THE WEEK ON WALL STREET
A Friday rebound, triggered by a big tech company’s earnings beat and a strong jobs report, shaved much of the week’s accumulated losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.24%, while the S&P 500 lost 0.80%. The Nasdaq Composite Index was flat (+0.07%) for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slipped 0.62%.
FACT OF THE WEEK
On May 8, 2010, 88-year-old actress Betty White, known for her former roles on “The Golden Girls” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” becomes the oldest person to host the long-running, late-night TV sketch comedy show “Saturday Night Live” (SNL). White’s hosting gig came about, in part, after hundreds of thousands of her fans signed onto a Facebook campaign rallying for it.
Born in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1922, Betty Marion White attended high school in Beverly Hills, California, before launching her career in radio and television, an industry still in its infancy at the time. She was a pioneering TV talk show host and producer in the 1950s, and also became a frequent celebrity panelist on TV game shows. In the 1970s, she played the acerbic, man-hungry “happy homemaker” Sue Ann Nivens on Mary Tyler Moore’s hit sitcom. Beginning in 1985, White co-starred as naïve, St. Olaf, Minnesota, native Rose Nylund on “The Golden Girls.” When the popular program ended in 1992, White went on to guest-star in a long list of TV shows, often using her sweet, wholesome appearance and sharp, sometimes raunchy, sense of humor to great comedic effect.
“Saturday Night Live,” which debuted in October 1975, is known for its topical parodies and impersonations, and for pushing boundaries with its sketches. The show has introduced a long list of memorable characters and catchphrases that have become part of pop-culture history. Over the years, it also has launched the careers of such performers as Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, David Spade, Jimmy Fallon, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Andy Samberg, Kristen Wiig, and Kate McKinnon. SNL features a different guest host and musical act each week. Comedian George Carlin hosted the first-ever episode of SNL in 1975; that same year, actress Candice Bergen was the first woman to host the program. In 1982, 7-year-old Drew Barrymore became the youngest person ever to host SNL.
As SNL’s eldest host, White earned positive reviews, and the show, which featured musical guest Jay-Z, drew its highest ratings in 18 months. The octogenarian actress later won the seventh Emmy Award of her career for her SNL appearance. White died on December 31, 2021, just shy of her 100th birthday.
Renewed regional bank concerns weighed on investor sentiment last week, despite the rescue of a troubled bank before the start of the trading week. Worries were not isolated to regional banks. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen commented that the federal government may hit its debt ceiling earlier than expected. This heightened investor jitters over a potential technical default. The stock market also slipped in the wake of the latest rate hike decision by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). Solid earnings from one mega-cap tech firm and a strong employment report steadied investors, resulting in a Friday bounce that ended a volatile week on a positive note.
Fed Hikes Rates
Amid concerns in the regional bank sector and tightening credit conditions, the Fed elected to increase interest rates by 0.25%, citing elevated inflation and robust job gains. Investors were more focused, however, on what the Fed signaled about its plans since the expected rate hike. The Fed indicated it may pause further rate hikes, suggesting that future decisions will be based on economic data and prevailing financial conditions. Following the announcement, interest rate traders assigned an 89% probability that rates would remain unchanged following the next meeting of the FOMC in June.
FINANCIAL STRATEGY OF THE WEEK
If you are anticipating an annual bonus this year, it’s wise to come up with a thoughtful plan for the extra cash before it comes so you can get the most benefit from it. If you need more time to consider your options, deposit the money in a savings account. It will be harder to chip away at it if it’s not connected to your debit card. Here are a few other suggestions:
Account for Taxes. If your employer doesn’t withhold taxes from your bonus or doesn’t withhold enough, make sure to set aside money for tax time so you’re not hit with an extra tax burden.
Increase your Bonus’ Value. Contributing the maximum allowed to a pretax employer retirement plan can make your bonus go further than using after-tax dollars, especially if your employer matches the contributions. If your income falls within IRS guidelines, you may be able to make pretax contributions to your 401(k) and a traditional IRA or add post-tax contributions to a Roth IRA, which will grow tax-free.
Put Your Money to Work. Since a bonus is extra money, it may be easier to use it to for an investment with long-term growth potential rather than coming up with additional investment money from your regular pay.
Build Your Emergency Fund. If you keep your fund in a savings account, consider shopping around for the best rates, or consider a short-term CD.
Invest in Yourself. Many of the most successful people continually pursue knowledge and increase their skills. You might take a coding course, learn a language, hire a health coach, pay for a professional certification, or enroll in a professional speaking program
Plan an Experience. Research indicates great memories often provide more satisfaction than purchases. Plan a vacation to give your household something to look forward to.
If you have funds from an annual bonus that you’d like to discuss or any changes to your financial goals for the year, we’d love to hear and put a plan together to help you reach those! Please don’t hesitate to give us a call.