Monthly Archives: November 2017

Market Week: November 27, 2017

The Markets (as of market close November 24, 2017)

Stocks rebounded last week in spite of the market shutting down for the Thanksgiving holiday. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here posted weekly gains, led by the Russell 2000, which posted one of its largest weekly advances this year. The tech-heavy Nasdaq was next, followed by the Global Dow. The large caps of the S&P 500 and Dow enjoyed moderately strong returns. For the year, the Nasdaq is approaching an increase of 30.0%.

The price of crude oil (WTI) rose to $58.97 per barrel last Friday, up from the prior week’s closing price of $56.63 per barrel. The price of gold (COMEX) fell to $1,292.60 by early Friday evening, down from the prior week’s price of $1,294.60. The national average retail regular gasoline price decreased to $2.568 per gallon on November 20, 2017, $0.024 lower than the prior week’s price but $0.413 more than a year ago.

Market/Index 2016 Close Prior Week As of 11/24 Weekly Change YTD Change
DJIA 19762.60 23358.24 23557.99 0.86% 19.20%
Nasdaq 5383.12 6782.79 6889.16 1.57% 27.98%
S&P 500 2238.83 2578.85 2602.42 0.91% 16.24%
Russell 2000 1357.13 1492.82 1519.16 1.76% 11.94%
Global Dow 2528.21 2953.40 2992.73 1.33% 18.37%
Fed. Funds target rate 0.50%-0.75% 1.00%-1.25% 1.00%-1.25% 0 bps 50 bps
10-year Treasuries 2.44% 2.34% 2.34% 0 bps -10 bps

Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.

Last Week’s Economic Headlines

·         Existing home sales continued to increase in October, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Sales of existing homes (all types) were at an annual rate of 5.48 million in October, up 2.0% from September’s rate. Single-family existing home sales climbed 2.1% for the month. The median existing-home price for all housing types in October was $247,000, up 5.5% from October 2016 ($234,100). The median existing single-family home price was $248,300 in October, up 5.4% from October 2016. Total housing inventory at the end of October decreased 3.2% to 1.80 million existing homes available for sale, which is 10.4% lower than a year ago (2.01 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 29 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.4 months a year ago.

·         October saw new orders for long lasting (durable) goods slide following two consecutive monthly increases. New orders for manufactured durable goods decreased $2.8 billion, or 1.2%, in October. Transportation equipment, also down following two consecutive monthly increases, drove the decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders actually increased 0.4%. Manufacturers shipped more goods in October, while the number of unfilled orders remained relatively the same as in September.

·         In the week ended November 18, the advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was 239,000, a decrease of 13,000 from the previous week’s level, which was revised up by 3,000. The advance insured unemployment rate rose slightly to 1.4%. The advance number of those receiving unemployment insurance benefits during the week ended November 11 was 1,904,000, an increase of 36,000 from the previous week’s level, which was revised up 8,000.

Eye on the Week Ahead

The last week of November reveals some important economic information. The second report on the third-quarter GDP is out this week. The initial estimate in October showed the GDP increased at a 3.0% annualized growth rate. Also revealed this week is the report on personal income and spending for October. This indicator of inflationary trends is one of the economic reports relied on by the Fed in determining whether to raise interest rates.

Data sources: News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e. wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations. Market data: Based on data reported in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/Bloomberg.com Market Data (oil spot price, WTI Cushing, OK); www.goldprice.org (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates). All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighted index composed of 2,000 U.S. small-cap common stocks. The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide. Market indices listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES

Content has been provided by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc.  Broadridge does not provide Investment, tax or legal advice.  The information presented here is not specific to any individual’s personal circumstances.

This publication is provided as a service to clients and associates of PFA solely for their own use and information.  The material is derived from sources believed to be reliable but its accuracy and the opinions based thereon are not guaranteed and have not been verified.  The content in this publication is for general information and education purposes only and not intended to serve as individual investment advice.  You should seek independent advice from a professional based on your individual circumstances.  The information in these materials may change at any time without notice.  To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law.  Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.

This communication is strictly intended for individuals residing in the state(s) of CA, FL, IL, MO and TX. No offers may be made or accepted from any resident outside the specific states referenced.

Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2017.

Proposed Tax Reform Legislation

On November 2, 2017, House Republicans released their comprehensive tax reform plan, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Then, on November 9, 2017, Senate Republicans released their own plan. The two plans have much in common, but also have significant differences. Some key provisions of these tax proposals are discussed below. Of course, provisions may change as the legislation winds its way through Congress. Most provisions, if enacted, would be effective for 2018. Comparisons below are generally for 2018.

Individual income tax rates

Current law. There are seven regular income tax brackets: 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35%, and 39.6%.

House proposal. The seven tax brackets would be reduced to four: 12%, 25%, 35%, and 39.6%.

Income Bracket Thresholds
Tax Rate Single Married Filing Jointly/ Surviving Spouse Married Filing Separately Head of Household Trust/Estate
12% $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
25% $45,000 $90,000 $45,000 $67,500 $2,550
35% $200,000 $260,000 $130,000 $200,000 $9,150
39.6% $500,000 $1,000,000 $500,000 $500,000 $12,500

In addition, the benefit of the 12% rate would be recaptured by an additional tax if adjusted gross income (AGI) exceeds $1,000,000 ($1,200,000 for married filing jointly and surviving spouses).

Senate proposal. There would be seven tax brackets: 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 38.5%.

Income Bracket Thresholds
Tax Rate Single Married Filing Jointly/ Surviving Spouse Married Filing Separately Head of Household Trust/Estate
10% $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
12% $9,525 $19,050 $9,525 $13,600 N/A
22% $38,700 $77,400 $38,700 $51,800 N/A
24% $70,000 $140,000 $70,000 $70,000 $2,550
32% $160,000 $320,000 $160,000 $160,000 N/A
35% $200,000 $400,000 $200,000 $200,000 $9,150
38.5% $500,000 $1,000,000 $500,000 $500,000 $12,500

Standard deduction, itemized deductions, and personal exemptions

Current law. In general, personal (and dependency) exemptions are available for you, your spouse, and your dependents. Personal exemptions may be phased out based on the amount of your adjusted gross income.

You can generally choose to take the standard deduction or to itemize deductions. Additional standard deduction amounts are available if you are blind or age 65 or older.

Itemized deductions include deductions for: medical expenses, state and local taxes, home mortgage interest, investment interest, charitable gifts, casualty and theft losses, job expenses and certain miscellaneous deductions, and other miscellaneous deductions. There is an overall limitation on itemized deductions based on the amount of your adjusted gross income.

House proposal. The standard deduction would be significantly increased, but personal and dependency exemptions would no longer be available, and additional standard deduction amounts for the blind and those over age 65 would no longer be available.

Most itemized deductions would be eliminated (or restricted).

  • The deduction for mortgage interest would still be available, but the benefit would be reduced for some individuals, and interest on home equity loans would no longer be deductible.
  • The deduction for state and local taxes would be limited to $10,000 of real property taxes (income taxes, sales taxes, and personal property taxes would not be deductible).
  • The deduction for personal casualty losses would be eliminated, except for previously granted relief for qualified victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
  • The charitable deduction would still be available, but modified.

Senate proposal. The standard deduction would be significantly increased, and the additional standard deduction amounts for those over age 65 or blind would still be available. The personal and dependency exemptions would no longer be available.

Most itemized deductions would be eliminated (or restricted).

  • The deduction for mortgage interest would still be available, but not for home equity loans.
  • The deduction for all state and local taxes would be eliminated.
  • The deduction for personal casualty losses would be eliminated unless the loss was incurred in a federally declared disaster.
  • The charitable deduction would still be available, but modified.

Standard deduction, itemized deductions, and personal exemptions

Personal and Dependency Exemptions (you, your spouse, and dependents)
Current law House proposal Senate proposal
Exemption $4,150 No personal exemption No personal exemption

 

Standard Deduction
Current law House proposal Senate proposal
Married filing jointly $13,000 $24,400 $24,000
Head of household $9,550 $18,300 $18,000
Single/married filing separately $6,500 $12,200 $12,000
Additional aged/blind
Single/head of household $1,550 Not available $1,550
All other filing statuses $1,250 Not available $1,250

 

Itemized Deductions
Current law House proposal Senate proposal
Medical expenses Yes No No
State and local taxes Yes, income (or sales) tax, real property tax, personal property tax $10,000 of real property tax only No
Home mortgage interest Yes, limited to $1,000,000 ($100,000 for home equity loan) Yes, limited to $500,000, principal residence only, and no home equity loan Yes, but no home equity loan
Investment interest Yes No No
Charitable gifts Yes Yes, 50% AGI limit raised to 60% for certain cash gifts Yes, 50% AGI limit raised to 60% for certain cash gifts
Casualty and theft losses Yes No, but continued relief for qualified victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria Federally declared disasters only
Job expenses and certain miscellaneous deductions Yes No No
Other miscellaneous deductions Yes No No

Child tax credit and new family tax credit

Current law. The maximum child tax credit is $1,000. The child tax credit is phased out if modified adjusted gross income exceeds certain amounts. If the credit exceeds the tax liability, the child tax credit is refundable up to 15% of the amount of earned income in excess of $3,000 (the earned income threshold).

House proposal. The maximum child tax credit would be increased to $1,600. A credit of $300 would be available for non-child dependents. In addition, a family flexibility credit of $300 would be available for a qualifying individual who is neither a child nor a non-child dependent. The maximum refundable amount of the credit would be $1,000, indexed for inflation. The amount at which the credit begins to phase out would be increased.

Senate proposal. The maximum child tax credit would be increased to $2,000. A nonrefundable credit of $500 would be available for non-child dependents. The maximum refundable amount of the credit would be $1,000, indexed for inflation. The amount at which the credit begins to phase out would be increased, and the earned income threshold would be lowered to $2,500.

Child Tax Credit
Current law House proposal Senate proposal
Maximum credit $1,000 $1,600 $2,000
Non-child dependents N/A $300 $500
Family flexibility N/A $300 N/A
Maximum refundable $1,000 $1,000 indexed $1,000 indexed
Refundable earned income threshold $3,000 $3,000 $2,500
Credit phaseout threshold
Single/head of household $75,000 $115,000 $500,000
Married filing jointly $110,000 $230,000 $500,000
Married filing separately $55,000 $115,000 $500,000

Alternative minimum tax

Under both the House and Senate plans, the alternative minimum tax would be eliminated.

Kiddie tax

Instead of taxing most unearned income of children at their parents’ tax rates, both the House and Senate plans would tax children’s unearned income using the trust and estate income tax brackets.

Corporate tax rates

Under both the House and Senate plans, corporate income would be taxed at a 20% rate. The House plan would make this effective starting in 2018. The Senate plan, however, would delay implementation to 2019.

Special provisions for business income of individuals

House proposal. A portion of the net income distributed by a pass-through entity (e.g., a partnership or S corporation) to an owner or shareholder would be taxed at a maximum rate of 25%. Wages and payments for services would be taxed at ordinary individual income tax rates.

Senate proposal. An individual taxpayer would be able to deduct 17.4% of domestic qualified business income (excludes compensation) from a partnership, S corporation, or sole proprietorship. The benefit of the deduction would be phased out for specified service businesses with taxable income exceeding $250,000 ($500,000 for married filing jointly). The deduction would be limited to 50% of the W-2 wages of the taxpayer. The W-2 wage limit would not apply if taxable income does not exceed $250,000 ($500,000 for married filing jointly), and the limit would be phased in for taxable income above those thresholds.

Retirement plans

Under both the House and Senate plans, the contribution levels for retirement plans would remain the same. However, it would no longer be permissible to recharacterize (or undo) a contribution or conversion to a Roth IRA.

Estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax

House proposal. The gift and estate tax basic exclusion amount would be doubled to about $11,200,000 in 2018.

In 2025, the estate tax and the generation-skipping transfer tax would be repealed. In general, income tax basis would continue to be stepped-up (or stepped-down) to fair market value at death. The gift tax would remain, but the top gift tax rate would be reduced from 40% to 35%.

Senate proposal. The gift and estate tax basic exclusion amount would be doubled to about $11,200,000 in 2018.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES

Content has been provided by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc.  Broadridge does not provide Investment, tax or legal advice.  The information presented here is not specific to any individual’s personal circumstances.

This publication is provided as a service to clients and associates of PFA solely for their own use and information.  The material is derived from sources believed to be reliable but its accuracy and the opinions based thereon are not guaranteed and have not been verified.  The content in this publication is for general information and education purposes only and not intended to serve as individual investment advice.  You should seek independent advice from a professional based on your individual circumstances.  The information in these materials may change at any time without notice.  To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law.  Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.

This communication is strictly intended for individuals residing in the state(s) of CA, FL, IL, MO and TX. No offers may be made or accepted from any resident outside the specific states referenced.

Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2017

Market Week: November 13, 2017

 

The Markets (as of market close November 10, 2017)

Trepidation over proposed tax reform took a toll on large caps last week, ending what had been a run of consecutive weekly positive returns. The small caps of the Russell 2000 were particularly hit, sending that index down over 1.30%. Rising oil prices pushed energy stocks higher, but not enough to offset falling stock prices across much of the market. A light economic calendar probably accounted for long-term bond yields remaining largely unchanged from the prior week.

The price of crude oil (WTI) rose to $56.86 per barrel last Friday, up from the prior week’s closing price of $55.73 per barrel. The price of gold (COMEX) climbed to $1,276.30 by early Friday evening, up from the prior week’s price of $1,270.00. The national average retail regular gasoline price increased to $2.561 per gallon on November 6, 2017, $0.073 higher than the prior week’s price and $0.328 more than a year ago.

Market/Index 2016 Close Prior Week As of 11/10 Weekly Change YTD Change
DJIA 19762.60 23539.19 23422.21 -0.50% 18.52%
Nasdaq 5383.12 6764.44 6750.94 -0.20% 25.41%
S&P 500 2238.83 2587.84 2582.30 -0.21% 15.34%
Russell 2000 1357.13 1494.91 1475.27 -1.31% 8.71%
Global Dow 2528.21 2976.80 2961.95 -0.50% 17.16%
Fed. Funds target rate 0.50%-0.75% 1.00%-1.25% 1.00%-1.25% 0 bps 50 bps
10-year Treasuries 2.44% 2.33% 2.32% -1 bps -12 bps

Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.

Last Week’s Economic Headlines

·         The number of job openings was little changed at 6.1 million on the last business day of September, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover (JOLTS) report. The number of hires fell slightly from 5.4 million in August to 5.3 million in September, while total separations remained essentially the same at 5.2 million. Job openings increased in professional and business services (+156,000), other services (+52,000), state and local government education (+36,000), and federal government (+15,000). Job openings decreased in accommodation and food services (-111,000) and information (-28,000). Over the 12 months ended in September, hires totaled 63.9 million and separations totaled 62.1 million, yielding a net employment gain of 1.8 million.

·         In the week ended November 4, the advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was 239,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week’s level. The advance insured unemployment rate increased slightly to 1.4%. The advance number of those receiving unemployment insurance benefits during the week ended October 28 was 1,901,000, an increase of 17,000 from the previous week’s level. This remains the lowest level for insured unemployment since January 12, 1974, when it was 1,881,000.

Eye on the Week Ahead

Inflation has been moving upward, but not enough to influence the Fed to raise interest rates. This week, inflationary trackers including the Consumer Price Index and the Producer Price Index provide price information for October.

Data sources: News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e. wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations. Market data: Based on data reported in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/Bloomberg.com Market Data (oil spot price, WTI Cushing, OK); www.goldprice.org (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates). All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighted index composed of 2,000 U.S. small-cap common stocks. The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide. Market indices listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES

Content has been provided by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc.  Broadridge does not provide Investment, tax or legal advice.  The information presented here is not specific to any individual’s personal circumstances.

This publication is provided as a service to clients and associates of PFA solely for their own use and information.  The material is derived from sources believed to be reliable but its accuracy and the opinions based thereon are not guaranteed and have not been verified.  The content in this publication is for general information and education purposes only and not intended to serve as individual investment advice.  You should seek independent advice from a professional based on your individual circumstances.  The information in these materials may change at any time without notice.  To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law.  Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.

This communication is strictly intended for individuals residing in the state(s) of CA, FL, IL, MO and TX. No offers may be made or accepted from any resident outside the specific states referenced.

Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2017.

Market Week: November 6, 2017

The Markets (as of market close November 3, 2017)

The benchmark indexes were mixed last week as large caps and tech stocks performed well, while small caps took quite a hit. The S&P 500 closed the week posting gains for the eighth straight week. The small caps of the Russell 2000 lost almost 1.0%. Technology and energy stocks performed well. Economic and political news also may have shaped the market last week as the Fed decided to hold short-term interest rates steady, and the president nominated a new chairman of the central bank to succeed Janet Yellen. Long-term bond yields fell as investors pushed bond prices higher.

The price of crude oil (WTI) rose to $55.73 per barrel last Friday, up from the prior week’s closing price of $54.02 per barrel. The price of gold (COMEX) dropped to $1,270.00 by early Friday evening, decreasing from the prior week’s price of $1,273.90. The national average retail regular gasoline price increased for the first time in several weeks to $2.488 per gallon on October 30, 2017, $0.009 higher than the prior week’s price and $0.258 more than a year ago.

Market/Index 2016 Close Prior Week As of 11/3 Weekly Change YTD Change
DJIA 19762.60 23434.19 23539.19 0.45% 19.11%
Nasdaq 5383.12 6701.26 6764.44 0.94% 25.66%
S&P 500 2238.83 2581.07 2587.84 0.26% 15.59%
Russell 2000 1357.13 1508.32 1494.91 -0.89% 10.15%
Global Dow 2528.21 2962.88 2976.80 0.47% 17.74%
Fed. Funds target rate 0.50%-0.75% 1.00%-1.25% 1.00%-1.25% 0 bps 50 bps
10-year Treasuries 2.44% 2.41% 2.33% -8 bps -11 bps

Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.

Last Week’s Economic Headlines

·         Released just ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee’s meeting, the report on personal income and consumer spending showed notable upward movement in September. Both personal (pre-tax) income and disposable (after-tax) income increased 0.4% for the month. Consumer spending, as measured by personal consumption expenditures, spiked 1.0% following a 0.1% increase in August. However, excluding volatile food and energy segments, core personal consumption expenditures inched up by only 0.1%. Over the last 12 months, consumer spending has expanded at a rate of 1.6%, while core spending is up 1.3%.

·         Slow inflationary growth kept interest rates at their current level in November. The Federal Open Market Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1.00%-1.25%. While noting that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a solid rate despite hurricane-related disruptions, inflation for items other than food and energy has remained soft. Nevertheless, a December rate hike is considered likely.

·         The labor sector added 261,000 new jobs in October, and the unemployment rate edged down 0.1% to 4.1%. Employment in food services and drinking places increased sharply, mostly offsetting a decline in September that largely reflected the impact of hurricanes Irma and Harvey. In October, job gains also occurred in professional and business services, manufacturing, and health care. The average workweek was unchanged at 34.4 hours. Average hourly earnings fell $0.01 to $26.53 after climbing $0.12 in September. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by $0.63, or 2.4%.

·         The international trade deficit for goods and services increased by $0.7 billion in September to $43.5 billion. September exports were $196.8 billion, $2.1 billion more than August exports. September imports were $240.3 billion, $2.8 billion more than August imports.

·         According to IHS Markit, October saw the manufacturing sector grow at the fastest pace since the beginning of the year. The IHS Markit final U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI™) registered 54.6 in October, up from 53.1 in September. Purchasing managers noted improvements in manufacturing output and new orders, while export sales increased at the quickest pace since August 2016.

·         On the other hand, the Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing managers survey had the October purchasing managers index fall 2.1 percentage points to 58.7, which still indicates growth in the manufacturing sector, but at a slightly slower pace than in September. Unlike Markit’s report, new orders and production dropped in October, according to the ISM® survey.

·         Business in the non-manufacturing (services) sector grew in October, according to the Institute for Supply Management. The NMI® registered 60.1%, which is the highest reading since the index debut in 2008.

·         Consumer confidence reached its highest level in almost 17 years in October, according to The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Survey®. Boosted by what is perceived as a strong jobs market and improving business conditions, consumers expressed confidence in the present economy while expecting it to improve in the near term.

·         In the week ended October 28, the advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was 229,000, a decrease of 5,000 from the previous week’s level, which was revised up by 1,000. The advance insured unemployment rate remained 1.3%. The advance number of those receiving unemployment insurance benefits during the week ended October 21 was 1,884,000, a decrease of 15,000 from the previous week’s level, which was revised up 6,000. This remains the lowest level for insured unemployment since December 29, 1973, when it was 1,805,000.

Eye on the Week Ahead

This week is a relatively slow one for economic news. Third-quarter earnings reports are still filtering in, helping to push stocks higher. However, the impact (if any) on the market from the first indictments out of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is still playing out. Last week’s FOMC decision to maintain short-term interest rates may nudge investors toward equities.

Data sources: News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e. wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations. Market data: Based on data reported in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/Bloomberg.com Market Data (oil spot price, WTI Cushing, OK); www.goldprice.org (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates). All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighted index composed of 2,000 U.S. small-cap common stocks. The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide. Market indices listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES

Content has been provided by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc.  Broadridge does not provide Investment, tax or legal advice.  The information presented here is not specific to any individual’s personal circumstances.

This publication is provided as a service to clients and associates of PFA solely for their own use and information.  The material is derived from sources believed to be reliable but its accuracy and the opinions based thereon are not guaranteed and have not been verified.  The content in this publication is for general information and education purposes only and not intended to serve as individual investment advice.  You should seek independent advice from a professional based on your individual circumstances.  The information in these materials may change at any time without notice.  To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law.  Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.

This communication is strictly intended for individuals residing in the state(s) of CA, FL, IL, MO and TX. No offers may be made or accepted from any resident outside the specific states referenced.

Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2017