Updates

FAFSA Glitches Delay College Financial Aid Awards for 2024-25

It’s been a tough financial aid season for college students and their families. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) was redesigned and simplified for the 2024-25 school year, in what was supposed to benefit families completing the application. But a late rollout and the subsequent discovery of form calculation errors have led to […]

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The Markets (as of market close April 5, 2024)

Despite a late-week surge, stocks closed lower last week. Investors saw the continued strength of the labor market (see below) as increasing the chances of a soft landing for the economy, while potentially delaying the Federal Reserve from cutting interest rates. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here lost value, with the Russell 2000 and […]

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International Investing: The Diverging Fortunes of China and Japan

The MSCI EAFE Index, which tracks developed markets outside of the United States, advanced 15% in 2023, while U.S. stocks in the S&P 500 Index returned 24%.1 One of the world’s hottest developed stock markets was in Japan, where the Nikkei 225 rose 28% in 2023, delivering the best performance in Asia.2 On the other hand, in […]

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The Markets (as of market close March 29, 2024)

Stocks finished the month of March in solid fashion. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here posted gains, with the exception of the Nasdaq. Bond yields dipped lower. Crude oil prices advanced, while energy shares ended up being a top performer. The dollar inched higher, while gold prices continued to climb. Investors seemed to take […]

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The Markets (as of market close March 22, 2024)

Despite a dip last Friday, stocks closed out last week higher. The S&P 500 recorded its biggest weekly percentage gain of the year, while the Dow and the Nasdaq hit record highs. Investors gained a bit of encouragement after the Federal Reserve maintained projections for three interest rate cuts by year’s end. Each of the […]

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The Markets (as of market close March 15, 2024)

Equities closed lower for the second straight week, with the Russell 2000 losing nearly 2.0%. A sell-off in tech shares pulled the Nasdaq down 0.7%, marking the first back-to-back weekly losses since last October. Higher-than-expected inflation data may have raised investor concerns that the Federal Reserve may keep interest rates elevated for longer than hoped […]

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Federal Income Tax Returns Due for Most Individuals

The federal income tax filing deadline for individuals is generally Monday, April 15, 2024. The deadline is April 17, 2024, for taxpayers living in Maine or Massachusetts. The IRS has postponed the deadline to file federal income tax returns and make tax payments for certain disaster-area taxpayers. The current list of eligible localities and other […]

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The Markets (as of market close March 8, 2024)

Wall Street fell from record highs to close generally lower last week. A better-than-expected jobs report (see below) helped support the notion that the economy remains strong and that the Federal Reserve will likely cut interest rates, possibly after their June meeting. However, the unemployment rate ticked up for the first time in four months. […]

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Can Productivity Keep Driving the U.S. Economy?

Productivity of U.S. workers increased by 2.7% in 2023 — well above the average annual rate of 2.1% since the end of World War II, and a dramatic change from 2022, when productivity dropped by 2.0%. It’s also a big improvement over the 0.9% growth rate in 2021.1 According to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, […]

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The Markets (as of market close March 1, 2024)

Wall Street continued its February rally into March as stocks closed last week notably higher with the exception of the Dow, which ticked lower. Investor enthusiasm about tech shares, particularly AI stocks, helped drive the upturn. Inflation data also was positive. While consumer prices ticked up in January, the 12-month rate actually declined, lessening concerns […]

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