Stocks managed small gains as investors wrestled with concerns over economic growth prospects and a rise in COVID-19 infections.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average picked up 0.24%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 0.40%. The Nasdaq Composite index added 0.43%. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slipped 0.78%.1,2,3
A Choppy Week
In a truncated week of trading, stock market action was turbulent and indecisive. A mixed start saw cyclical stocks sell off amid concerns of slowing economic growth, while growth stocks advanced in response to falling yields.
After strengthening mid-week with the release of the FOMC meeting minutes, stocks skidded when reopening fears resurfaced Thursday on a new wave of global COVID-19 infections and Japan’s emergency declaration that reintroduced lockdown protocols. This led to a broad-based sell-off, with financials, home builders, and technology hit hard. A drop in bond yields added to the deteriorating sentiment.
Bond yields rebounded on Friday, setting the stage for a strong comeback for stocks, with the three major indices closing at new all-time highs.4
Attention Turns to Bonds
Since reaching a 2021 high of 1.74% in March, the 10-year Treasury yield has been in a slow, steady decline, closing at 1.37% on Friday.5
One explanation may be that reopening sentiment has turned more cautious as the Delta variant of COVID-19 spreads globally. Another view is that overseas investors are buying Treasuries, effectively lowering yields.
Perhaps it's abating inflation concerns, or simply excess liquidity finding its way into bonds. Whatever the message, the yield narrative has changed from just a few months ago when it was believed that the 10-year treasury was heading to two percent.5
This Week: Key Economic Data
Tuesday: Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Thursday: Jobless Claims. Industrial Production.
Friday: Retail Sales.
Source: Econoday, July 9, 2021
This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings
Tuesday: JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Goldman Sachs (GS), Wells Fargo & Co. (WF), Pepsico, Inc. (PEP).
Wednesday: Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup, Inc. (C), Delta Airlines (DAL), Blackrock, Inc. (BLK).
Thursday: UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Morgan Stanley (MS), Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM).
Friday: Charles Schwab (SCHW), Kansas City Southern (KSU).
Source: Zacks, July 9, 2021
“One does not fall 'in' or 'out' of love. One grows in love.”
– Leo Buscaglia
Your Plans This Summer May Be Eligible for Itemized Deductions
If you have big plans this summer to sell or buy a home, donate some old items, or hit the casino, some of these activities may be able to be itemized as deductions. Here are some examples:
If you are refinancing your home this summer, you may be able to deduct a part of your mortgage interest. There are some limits to these deductions, though. According to the IRS, the deduction is limited to interest paid on a loan secured by the taxpayer’s main home or second home. When you refinance, you must use the loan to buy, build, or substantially improve your main home or second home.
If you are buying a new home this summer, you can deduct mortgage insurance if you pay on a total of $750,000 in qualifying debt for a first and second home or $375,000 when married filing separately.
Lastly, if you enjoy hitting the casino, you may be able to itemize and deduct gambling losses up to the amount of gambling winnings.
* 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.gov6
Changing Unhealthy Behavior
Most Americans know the fundamentals of good health: exercise, proper diet, sufficient sleep, regular check-ups and no smoking or excessive alcohol. Yet, despite this knowledge, changing existing behaviors can be difficult. Look no further than the New Year Resolution, 80% of which fail by February.7
Generally, negative motivations are inadequate to effect change. (“I need to quit smoking because my spouse hates it.”) Motivation needs to come from within and be positive oriented. (“I want to quit smoking so I see my grandchildren graduate.”)
Goals must be specific, measurable, realistic and time-related. In other words, “I am going to exercise more” is not enough. You need to set a more defined goal, e.g., “I am going to walk 30 minutes a day, five days a week.”
Permanent Change is Evolutionary, not Revolutionary
As a rule, individuals travel through stages on their way to permanent change. These stages can’t be rushed or skipped.
Phase one: Precontemplation. Whether through lack of knowledge or because of past failures, you are not consciously thinking about any change.
Phase two: Contemplation. You are considering change, but aren’t yet committed to it. To help you move through this phase, it may be helpful to write out the pros and cons of changing your behavior. Examine the barriers to change. Not enough time to exercise? How could you create that time?
Phase three: Preparation. You’re at the point of believing change is necessary and you can succeed. When making plans it’s critical to begin anticipating potential obstacles. How will you address temptations that test your resolve? For instance, how will you decline a lunch invitation from work colleagues to that greasy spoon restaurant?
Phase four: Taking action. This is the start of change. Practice your alternative strategies to avoid temptation. Remind yourself daily of your motivation; write it down if necessary. Get support from family and friends.
Phase five: Maintenance. You’ve been faithful to your new behavior. Now it’s time to prevent relapse and integrate this change into your life.
Remember, this process is not a straight line. You may fail, even repeatedly, but don’t let failure discourage you. Reflect on why you failed and apply that knowledge to your efforts going forward.
It can be as round as a dishpan, as deep as a tub, and still the oceans couldn’t fill it up. What is it?
Last week’s riddle: What 11-letter word must always be spelled incorrectly? Answer: Incorrectly.
Sunset in Maui, Hawaii.
Footnotes and Sources
2. The Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2021
3. The Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2021
4. CNBC, July 9, 2021
5. U.S Department of Treasury, July 9, 2021
6. IRS.gov, November 9, 2020
7. NBCNews.com, December 31, 2019
Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost.
The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, may not materialize, and are subject to revision without notice.
The market indexes discussed are unmanaged, and generally, considered representative of their respective markets. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Indexes do not incur management fees, costs, and expenses. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
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