieties Affect Stocks – February 24, 2020
The Week on Wall Street
Traders paid close attention to coronavirus developments and earnings last week, while wondering how the former might eventually impact the latter. Concern over updated infection numbers moderated risk appetite.
A pair of key stock benchmarks posted similar weekly losses. In New York, the S&P 500 declined 1.25%; the MSCI EAFE index (of developed stock markets away from North America) lost 1.24%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 1.38% for the four-day trading week; the Nasdaq Composite, 1.59%.1https://www.wsj.com/market-data,2https://quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/MSCI%20GLOBAL/990300/historical-prices
Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s January Meeting
Last month, members of the Federal Open Market Committee felt the near-term outlook for the economy had improved slightly since the last Fed meeting in December. The minutes did note that the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak “warranted close watching.”
Some analysts have wondered, if the coronavirus threat heightens whether the Fed might cut short-term interest rates this year. The FOMC voted 11-0 in January to leave rates alone.3https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fed-minutes/fed-policymakers-cautiously-optimistic-on-u-s-economy-despite-new-risks-minutes-show-idUSKBN20D2K3
Fewer Home Sales, But More Building Permits
Sales of existing homes weakened 1.3% in January, according to a new National Association of Realtors report. On the new home front, the Census Bureau said that the rate of permits for new residential construction neared a 13-year high last month.4https://finance.yahoo.com/news/stock-market-news-live-updates-february-21-2020-124037980.html,5https://www.marketwatch.com/story/housing-starts-dip-36-in-january-but-permits-hit-13-year-high-2020-02-19
At Friday’s closing bell, gold was worth $1,646.60 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold futures traded at a seven-year peak on Friday morning.6https://finance.yahoo.com/news/stock-market-news-live-updates-february-21-2020-124037980.html
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THE WEEK AHEAD:
KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Tuesday: The Conference Board’s monthly Consumer Confidence Index.
Wednesday: A January new home buying report from the Census Bureau.
Thursday: The second estimate of fourth-quarter economic growth from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Friday: January consumer spending numbers from the Department of Commerce, and the final February Consumer Sentiment Index from the University of Michigan (an assessment of consumer confidence levels).
Source: MarketWatch, February 21, 2020
The MarketWatch economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.
THE WEEK AHEAD:
COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Monday: HP (HPQ), Intuit (INTU), Palo Alto Networks (PANW)
Tuesday: Home Depot (HD), Public Storage (PSA), Salesforce (CRM)
Wednesday: Booking Holdings (BKNG), Lowe’s (LOW), TJX Companies (TJX)
Thursday: Anheuser-Busch Inbev (BUD), Baidu (BIDU), Best Buy (BBY), Dell Technologies (DELL)
Friday: Dollar Tree (DLTR)
Source: MarketWatch, Market Insider, February 21, 2020
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important
as what you become by achieving your goals.”
– Zig Ziglar
What You Should Know About Bartering and Taxes
Even if you don’t own a business, you may occasionally trade products or services with someone else instead of paying cash. If you barter, the value of the goods or services you trade is considered taxable income. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Both parties in a trade must report the fair market value of the products or services they receive as income on their tax returns.
- Barter exchanges, organized marketplaces where members trade goods or services, are required to issue Form 1099-B, “Proceeds from Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions.” You must include the amount earned on your tax return.
- Bartering is taxable in the year the trade occurs. Depending on your individual situation, you may owe income taxes, self-employment taxes, employment taxes, or excise taxes on your bartering income.
If you have questions about how to handle income from bartering or other sources, contact a tax professional.
* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.
Tip adapted from IRS.gov7https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-form-1099-b
Mixing Golf and Business
Business and golf can mix well – in fact, they often do. If you are inviting clients or customers over to a course for a round (or vice versa), remember that golf is not only a test of skill, but also a measure of character. Playing partners will want to see you at your best, and you should certainly fulfill their expectations.
Some golfers get very emotional, even angry, during a round. Your customers or clients may be, but you shouldn’t. Be affirmative, encouraging, pleasant; if the talk turns to business, it should turn to business naturally. Refrain from issuing swing tips or putting pointers. If you can dress in an understated and color-coordinated way, great. Keep the same pace as those golfing with you, and avoid slow play.
Tip adapted from CNBC.com8https://www.cnbc.com/2014/04/11/tips-for-playing-golf-with-your-clientswall-streetcommentary.html
Keeping Your Heart Rate Up
(When Temperatures Are Down)
Colder weather can steal our motivation to leave the warmth of our homes unless we have to. But your workouts don’t need to stop during the winter. Here are a few ways you can feel the burn indoors, while Mother Nature keeps it cool outside.
- Hop to it with a rebounder (a mini trampoline) or a jump rope. If you have neither, fake it by keeping your hands to your sides and rotate them to mimic the exercise sans equipment.
- Find a YouTube video or other streaming guided workout. Can’t squeeze in a full half hour at once? Pause it and return when you’re ready.
- If you can afford it, invest in a piece of workout equipment you know you’ll use. If you run or hike, consider a treadmill with an adjustable incline. Like to ride your bike? Think about getting a stationary one.
There are lots of ways to stay fit while winter rages on outside. But don’t forget to always make sure to discuss any medical concerns with your health care provider before beginning any fitness routine; the information provided is not a substitute for medical advice.
Tip adapted from RealSimple.com9https://www.realsimple.com/health/fitness-exercise/workouts/indoor-workout-alternatives
Green Up Your Business
Are you a business owner? There are quite a few things you can do to save money for your business while helping the environment.
The top thing that you can do to “green up” your business is to buy local. This trend isn’t just for the “farm to table” restaurants, either! Buying your supplies locally supports the businesses and people in your community, while reducing your supply chain’s carbon footprint.
Are you guilty of leaving your computer on when you leave the office? Shutting down your computer at the end of the day can save you an additional 50% in energy costs. Want to save another 25% on your energy bill? Turn off all equipment that’s not in use and watch your monthly bill drop.
Tip adapted from HuffPost.com10https://www.huffpost.com/entry/7-green-ways-to-increase-_b_13505386
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