“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
Flexible spending accounts (FSA)s let you use pre-tax dollars to pay for everything from dependent care to out-of-pocket medical costs, helping you to save some money.
Simply talk about it, and you will break it. What is it?
Last week’s riddle:
They are captured by mud and snow, left behind but never taken, and rarely seen in isolation. What are they?
Last week’s answer:
August 3, 2015
CONSUMER CONFIDENCE DIPS WITH STOCK DECLINES
July brought an 8.9-point drop for the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index; it fell to 90.9. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index held up better, losing 3.0 points in July to descend to a mark of 93.1.1,2
PENDING HOME SALES SLIP; PRICE INDEX TICKS UP
The National Association of Realtors announced a 1.8% fall for pending home sales in June; analysts polled by MarketWatch saw a 0.6% gain. May’s S&P/Case-Shiller home price index showed an overall 4.4% yearly rise, up from 4.3% in April.1
Q2 GDP ESTIMATED AT 2.3%
While the first Bureau of Economic Analysis estimate of Q2 growth fell 0.5% short of a MarketWatch consensus forecast, it bettered the 0.6% growth tallied in Q1. The Labor Department’s Employment Cost Index showed just 0.2% Q2 growth in wages and benefits, however. Headline hard goods orders rose 3.4% in June.1,2
STATUS QUO IS GOOD FOR WALL STREET
As expected, the Federal Reserve left interest rates alone last week. Could the tiny Q2 wage gain change the Fed’s mind about a September rate hike? The market took comfort in that thought even as earnings disappointed: on the week, the S&P 500 rose 1.16% to 2,103.84, the Nasdaq 0.78% to 5,128.28 and the Dow 0.69% to 17,689.86. NYMEX crude lost 2.9% Friday, settling at $47.12; it sank 21% in July.2,3
THIS WEEK: June consumer spending figures and ISM’s factory PMI arrive Monday, plus earnings from Allstate, AIG, Clorox, CNA, Tyson Foods, Noble Energy, Loews, and Omega Healthcare. Tuesday, the Street awaits a June factory orders report and earnings from Aetna, Archer Daniels Midland, Beazer Homes, Coach, Caesars Entertainment, CVS Health, Genworth Financial, HealthNet, Hyatt Hotels, KBR, Kellogg, Parker Hannifin, Red Lion Hotels, Sempra Energy, Sprint, USANA, and Walt Disney. Wednesday brings ISM’s services PMI, July’s ADP jobs report and earnings from Alamo Group, Herbalife, Chesapeake Energy, DISH Network, Dun & Bradstreet, Motorola Solutions, Progressive, Prudential Financial, Questar, Ralph Lauren, Rosetta Stone, SodaStream, Spectra Energy, Sunoco, Tesoro, Time Warner, Transocean, Valero Energy, Wendy’s, and GoDaddy. Thursday provides earnings from Allergan, Alliance HealthCare, Kemper, AMC Networks, Brinker International, ConEdison, Duke Energy, Jamba, Lions Gate, LoJack, Marathon Oil, Michael Kors, Molson Coors, Monster, Nvidia, Orbitz, Universal Corp., and Zynga plus new initial claims numbers and the July Challenger job cuts report. The Labor Department’s July jobs report arrives Friday plus results from Scripps Co., Hershey, and Sotheby’s.
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Sources: online.wsj.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov – 12/26/145,6,7,8
Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation.
This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. Market indices discussed are unmanaged. Investors cannot invest in unmanaged indices. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.
1 – marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic [7/31/15]
2 – thestreet.com/story/13240283/1/oil-skidded-21-during-july-and-was-a-big-drag-on-stocks.html [7/31/15]
3 – markets.on.nytimes.com/research/markets/usmarkets/usmarkets.asp [7/31/15]
4 – markets.wsj.com/us [7/31/15]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=7%2F31%2F14&x=0&y=0 [7/31/15]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=7%2F31%2F14&x=0&y=0 [7/31/15]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=7%2F31%2F14&x=0&y=0 [7/31/15]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=7%2F30%2F10&x=0&y=0 [7/31/15]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=7%2F30%2F10&x=0&y=0 [7/31/15]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=7%2F30%2F10&x=0&y=0 [7/31/15]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=8%2F1%2F05&x=0&y=0 [7/31/15]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=8%2F1%2F05&x=0&y=0 [7/31/15]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=8%2F1%2F05&x=0&y=0 [7/31/15]
6 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [7/31/15]
7 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [7/31/15]