Money Talks – March 10, 2018

This week on “Money Talks,” Chief Investment Officer Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA is joined by Principal Jennifer J. Thomas, CFP®, and Managing Associate K.C. Smith, CFP®, to broadly discuss the week’s economic picture, including the ISM Manufacturing Index, Factory Orders, Productivity and Costs, and the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book. Now that it is prime tax season, Jennifer and K.C. discuss some of the many devious scams that thieves are using, capitalizing on the common fear of the IRS. They also provide some tips on how to really know when it is the IRS contacting you. The experts round out the show by answering listeners’ questions on pharmaceutical company AbbVie, and insurance companies Lincoln National Corp and Allstate Corp. They also discuss how working in retirement can affect your Social Security benefits and shed a little light on what the proposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum mean.

Market Roundup: Impressive Weekly Gains Following Tariff Details

Indices kicked off the first full week of March closing in the green zone on Monday, amid a variety of economic news. The ISM non-manufacturing index fell to 59.5 from 59.9 in January, indicating service activity decreased slightly. The upward momentum continued Tuesday as investors saw signs of disapproval to the potential tariffs on imported aluminum and steel. Mixed moves were on deck Wednesday. The tech-heavy NASDAQ composite added points, but both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 Index closed in the red on trade war concerns following news of National Economic Council leader, Gary Cohn’s resignation. In other news, the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book report, which covered activity from January to mid-February, showed a modest-to-moderate pace of economic expansion in all 12 districts. The market recovered Thursday following the release of tariff details. President Trump announced a 25% tariff on imported steel and a 10% levy on non-American aluminum. On another note, Department of Labor data showed initial jobless claims rose by 21,000 to 231,000 last week. The three major Indices closed trading with gains on Friday, but it was the NASDAQ composite that closed at a new record level. Stocks climbed on favorable jobs data for February. The U.S. economy added 310,000 jobs last month, well beyond expectations of 200,000 payroll additions.

Money Talks – March 3, 2018

This week on “Money Talks,” Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, is joined by Managing Associates, Shawna Theriault, C.P.A., CFP®, CDFA®, and K.C. Smith, CFP®, to discuss a slew of housing news, including New-Home Sales, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index and mortgage applications. They also look at the consumer confidence reading for February and the second estimate of fourth quarter GDP. Shawna and K.C. discuss how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will affect the tax treatment of alimony payments for divorce and separation agreements executed after Dec. 31, 2018. The experts round out the show answering listeners’ questions on maxing out 401(k) contributions to shield income from taxes, Vanguard index funds and real estate funds, tech stocks Nvidia and Intel Corp., and the timing of required minimum distributions.

Market Roundup: Proposed Tariffs Weighed on an Already Red Week

The major U.S. indexes were uniformly strong on Monday, carrying over Friday’s bullishness into the new week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added as much as 400 points during the day, while the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ both benefited from a rally in Technology sector stocks. Indices traded into the red zone on Tuesday with stocks dipping on a variety of economic news. Durable goods orders slipped in January, as orders for goods fell 3.7%, marking the largest decrease in six months, and well beyond economists’ expectations for a lesser decline of 2.5%. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence index ticked up to a 17-year high in February, jumping to 130.8 from 125.4 in January. Midweek, both the Dow and S&P 500 closed lower and snapped their 10-month winning streaks. In economic news, fourth-quarter gross domestic product was revised to a reading of 2.5% growth, matching expectations. This was down just slightly from the prior reading of 2.6%. On another note, pending-home sales dipped in January. Sales fell 4.7% to 104.6, marking the lowest reading since October 2014. Additionally, the Energy Information Administration data showed crude oil inventories increased by three million barrels last week, marking a larger-than-expected jump in oil reserves. For the session, oil prices dipped 1.1% to settle at $62.29 a barrel. Stocks continued their slip Thursday amid investor concerns over new steel and aluminum tariffs announced by President Trump. Trump’s pronouncements of a tariff of 25% on steel imports and 10% on aluminum imports were enough to send stocks tumbling on both Thursday and Friday morning. Department of Labor data showed new claims fell last week by 10,000 to 210,000. The result marks a 49-year low for first-time claims. Looking elsewhere, the ISM manufacturing index reading came in at 60.8 for February, up from 59.1 in January, and exceeded the consensus forecast of 58.7. Indices ended trading with mixed moves on Friday. The Dow shed some points, while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ stepped up. In the second consumer reading for the week, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index for February jumped four points to 99.7.

Money Talks – February 24, 2018

This week on “Money Talks,” hosts Bil Lako, CFP®, and Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, are joined by our Chief Economic Adviser, Roger Tutterow, Ph.D., to discuss the latest minutes from the January Federal Open Market Committee meeting, jobless claims and interest rates. The experts also delve into a discussion on how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changes, for businesses and corporations may affect the economy. They discuss how companies may take advantage of corporate tax rates, the repeal of corporate AMT, the reduced tax rate for repatriated profits, and increased Section 179 and bonus depreciation. The experts also answer listeners’ question on Keurig/Green Mountain’s plans to buy Dr Pepper Snapple, the latest scam affecting taxpayers, and the $8-million-dollar-question of, “When is the recession?”

Case Study: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Promises Big Changes for Businesses

Hosts Bil Lako, CFP®, and Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, are joined by our Chief Economic Adviser, Roger Tutterow, Ph.D., and delve into a discussion on how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changes for businesses and corporations may affect the economy. They discuss how companies may take advantage of corporate tax rates, the repeal of corporate AMT, the reduced tax rate for repatriated profits, and accelerated depreciation.