The Week on Wall Street
Stock prices fluctuated amid inflation concerns and bargain hunting, leaving stocks mixed for the week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.51%, while the S&P 500 dropped 0.43%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index advanced 0.31%. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, gained 0.67%.
FACT OF THE WEEK
National Hamburger Day on May 28th wraps up National Burger Month and also ushers in summer grilling season. It is most likely that the hamburger sandwich first appeared in the 19th or early 20th centuries, but there is much controversy over its origin. Over the years, the hamburger has become a culinary icon in the United States.
The world’s largest hamburger was prepared on September 2, 2012, in Carlton, Minnesota by Black Bear Casino Resort and weighed in at 2,014 pounds.
Lots of Motion, Little Movement
Stocks began last week extending their losses from the previous week, as the slide in technology and other high-growth stocks resumed. Inflation worries also weighed on the market.
After steep declines in early Wednesday trading, market sentiment took a more positive turn, allowing stocks to pare their losses as the session came to a close, despite news that the Fed could be contemplating tapering its monthly bond purchases.
This positive momentum continued into Thursday, aided by a declining initial jobless claims number and a strong rebound in technology. The rebound lost steam into Friday’s close, leaving stocks little changed for the week.
The Fed Hints at a Turn
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) on Wednesday released the minutes of its April meeting. The report suggested that a number of committee participants had raised the idea that if the economy continues to make progress, it might be appropriate to adjust the pace of the Fed’s monthly bond purchase program.
With inflation appearing to accelerate, the markets have been watchful for signs that the Fed would begin tightening its easy-money policies. This is the first time since the pandemic that the Fed has suggested that a scaling back of bond purchases could happen, though no timetable was discussed.
It’s important to note that the April Fed meeting took place prior to the release of April’s Consumer Price Index, which showed a higher-than-expected increase of 4.2%.
FINANCIAL STRATEGY OF THE WEEK
When you have a major life event such as getting married, having a child, or buying a home, your financial situation and priorities may change. As your life changes, your financial decisions must stay in line with your goals, values, and needs. When these situations come up, it’s always a good idea to conduct a financial review. Evaluate your current situation, habits, and any additional needs to account for so you can be prepared.
Marriage. Splitting costs will likely save money in the long run for shared expenses. Agreement on financial priorities is essential for household harmony.
New baby. Time to adjust the budget for new expenses (additional health insurance, child care, etc.) and potentially lower income (either temporary or long-term) if you or your spouse will take unpaid leave. It’s also not too early to start setting money aside for college.
Buying a home. Your new mortgage payment will likely be your largest expense, requiring a top-to-bottom budget review.
For all three major events listed above, you’ll want to evaluate any additional financial or legal needs. Be sure to review the following:
Insurance. Between you and your new spouse, who has better health insurance? Can one of you be added to the other’s policy? Once you become a parent, you’ll probably want life insurance to protect your family if something happens to you. Need homeowner’s insurance? Be sure to get multiple quotes and compare.
Beneficiaries. Review all of your financial accounts (checking, savings, retirement, investment) and insurance policies to ensure that the beneficiary information is up to date and accurate.
Wills and trusts. These legal documents become essential once you have a family or own an asset like a home. Wills and trusts are legally binding documents that clearly state your wishes regarding your assets’ distribution.
As our lives change, we need to have the discipline to stay on the path we’ve set, as well as the flexibility to deviate when circumstances demand. Let’s control what we can and then prepare for whatever else life throws our way.
As always, please let us know if there is anything we can help with along the way or any financial concerns you may have.
Have a great week!