The Week on Wall Street
Stocks slipped as the technology sector remained under pressure and a mid-week announcement by the Federal Reserve failed to inspire investors.
FACT OF THE WEEK
Between 1969-1970, football league associations saw significant changes starting with the New York Jets, who became the first American Football League to win the Superbowl, and the NFL recognized the Superbowl Title as a result. Soon after, the two associations officially merged, creating a 26-team league.
In 1970, ABC Network acquired airing rights for the first Monday Night Football broadcast on September 21, 1970, which forever changed the presentation with a three-man announcing booth. Today it is a cultural staple.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.03%, while the S&P 500 fell 0.64%. The Nasdaq Composite index dropped 0.56% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, rose 0.75%.
Technology Pulls Stocks Lower
As has been the case in recent weeks, technology stocks led the market higher, then lower in an otherwise turbulent week of trading.
Merger and acquisition activity announced at the start of the week generated a rush back into technology stocks, sparking a rebound from the previous week's drop.
Stocks continued to advance until Wednesday when investors began to digest comments from the Fed's Federal Open Market Committee meeting. The Fed delivered a message that coupled assurances of continued low rates with concerns about the health of the economic recovery.
The Fed Stays the Course
In the last Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting before the November election, the Fed signaled that interest rates would not see an increase "until labor market conditions have reached levels consistent with the committee's assessments of maximum employment and inflation has risen to 2% and is on track to moderately exceed 2% for some time."
Most Fed officials do not see this happening until 2023. While the Fed maintained its view on the importance of fiscal stimulus to help American workers and businesses, it did improve its outlook for unemployment in its latest economic outlook. The Fed expects unemployment averages of 7-8% in the final three months of the year, down from its June prediction of 9-10%.
FINANCIAL STRATEGY OF THE WEEK
IN A SEARCH FOR SAFETY, BE ALERT FOR FRAUDULENT IMPOSTERS
In some instances, fraudsters misuse the name of a real registered investment professional or firm to give their schemes the appearance of legitimacy. An investor alert previously issued by FINRA describes how imposter schemes rely on a tactic known as source credibility—building credibility by claiming to be registered and employed by a reputable firm. A few key examples of red flags for you as an investor to look out for:
• Conflicting registration information.
• Inability to verify an association with a firm.
• Differing product details.
• Request to wire funds overseas.
Tips for Spotting and Avoiding Imposter Scams
Ask and Check. Before making any investment decision, ask about any individuals you are dealing with, any financial institutions represented, and any investment products you consider. You can check information about investment professionals on BrokerCheck, a free online tool provided by FINRA, to obtain information on brokers, investment advisers, and registered investment firms.
Pay attention to inconsistencies. Starting with the information at hand, you can use the main contact number for the investment firm you were in contact with and compare the information you find on BrokerCheck.
Be skeptical. In times of volatility, scammers may try to lure an investor into considering investments by offering lower but more stable returns. Investors should also take caution if an investment requires a high minimum deposit, such as $200,000 or more, and should independently verify low-risk claims, FDIC insurance coverage, and no penalties for early withdrawals.
Take caution. In any situation involving you to wire funds to an account located outside
the U.S. or to a third-party U.S. based account with a different name from the financial institution on the marketing materials. Continue with caution if you only interact with an individual through email or other online channels, if they refuse to meet in person or through video chat, or if they can't be reached by directly contacting the financial institution.
Conduct independent research. Take time to do your research, using regulatory tools rather than links the promoter provides, and watch for fraudulent flags. Fraudsters often spoof legitimate companies using similar-looking websites with similarly spelled web addresses and similar-sounding names. Look for inconsistencies between their pitch and what can be validated online.
Consider calling the financial institution. Using a telephone number found somewhere other than the suspect website helps determine the legitimacy or the investment professional. And even if the seller and the investment are registered, discuss your decision first with a family member, investment professional, lawyer, or accountant.
If you are suspicious about the information you receive from an individual or firm soliciting your business, contact your financial advisor or another regulator such as FINRA before sending any personal or financial information.
As always, please contact my office with any questions or concerns about your financial situation.