Domestic stock performance varied last week, with the S&P 500 and Dow losing ground for the 2nd straight week, while the NASDAQ posted gains. By Friday, the S&P 500 had dropped 0.13%, the Dow gave back 0.27%, and the NASDAQ gained 0.47%. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE stumbled, dropping 0.67%.
FACT OF THE WEEK
Historians say that no turkey was served at the first Thanksgiving! What was on the menu? Deer or venison, ducks, geese, oysters, lobster, eel and fish. They probably ate pumpkins, but no pumpkin pies. They also didn't eat mashed potatoes or cranberry relish, but they probably ate cranberries.
Tax reform remained a key focus in the markets, as investors questioned whether changes will happen by the end of 2017. The markets have largely priced in expectations that tax reform will move forward, a belief that has helped drive this year's record prices. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin expects the President to receive a bill by Christmas, but despite his update, concerns about meeting this deadline remain. This uncertainty - combined with questions about differences between the House and Senate plans - has contributed to the market volatility we've seen in recent weeks.
While tax reform may be impacting stocks right now, going beyond the geopolitical debate reveals various positive economic updates.
An Overview of Last Week's Economic Insight
From housing to industrial production, last week gave us a variety of economic updates for October. Overall, the data indicates that the economy is on solid ground.
- Retail sales grew
Hurricanes are still affecting retail sales, but October's reading shows decent performance - and analysts expect the holiday season to drive strong results through year's end.
- Consumer prices increased slightly
Inflation remains relatively low and slow, yet this month's report shows it moving in the right direction toward the Fed's goal of a 2% level.
- Industrial production surged
A large jump in manufacturing helped drive industrial growth and indicates a strengthening sector - good news for our economy.
- Housing starts beat expectations
The housing industry experienced strong growth in new permits, construction starts, and completed homes.
What Is Ahead
Tax reform will likely continue to be a hot topic in Washington and the markets. We will follow any changes or updates as they occur, and understanding the economy's underlying strength will remain our key focus.
As a reminder, with Thanksgiving on Thursday, the markets will only be open for 4 days this week. During this season of gratefulness, we want to thank you for your ongoing trust and reinforce that we are always here to support you on your financial journey.
5 THINGS RETIREES CAN BE THANKFUL FOR THIS THANKSGIVING
Everyone's holiday traditions are little different, and the same is true for everyone's retirement dreams. Regardless of your holiday traditions or retirement dreams, here are 5 things all retirees can be thankful for this Thanksgiving:
- Family and Friends
Throughout your life, friends and family have been there to support and motivate you along the way. Be thankful for the moments you have spent with them and for the opportunities to continue to deepen those relationships.
- Life Experiences
Each year of life represents another year of experiences. When you think about your life up to this point, the two things that probably matter the most are the experiences you've had and the people you shared them with. As you journey through your post-retirement years, continue to keep your life full of new experiences.
Along with life experiences comes wisdom. Be thankful for the times you failed that helped you grow. Be thankful for those mistakes that taught you important life lessons. These experiences have made you wise and now make it possible for you to give some of the best advice. Share you wisdom with loved ones this holiday season - these lessons will be engrained in minds for generations to come.
It may sound strange, but one thing all seniors can be thankful for is technology. Think of all the things that are now easier, faster or even possible because of technology. It may be hard to learn some of today's newest technologies, but luckily a lot of the technology we benefit from, we don't even have to know how it works - like medical advancements. Thanks to medical advancements people are living longer, healthier lives - and that's something we all can be thankful for!
During retirement you may have noticed just how thankful you are for hobbies - new and old. Hobbies are a way to relax while doing something you enjoy. They are a fantastic way to network, build lifelong friendships and bring joy to life. Be thankful for the hobbies that help clear your mind, provide a moment of mental relief and inspire you to achieve more.
What else are you thankful for? The list could go on and on. This holiday season don't forget to recognize these things and show gratitude. Studies have even shown that practicing gratitude can improve emotional and physical well-being.
FINANCIAL STRATEGY OF THE WEEK
USE COST-SEGREGATION STUDIES TO ACCELERATE DEPRECIATION
On the IRS website, depreciation is explained as following:
- Depreciation is an income tax deduction that allows a taxpayer to recover the cost or other basis of certain property. It is an annual allowance for the wear and tear, deterioration, or obsolescence of the property.
Most types of tangible property (except, land), such as buildings, machinery, vehicles, furniture, and equipment are depreciable. Likewise, certain intangible property, such as patents, copyrights, and computer software is depreciable.
To determine, and accelerate, depreciation so taxpayers can get the deductions today instead of 20 years down the road, taxpayers can undergo what's called a "cost-segregation study," which divides assets into their respective categories and assigns the appropriate deductions - many of which may be deducted at a faster rate, saving you more money in taxes today. Please contact our office if you are interested in learning more about how cost-segregation may benefit you.