The Week on Wall Street
Stocks were mixed last week in choppy trading as investors battled the crosscurrents of good economic data and a troubling rise in COVID-19 infections globally.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 1.38%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 added 0.32%. The Nasdaq Composite index gained 1.24% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, dropped 0.59%.
FACT OF THE WEEK
Believed to have originated in the New England States during the early 1900s, cranberry relish is a traditional part of many families’ Thanksgiving dinner. November 22nd is celebrated by some as National Cranberry Relish Day.
Each Thanksgiving, Susan Stamberg provides National Public Radio listeners with her mother-in-law’s recipe for cranberry relish sauce. The American radio journalist, an American radio journalist and Special Correspondent for NPR and guest host for Weekend Edition Saturday, has been doing this since 1971. What’s unusual about the special recipe, known as Mama Stamberg’s Cranberry Relish, is that horseradish is one of its principal ingredients. Craig Claiborne originally published the recipe in his food column in 1959.
Numerous cranberry relish recipes grace cookbooks and blogs across the internet. The bright and sweet flavors are enhanced by ingredients like apples, oranges, and pineapple. Make them spicy or nutty, too. You can even offer more than one style and use the leftovers for great sandwiches. But there’s more than one way to slice this cranberry.
• Use it as a marinade for pork, chicken or beef
• Add it to barbeque sauce and pour it over meatballs
• Mix it into a batch of muffins for breakfast
• Stir it into cream cheese and add it to your morning bagel
A healthy retail sales report, falling jobless claims, positive earnings surprises, and strong manufacturing data lent support to stock prices, but investor sentiment was dampened by several concerns.
Chief among these worries are a resurgence of COVID-19 infections this winter and the impact inflation may have on consumer confidence and corporate profit margins. The uncertainty surrounding the re-nomination of Fed Chair Powell exacerbated this unease; a decision from President Biden may come soon. Technology and other high-growth companies led the market, while some of the reopening stocks, such as travel and energy, lagged.
Retail Sales Jump
October retail sales increased 1.7%, indicating that consumers may be more confident than recent surveys have suggested. Sales of electronics, appliances, and autos were particularly strong last month.4
The market cheered the report, interpreting the results as a sign that inflation has not discouraged Americans from buying the products and services they want or need. This retail sales number, however, may be overstated for two reasons. First, higher prices increase the level of sales even if consumer demand is flat. Second, spending may have been pulled forward by consumer worries over higher future prices and concerns that goods may not be available during the holiday shopping season.
We want to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving, full of family, fun, and joy.
On this special day of gratitude, we would also like to express our appreciation to you for extending us the privilege of serving you this year and helping you pursue your important financial goals.
FINANCIAL STRATEGY OF THE WEEK
Preparing for retirement just got a little more financial wiggle room. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced new contribution limits for 2022.
Staying put for 2022 are traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), with the limit remaining at $6,000. The catch-up contribution for traditional IRAs remains $1,000 as well.
For workplace retirement accounts (i.e. 401(k), 403(b), amongst others), the contribution limit rises $1,000 to $20,500. Catch-up contributions remain at $6,500.
Eligibility for Roth IRA contributions has increased, as well. These have bumped up to $129,000 to $144,000 for single filers and heads of households, and $204,000 to $214,000 for those filing jointly as married couples.
Another increase was for SIMPLE IRA Plans (SIMPLE is an acronym for Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees), which increases from $13,500 to $14,000.
If these increases apply to your retirement strategy, you may want to make some adjustments to your contributions. Where I can be of any help, I welcome the opportunity.
Have a great week!