The Week on Wall Street
A jump in COVID-19 cases dampened investor enthusiasm last week, sending stock prices lower on worries that rising infections could derail the economic recovery.
FACT OF THE WEEK
For many of us, insurance can be one of those things we either forget about or push off until we need it - kind of like a spare tire - which is why National Insurance Awareness Day came into existence. This is a day to revisit your insurance needs every year on June 28. The importance of insurance is widely known for playing a crucial role in many aspects of our lives. It can offer layers of protection to safeguard many of us from feeling the harshest of blows from the unfortunate events that may occur.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 3.31%, while the S&P 500 retreated 2.86%. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 1.90% for the week. The MSCI EAFE Index, which tracks developed stock markets overseas, declined 1.28%.
A Rocky Week for Stocks
Investors began the week overlooking a jump in COVID-19 cases in some early reopening states, sending stocks higher and powering the NASDAQ Composite to close above 10,000 and establish a new record high on successive days. But the market quickly reversed course as investors reacted to data showing a troubling spike in nationwide COVID-19 cases.
In Thursday's trading, stocks opened lower but rallied late in the day on no apparent news. Stocks continued to decline into Friday, falling on news that Texas and Florida were rolling back some reopening plans amid rising COVID-19 infections.
Investor expectations took a hit last week for an economic rebound, following reports of an increase in nationwide COVID-19 cases. The pace of infections had picked up in 33 states, with the seven-day average of new cases higher than the average over the last two weeks.
While traders understood that reopening and increased testing would lead to an uptick in reported cases, the numbers were unsettling. The week's action reminded investors that the market remains tightly tethered to COVID-19 developments.
FINANCIAL STRATEGY OF THE WEEK
Putting A Price Tag On Your Health
We hear over and over again how important it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. But being healthy for its own sake is not easy — especially when you are facing down temptation or battling procrastination. For some, the monetary benefits of a healthy lifestyle may offer valuable incentives.
Being healthy not only makes you feel good, but it may also help you financially. For example, one study found a steep increase in annual medical expenditures for individuals whose Body Mass Index was above 30.
If you're wondering how your health habits might be affecting your bottom line, consider the following:
• Preventative care can help reduce potential healthcare costs if scheduled regularly. Even minor sicknesses can lead to missed work, missed opportunities, and potentially lost wages. Serious illnesses often involve costly medical bills from hospital stays, medical equipment, and doctor's fees.
• Individuals can lower dental costs by receiving regular checkups and performing primary preventative care.
• When poor health persists over time, lost earnings may make it harder to save for retirement.
• Some habits that lead to poor health can be expensive in themselves. Smoking is a classic example. A person who smokes a pack a day can spend more than $2,000 or more annually on cigarettes alone. Smokers also pay higher premiums for health care and life insurance, and their houses, cars, and other possessions tend to devalue at a quicker rate because of damage from smoking.
• Obesity is another high-priced condition that affects many Americans. Obese adults spend 42% more on direct healthcare costs than do adults with a healthy weight.
By focusing on your health, eliminating harmful habits, and employing preventative care, you may improve your quality of life and reduce your healthcare expenses. This could give you a savings boost and the financial freedom to enjoy your money for more meaningful areas.
As always, please contact my office with any questions or financial concerns you may have.