In the financial world, some weeks are more important than others, and we just lived through a big one. Let's unpack each of the four key stats:
The Fed. As expected, the Fed bumped up short-term rates again at its July meeting. But the markets breathed a sigh of relief in reaction. Investors believe the Fed is getting a handle on inflation, which may mean slower rate increases.
Inflation. It feels like inflation is trending lower – check out gasoline prices. But the Fed's key inflation indicator, the personal consumption expenditures index, remained stubbornly high in June. Result? We're still getting mixed signals.
GDP. The latest report showed a second straight quarterly contraction. Two quarters of negative growth would have been a recession by definition not long ago. Economists now look at more factors, such as jobs and hiring, before labeling an economy.
Company reports. They have been fantastic, with many companies checking in with better-than-expected results. In its July 29 update, FactSet reported that 73% of S&P 500 companies were surprised with earnings, and 66% were astonished by sales.
Enjoy the final weeks of summer. We'll keep an eye on the markets.
- Account View enhancement - You now have the ability to provide an authorized user view-only access to your Account View profile. Perhaps you would like to grant view-only access to a significant other, or to an accountant so they can download your tax documents.
Once logged into Account View, click your name in the upper righcorner, click "Preferences" from the drop down. Click the third tab at the top “RELATIONSHIPS”, and then “MANAGE ADDITIONAL USERS” in the AUTHORIZED USER ACCESS section.
- As cyber-threats continue to evolve and make headlines, and in response to an interest in LPL Financial’s capabilities and position relating to potential cyber-incidents and the impact to LPL accounts, LPL has released a Cyber Fraud Guarantee:
LPL will reimburse you for 100% of realized losses in your impacted LPL accounts, which were incurred directly as a result of unauthorized access to an LPL system. Please read the details for terms and customer obligations.
Recovering Documents Following a Natural Disaster
If you experience loss of documentation and paperwork during a natural disaster, it’s important to be prepared by knowing how to manage the situation. Here are some tips from the IRS:
- Contact the IRS or go online and search their database for help in reconstructing records after a natural disaster or casualty loss
- Download Publication 584, Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook to figure out your loss on business and income-producing properties in the event of a natural disaster.
- Read Publication 3067, IRS Disaster Assistance - Federally Declared Disaster for information about how federally declared disasters affect individuals and business owners. This document also covers the assistance available to victims.
* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific, individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.
Tip adapted from IRS.gov
You have 9 seemingly identical cubes before you. You are told that one is heavier than the other eight. Using a two-pan balance scale only twice,
how can you pick out the heaviest cube?
Last week’s riddle: What surrounds everyone and is the end of time and space? Riddle answer: The letter "e."