Updates

The Fed is Not Ending the Expansion

Interest rates moved to new near-term highs last week. The yield on the 10-Year Treasury ended the week at 3.23%, a level not seen since 2011. The backdrop for this move was statements by Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Jerome Powell, which included, “The really extremely accommodative low interest rates that we needed when the economy […]

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What’s in a Sector?

The S&P 500 stocks may be divided into sectors, as follows: Energy Consumer Discretionary Consumer Staples Health Care Information Technology Financials Industrials Materials Communication Services Utilities Why is this important? Just as all stocks do not move in lockstep, each sector of the S&P 500 follows its own path. Some exhibit more growth characteristics; others […]

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Third Quarter Recap

Stocks were off a tad for the week, but finished the quarter with a gain of 7.7%, as measured by the S&P 500. This pretty much closed the window on the seasonal correction many expected over the summer. Anticipated double digit third quarter earnings growth along with movement toward resolution of trade disputes seemed to […]

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A Tax Break for the Elderly

Many states offer some tax relief for their elderly citizens.  There may be some generosity behind the offer, or it may be part of an attempt to compete with lower-tax states for retiree residents.  That competition may heat up now that the state and local tax deduction is limited to $10,000.  The tax relief takes […]

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Relative Value

Value stocks outpaced growth stocks last week. The S&P 500 moved to new all-time highs, finishing the week up 0.85%, while the NASDAQ Composite remained below its late August highs, closing at 0.28% for the week. Further evidence of the relative strength of value stocks was evident in the 1.51% gain in the S&P 500 […]

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Money and Satisfaction

Lotteries have become enormously popular in the United States.  There is a widespread perception that many lottery winners burn through their newfound wealth rather quickly, and don’t end up better off in the long run. Swedish researchers have examined this perception more rigorously, in a manner akin to a randomized test of a drug’s efficacy.  […]

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Rewards and the Risks Attached

Treasury prices declined modestly last week leaving the 10-Year Treasury yield just shy of 3.00%. Economic data announcements continued to support the Fed’s anticipated quarter percent increase in its fed funds rate next week. The 10-year yield is likely heading into a 3.00% to 3.10% range in coming weeks. Equities got their feet back under […]

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Aretha Franklin’s Estate Plan

Aretha Franklin, the “Queen of Soul,” passed away in August. Her life and musical legacy were remarkable. Her estate planning, not so much. Reportedly, Ms. Franklin died without ever executing a will. Her four sons filed notices with the probate court, before her funeral, that they were interested parties to her estate. One signed a […]

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Time in the Market

Stocks lost ground for the week, just the second week in the last ten to close lower. Declines in technology stocks and trade fears lead the indexes to lower. Fixed income yields rose on positive economic data. These mildly interesting facts should mean little to investors, who are intent on executing their plans for decades […]

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Ask a Trust Officer: Stock Markets

DEAR TRUST OFFICER: How about that stock market? Can it last? — HAPPY INVESTOR DEAR HAPPY INVESTOR: Higher stock prices are driven by two factors: increasing earnings and increasing investor speculation.  The good news for investors is that the stock market records set in August were grounded upon increased earnings and a strongly growing economy.  […]

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