Market Commentary: Job Surveys Show Conflicting Data; Fed May Shrink Balance Sheet Sooner Than Expected
The employment report released last week may have raised more questions than it answered. The establishment survey, which surveys businesses, showed only 199,000 jobs were created, missing expectations of 400,000 (Figure 1). The household survey gave a very different picture. Unemployment fell to 3.9%, employment rose by 650,000, and 170,000 people joined the labor force. The gap is partly reconciled by reports new businesses are being formed at a rapid pace and the usually more accurate establishment survey isn’t keeping up with the underlying changes.Read More
During the pandemic, my family moved into a new house. We weren’t planning on moving, but that didn’t stop us from participating in the pandemic housing boom. But we did so at a time where the kids weren’t yet out of school, so for about three weeks, we owned two homes. Instead of having to take out home equity or get a bridge loan, we were able to put a down payment on the second home and be OK for those three weeks.Read More
Your plan shouldn’t look the same when you’re 55 as it did when you were 35, and part of that is because you have ever-changing goals. So how do you know when it’s time to adjust your financial plan?
Use this checklist to evaluate your goals and decide when it’s time to contact your advisor for an update.
2021 was a very happy year for U.S. stock investors. The S&P 500 finished the second year of a pandemic 28.7% higher than it started the year. Other countries did not do as well. The MSCI ACWI, which includes U.S. stocks, rose 18.5% in 2021. Those returns are still very impressive, but they lag behind the S&P 500. Bonds declined slightly. The Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index slipped 1.5% last year.Read More
The PCE price deflator confirmed inflation remains a strong challenge for the U.S. economy, rising 0.6% last month and 5.7% in the last 12 months. The annual increase was the highest since 1982. Core PCE inflation rose 0.5%, suggesting food and energy prices rose only slightly more than broad consumer prices (Figure 1).Read More
The Federal Reserve announced last week it would reduce its bond purchases faster than expected and signaled it intended to raise interest rates up to three times next year. The purchases were being reduced by $15 billion per month and will now accelerate to $30 billion per month, and the program to support the economy will end in March. One Fed governor announced a rate increase is possible for March.Read More
Published by Kevin Oleszewski As the end of the year approaches, we start to think more and more about our tax picture. What boxes can we check to reduce our taxable income? Tax-loss harvesting is one such approach. A tax-efficient way to rebalance your portfolio, tax-loss harvesting can help you offset earnings and get back to your target allocation. Tax-loss harvesting is traditionally thought of as an end-of-year event, because it can help you minimize your tax bill.Read More
Consumer prices continued their rapid climb in the U.S. The Consumer Price Index surged 0.8% in November and is now 6.8% higher than one year ago. Big increases in food and energy prices accounted for nearly half the gains in the monthly and annual numbers. Core inflation, which excludes those more volatile elements, increased 0.5%. Even though the inflation rate was quite high, expectations for future inflation dropped slightly (Figure 1).Read More