“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
- J.K. Rowling
A retirement plan isn’t simply about reaching a number. As you get closer to your savings goals, keep your life goals front and center.
If there are 6 pheasants in a stand of cattails and a hunter shoots one of them, how many pheasants will remain amid the cattails? (SHARE your answer below)
Last week’s riddle:
I have a rough skin and sometimes more than two eyes, but I can be tasty even plainly and simply prepared. Just what am I?
Last week’s answer:
FOCUS RETURNS TO EARNINGS, FUNDAMENTALS
A sense of normalcy returned to Wall Street late last week following Wednesday’s deal to end the federal shutdown. The sense of relief spurred the S&P 500 to an all-time high on Friday. At the end of last week, 85 S&P firms had reported quarterly results with earnings surpassing forecasts by an average of 4.2%. As for Washington, the new question is whether a bipartisan committee can negotiate its way to a federal budget agreement by December 13, while also crafting a 10-year plan for tax and entitlement reform. If this new budget panel can’t reach common ground by that deadline, the federal government will face the threat of another shutdown on January 15.1,2
MORE “MODEST TO MODERATE” GROWTH REPORTED
That was the big picture out of the Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book. Eight of 12 Fed districts reported unchanged economic expansion over the past several weeks; however, the Chicago, Richmond, Kansas City and Philadelphia districts found the pace of the economic rebound slowing.3
STOCKS CLIMB 2.4%, OIL DECLINES, GOLD RISES
To be precise, the S&P 500 advanced 2.42% last week, hitting a new intraday record of 1,745.32 on Friday before settling at 1,744.50. The NASDAQ finished the week at a 13-year high of 3,914.28, rising 3.23% across five days. A 1.07% weekly gain brought the Dow to a settlement price of 15,399.65 Friday. NYMEX crude settled at $100.81 per barrel Friday afternoon, down 1.2% since Monday for their fifth weekly loss in the past six weeks. COMEX gold jumped 3.2% on Thursday alone, with futures up 3.7% for the week to a Friday close of $1,314.60.1,4
THIS WEEK: Monday offers the NAR’s latest existing home sales report and earnings reports from Discover Financial, McDonald's, Halliburton, Netflix and Texas Instruments. Look what’s coming Tuesday: Apple and Nokia launch events, the Microsoft Surface 2 release, the delayed September jobs report from the Labor Department, and earnings from United Tech, Broadcom, DuPont, Travelers and Amgen. The August FHFA Housing Price Index is out Wednesday, along with earnings from Caterpillar, GlaxoSmithKline, Boeing and AT&T. Thursday brings earnings from Amazon.com, Microsoft, Credit Suisse, Western Digital, Ford, 3M and Zynga, the latest initial claims figures, and possibly the Census Bureau report on September new home sales. Friday, Procter & Gamble and UPS announce Q3 results, the month’s final University of Michigan consumer sentiment index arrives, and the September durable goods report is slated for release.
1 - tinyurl.com/n7awhay [10/18/13]
2 - csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/2013/1017/A-new-shutdown-clock-is-ticking.-Can-Washington-avoid-a-rerun-video [10/17/13]
3 - kansascity.com/2013/10/16/4556768/economic-growth-lagging-in-kansas.html [10/16/13]
4 - marketwatch.com/investing/commodities [10/18/13]
5 - usatoday.com/money/markets/overview/ [10/18/13]
6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=10%2F18%2F12&x=0&y=0 [10/18/13]
6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=10%2F18%2F12&x=0&y=0 [10/18/13]
6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=10%2F18%2F12&x=0&y=0 [10/18/13]
6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=10%2F17%2F08&x=0&y=0 [10/18/13]
6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=10%2F17%2F08&x=0&y=0 [10/18/13]
6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=10%2F17%2F08&x=0&y=0 [10/18/13]
6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=10%2F17%2F03&x=0&y=0 [10/18/13]
6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=10%2F17%2F03&x=0&y=0 [10/18/13]
6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=10%2F17%2F03&x=0&y=0 [10/18/13]
7 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [10/18/13]
8 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [10/18/13]
This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world's largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. Market indices discussed are unmanaged. Investors cannot invest in unmanaged indices. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.