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The RFG Weekly Wealth Report

November 04, 2019

The Week on Wall Street

A better-than-forecast jobs report prompted a stock market rally Friday, two days after traders witnessed another interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.


In an effort to address the growing concerns of voter fraud, Congress passed legislation requiring uniform election in each state to occur on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November. On November 4, 1985, the United States observed the first Election Day.


Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite ended the week at historic peaks, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average settled less than 12 points under its all-time record close. The Nasdaq rose 1.74% for the week; the S&P gained 1.47%. The Dow added 1.44%. MSCI’s EAFE benchmark, which measures developed stock market performance outside the U.S. and Canada, improved 0.58%.

Economy Adds 128,000 Jobs in October

This net increase far surpassed the gain of 85,000 projected by a Bloomberg poll of economists. These job gains occurred even as last month’s General Motors strike impacted hiring in the manufacturing sector.

Unemployment rose slightly to 3.6% in October, an effect of more people entering the job market. Likewise, the U-6 rate, counting both unemployed and underemployed, Americans ticked up to 7.0%.

The Fed’s Latest Interest Rate Decision

Last week, the central bank made its third quarter-point rate cut since July, leaving the target range for the federal funds rate at 1.50-1.75%.

Something was missing from the latest Fed policy statement. Since June, a passage had noted that the Fed was ready to “act as appropriate to sustain the expansion.” In the
latest statement, that language disappeared. At a press conference Wednesday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell commented that Fed officials “see the current stance of monetary policy as likely to remain appropriate.”

Where Trade Talks with China Stand

There were further negotiations between U.S. and Chinese officials Friday, and China’s commerce ministry announced that both sides had “reached consensus on principles” integral to the first phase of a new trade pact.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer noted only that the latest round of conversation had brought “progress in a variety of areas.



Conventional wisdom questions if we don't need Social Security, why take it? Under current law, if you were born in 1951 or later, your full retirement age is now some point after age 65—all the way up to age 67 for those born after 1959. If you were born before 1951, you’ve already reached age 66 and full retirement age.

Depending on how long someone lives, 70 may be the best age to claim benefits for income purposes. While delaying Social Security comes with significant rewards in the form of annual income increases between full retirement age and age 70.

It is important to factor your beneficiaries' goals, life expectancies and tax situations into the equation. For a closer look at your projected benefits or to request a copy of your annual statement, visit the Social Security Administration (SSA) Website

Remember: If you claim Social Security early, it will allow you to defer distributions from other investments. You can't pass along Social Security benefits to the next generation, but you can pass assets.