The Week on Wall Street
Stocks drifted lower last week as investors considered the possibility that the world’s two largest economies might take some time to resolve key trade issues.
The S&P 500 retreated 1.17%; the Nasdaq Composite, 2.29%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 0.69%. The concern over trade was felt elsewhere: the overseas developed markets benchmark, the MSCI EAFE, also lost 1.41% in five sessions.
FACT OF THE WEEK
Tomorrow, May 29, 2019 marks the "National 529 College Savings Plan Day". States will recognize the national holiday by looking to boost interest and participation in 529 savings programs with various sweepstakes, contests, and other incentives. Below are a few state incentives for 2019:
- California Scholarshare Get $50: Get $50 when you open a new Scholarshare 529 plan account.
- Delaware: Free admission to Delaware Children's Museum on 5/29
- Georgia Path2College 529 Plan Newborn Sweepstakes: Enter for a chance to win $1,529 towards a Path2College (Georgia) 529 Plan.
- Vermont $529 Drawing: Enter for a chance to win a $529 deposit into a new or existing VHEIP college savings account.
- Illinois: State tax deduction on contributions of up to $10,000 a year ($20,000 for married couples filing jointly) to Bright Start Direct-Sold College Savings Program.
Market Waits for Further Trade Talk Cues
A compromise on tariffs between the U.S. and China did not seem forthcoming last week. Negotiations appeared stalled. Regardless, President Trump and Chinese President Xi are slated to meet at June’s G20 summit in Japan.
The Department of Commerce has effectively banned U.S. companies from doing business with Chinese tech giant Huawei, a major global player in 5G technology. Some analysts think China may respond with retaliatory measures.
Leading Retailers Report Earnings
Big-box stores and other major retail chains announced first-quarter results last week. While some traditional department store chains disappointed (Kohl’s, JC Penney, Nordstrom), Macy’s recorded its sixth straight quarter of comparable sales growth. Target reported a 10.8% jump in earnings in the first quarter, Walmart announced Q1 gains in earnings and revenue, and Urban Outfitters saw record sales in Q1.
Any companies mentioned are for informational purposes only, and this should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of their securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame, and risk tolerance.
As new chapters in the U.S.-China trade drama continue to unfold, remember that your investment approach is built around your long-term objectives and risk tolerance. There will always be day-to-day price changes; there will always be breaking news alerts. The disciplined, long-term investor stays the course through the ups and downs.
FINANCIAL STRATEGY OF THE WEEK
Using Password Safeguards For Financial Data
As we do more of our daily activities online, we become more vulnerable to security compromises, such as breached data and identify theft. A key item that can put you at risk is the vulnerability of your passwords. Here are tips for taking better steps to safeguard your passwords to protect your important financial data.
1. Create long passwords
Breaking into a long password is more difficult than a password with just a few characters and numbers. As such, you should create passwords that have a minimum of 8 characters.
2. Use combinations of characters and capitalization
Sometimes companies will control what types of characters you can use. When you have the freedom to choose a variety of characters, you can create a secure password using a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
You also should vary using capitalized and lowercase letters. Be sure to include at minimum one uppercase and one lowercase letter.
3. Avoid personal information
While details such as your children's or pets' names can be memorable, they make guessing your password easy for criminals. Avoid using any personally identifying information in your chosen password.
As always, please contact my office with any questions or financial concerns you may have.
Have a great week!