65 Search Results for: covid

  • Your Year-End Tax Checklist, Plus a Few Extras for 2020

    Posted on November 5, 2020

    A lot of us have been in the attic lately, putting away the ghosts and skeletons from Halloween and dusting off the holiday decorations. While you’re up there, can you find your year-end tax checklist?

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  • How the Results of the Election Could Impact the Markets and Your Financial Plan

    Posted on November 5, 2020

    The votes have been cast and now it’s a waiting game. Our country now faces days of a counting, recounting, accusations, potential lawsuits and a runoff election or two. Only then will we know the results of the 2020 election.

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  • Market Commentary: Uncertainty with Election, Pandemic Cause 5.6% Drop in S&P 500.

    Posted on November 2, 2020

    Last week, markets moved less on the recovery of today and more on the uncertainty of tomorrow. U.S. GDP increased 33.1% (see Figure 1) after a massively negative report last quarter. Strong growth in consumer spending provided the biggest push to the overall economy. Earnings also continued to improve. Originally forecasted to drop 21.1%, strong earnings from internet-based businesses cut the expected dip to 9.8%.

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  • Market Commentary: Unemployment Continues Slow Recovery as U.S. Corporations Beat Earnings Expectations

    Posted on October 26, 2020

    The lack of progress on a federal stimulus bill weighed on markets last week while economic and earnings data provided investors some good news. Initial unemployment claims finally dipped below 800,000. The improvement and adjustments to previous weeks’ estimates suggest the labor market is continuing to recover. Corporate earnings also provided a positive surprise. While many companies are still to report, initial results show 84% of S&P 500 companies are beating estimates.

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  • Market Commentary: Retail Sales Spike, but Unemployment Claims Still on Rise

    Posted on October 19, 2020

    Retail sales rebounded as U.S. consumers continued to put salaries and money left over from the CARES Act into the economy. Retail and food service sales surged 1.9%, more than doubling expectations of 0.8%. The gains raised overall retail sales 5.4% above year-ago levels as consumers make up for consumption lost during the early days of social distancing (Figure 1).

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  • Market Commentary: Stocks Rallied in Hopes of Potential Stimulus Package

    Posted on October 12, 2020

    U.S. stocks rallied on expectations that a stimulus package will be passed in the coming months and additional packages will be easier to pass. The Trump administration offered proposals closer to the most recent Democratic offer. Even if no deal is reached prior to the election, polls suggest the Democratic Party may control the presidency and both houses of Congress. One-party control makes it significantly easier to pass legislation.

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  • Market Commentary: Markets Face Uncertainty as Economy Recovers, Tension Grows in Washington

    Posted on October 5, 2020

    Politics created the biggest market headlines last week. Investors wrestled with the tone of the presidential debate and how it contributes to political uncertainty. Stimulus negotiations between the House and the Trump administration narrowed the gap between the two parties, but they were unable to produce a deal. The president contracting COVID-19 contributed to the sense of uncertainty.

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  • How Financial Scams Work, and How to Keep Yourself Safe No Matter Your Level of Wealth

    Posted on October 1, 2020

    In the late 1920s, an enterprising Bostonian started selling subdivisions in the sunny ‘burbs of Florida. Promising orange trees in the backyard and rolling waves out the front door, he sold plots – sometimes 23 an acre! – near bustling towns like Nettie. Unfortunately, the entrepreneur’s name was Charles Ponzi, and Nettie, like his other locales, was a work of lucrative fiction.

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  • Market Commentary: S&P Continues Decline, but Home Sales on the Rise

    Posted on September 28, 2020

    The S&P 500 declined for the fourth straight week. On Wednesday, the index of large U.S. companies had declined just more than 9.5% but rallied late in the week. The S&P 500 is 7.8% below its Sept. 2 high. The four-week decline has matched the characteristics of a price adjustment after a large run-up in markets.

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  • Charitable Gift Planning Strategies for 2020

    Posted on September 25, 2020

    Charitable Gift Planning Strategies for 2020 Charitable gifts can make a significant impact on your community and your tax situation – especially in 2020.   If you are in a situation where you can give a charitable gift this year, this webinar is for you. You’ve probably received hundreds of emails about these unprecedented times. COVID-19 has brought more changes than we can count – some bad, some good. Let’s talk about how we can maximize our charitable inclinations to make the most of these changes.   Watch Jamie Hopkins, Director of Retirement Research at Carson, lead this telling webinar, “Charitable...read the full article

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  • Tax Tips for Business Owners in a COVID World

    Posted on February 4, 2021

    Facing everything from empty sales floors to painful staff shortages, entrepreneurs have been uniquely hurt by 2020 and the extent of the damage isn’t fully known yet. A Yelp economic impact report released in September found that almost 100,000 small businesses in the country had closed their doors permanently while many others struggle under the current conditions.

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  • Market Commentary: Rise in COVID-19 Cases Leads to Market Dip Before Holiday Shopping Season

    Posted on November 23, 2020

    Retail data were mixed last week. U.S. retail sales rose 0.3% in October and are now 5.7% higher than one year ago. But as Figure 1 shows, the increase was the smallest since the recovery began. Increased coronavirus cases in October likely pressured purchases lower and moved consumers online. Non-store retailers reported a 3.1% increase in sales.

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  • Market Commentary: COVID-19 Vaccine Shows Positive Results and Market Soars Even After Tight Election

    Posted on November 9, 2020

    Special Update The first COVID-19 vaccine to announce results reported very positive data early Monday morning. Two notable pharmaceutical and biotech companies announced on Monday their COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective. The study also showed there were no side effects observed in the vaccine trial. The effectiveness is higher than many medical experts expected and represents a major step forward in efforts to contain the virus. News on other vaccine trials is expected in coming weeks and months.

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  • Comparing Traditional Mortgages and Variable-Rate Mortgages in the COVID-19 Economy

    Posted on August 6, 2020

    Do you know what it was like to buy a house in 1982? You pulled up your Trans Am to the bank where the picture of President Regan hung on the lobby wall and got your checkbook out of your jean jacket. Then you signed up for a 30-year mortgage with a 17% interest rate!

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  • Market Commentary: S&P Climbs Despite Surge in COVID-19 Cases

    Posted on July 13, 2020

    Stocks continued to climb in the face of an increasing number of new COVID-19 cases and evidence the surge is stifling the economy’s ability to recover. Initial unemployment claims dipped to 1.3 million, but they have remained above 1 million for 16 consecutive weeks.

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  • Market Commentary: S&P 500 Dips as COVID-19 Cases Surge

    Posted on June 29, 2020

    The daily total for new virus cases topped 40,000 as a resurgence in the South and Southwest pushed new cases to an all-time-record high. Some states are reporting record hospitalizations and pausing or reversing reopenings. Initial unemployment claims, as shown in Figure 1, remain close to 1.5 million.

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  • Market Commentary: Investors Optimistic Over Slowing COVID-19 Cases

    Posted on April 20, 2020

    Similarly to last week, investors had to weigh progress fighting COVID-19 and what that means for the future against the economic toll the virus and policies designed to slow it are having on the economy.

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  • Market Commentary: Stocks Rise in Hopes that COVID-19 Slows

    Posted on April 13, 2020

    Investors were faced with a combination of optimistic and pessimistic news this week and opted to accentuate the positive. Health care data reinforced the gradual success social distancing is having in curtailing the spread of the virus.

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  • Market Commentary: Despite Initial Worry, Inflation Remains Well Controlled

    Posted on February 16, 2021

     U.S. inflation rose 0.3% last month and is now up 1.4% for the year (Figure 1). Investor concern about inflation has increased in recent months against the backdrop of large stimulus packages and hopes of an economic recovery. Pushing back against that concern is a slowly recovering labor market. Initial jobless claims fell 19,000 from the previous week but remained stubbornly close to 800,000. Continuing claims were more than 4.5 million.

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  • Market Commentary: Federal Interest Rates Remain Low with No Increases Planned

    Posted on February 8, 2021

     The U.S. employment situation remains lackluster. Only 49,000 new jobs were created in January. Unemployment dropped but only because labor force participation fell from 63.4% to 61.4% (Figure 1). As COVID-19 cases have dropped this year, some improvement is expected in coming months. Vaccine distribution remains the most important path toward an improved economy.

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