111 Search Results for: covid

  • Five Reasons Your IRA is Deflating, and What to Do About It

    Posted on April 25, 2022

    By Craig Lemoine, Director of Consumer Investment Research Stocks, bonds and mutual funds have had a rocky start to the year. The S&P 500, a broad measure of the United States stock market, was down 4.6% over the first quarter. Mutual funds holding stocks and bonds have also lost value. These losses are jarring following an outstanding 2021, where the S&P 500 gained just under 30%.

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  • Market Commentary: Russia-Ukraine Tensions, Inflation Among Contributors to Market Volatility After Relatively Calm 2021

    Posted on February 22, 2022

    Market uncertainty on multiple fronts is making it tough for investors. Russia’s ambitions in Ukraine, inflation, and some upheaval in individual securities are making it more challenging to bear risk than last year. 2021 was relatively calm, with only 80% as many 1% daily moves in the market as normal, and many of those were upswings. Who doesn’t love a 1% jump?

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  • Trends to Watch Out for in Q1 2022

    Posted on January 26, 2022

    We’re in a pretty interesting juncture in the markets. As we kick off the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the omicron variant is spreading across the country.

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  • Market Commentary: U.S. Inflation Challenges Likely Linked to Robust Government Aid, Policy Changes

    Posted on January 18, 2022

    Inflation remains a challenge to the U.S. economy. CPI rose 0.5% in December and surged 7.1% during the last year. It wasn’t all food and energy prices. Core inflation, which excludes those more volatile elements, increased 0.5% as well. As the bright blue line in Figure 1 shows, inflation has reaccelerated after dipping in the third quarter.

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  • The Opportunity in Change: How Changing Goals Change Financial Plans

    Posted on January 6, 2022

    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.

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  • Market Commentary: S&P 500 Finishes Second Year of Pandemic 28.7% Higher Than It Started

    Posted on January 3, 2022

    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.

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  • Market Commentary: Inflation Continues to Challenge U.S. Economy as Key Indicators Rise

    Posted on December 27, 2021

    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).

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  • Market Commentary: Fed Addresses Inflation Concerns, Doubles its Pace to Reduce Bond Purchases

    Posted on December 20, 2021

    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.

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  • Market Commentary: Jobs Data Sends Mixed Signals as Omicron Variant Begins to Appear in U.S.

    Posted on December 6, 2021

    The U.S. employment report continued to send contradictory signals as the fallout from the Omicron variant began to show up in data releases. The jobs report, based on research from a few weeks ago, indicated the U.S. only added 210,000 jobs compared to forecasted gains of 530,000. The household survey showed much stronger gains. Employment rose 1.1 million and unemployment dropped to 4.2%. The household report includes self-employed workers, which the employment report does not. Average hourly earnings grew 0.3% in October and have increased 4.8% in the last year.

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  • Market Commentary: Concerns About New Covid Variant Pushed Markets Lower; Core Inflation Rose 0.4%

    Posted on November 29, 2021

    Concerns about the Omicron variant raised the risk of additional lockdowns and contributed to a decline of more than 2% in the S&P 500 on the day after Thanksgiving. The COVID-19 variant, first detected in South Africa, triggered travel restrictions in the U.S. and Europe.

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