The Week on Wall Street

Friday, the S&P 500 settled above 3,000 for the first time, after rising 0.78% for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average chalked up a milestone of its own: the blue chips ended the week above 27,000, gaining 1.52% on the way. Additionally, the Nasdaq Composite wrapped up the week 1.01% higher. The MSCI EAFE index, a gauge of overseas developed markets, fell 0.65%.1, 2, 3

Stocks rallied at midweek with help from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s congressional testimony on monetary policy, plus the latest Fed meeting minutes.

Jerome Powell’s Statements

Wednesday, Chairman Powell told Capitol Hill lawmakers that “uncertainties around global growth and trade continue to weigh on the outlook” of the Federal Open Market Committee. He also noted that “manufacturing, trade, and investment are weak all around the world.”4

On the same day, the Fed presented the minutes of its June policy meeting. The record shared the belief of some Fed officials that "a near-term cut in the target range for the federal funds rate could help cushion the effects of possible future adverse shocks to the economy.”5

Overall Inflation Remains Muted

The June Consumer Price Index, released last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, measured only 1.6% yearly inflation. The Federal Reserve uses the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ Core Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index as its inflation barometer; in its latest edition, it showed just a 1.5% year-over-year rise.6

Currently, the Fed has a yearly inflation target of 2.0%. In the past, it has often raised interest rates in response to increasing inflation, which can potentially slow growth and affect hiring and employment levels. Absent significant inflation pressure, such a response may not be forthcoming.7

Final Thought

All eyes are on corporate earnings this week, as prominent banks and about two dozen other S&P 500 firms report second-quarter results. Market participants have much to consider in terms of profits, revenue, and guidance.

Life on your Terms

Would you like some summer reading?

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Life on your Terms will help you better understand where you are heading!

It’s likely that you’ve seen or read various retirement planning “rules” in the media. Some of these will tell you that you should have a certain dollar amount saved in order to retire. Others will tell you that you need at least 70% of your pre-retirement earnings coming in so that you can live comfortably after your employer’s paycheck stops.

You may have also heard that you have to wait until you are 65, 70, or even older in order to be financially independent, retired, and living life the way you want to be living it and doing what you want to do. But the truth is that every situation is different, and it really is dependent upon how much you will spend in retirement, where you decide to live, what income sources you will have available, the future rate of inflation, and when you opt to take that step into the next phase of your life.

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Sources

The information in this article is not intended to be tax or legal advice, and it may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. You are encouraged to seek tax or legal advice from an independent professional advisor. The content is derived from sources believed to be accurate. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. This material was written and prepared by Emerald. © 2014 Emerald Connect, LLC
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