The Market Week In Review

The U.S. stock market ended the week higher amid the signing of a ‘Phase 1’ trade deal between the U.S. and China and better than expected big bank earnings.  Interest rates were, however, little changed as the 10-year treasury yield rose from 1.83% to 1.84%.  The price of gold was also little changed as the safe haven metal dropped 0.24% to $1,557 an ounce.  The price of crude oil only fell 0.37% to $58.81 a barrel as trade optimism was offset by sluggish economic growth in China (the world’s largest oil importer). This Week’s Economic Highlights The Consumer Price Index…

The Newly Enacted SECURE Act is a Game-Changer

The passage of the SECURE Act has resulted in major changes to the tax rules governing contributions to, and required withdrawals from, qualified retirement plans and IRA accounts. In many cases, the Act makes existing estate planning for retirement benefits obsolete. While most of the changes will accelerate taxes on retirement assets, there are also some taxpayer-friendly changes as well. “Nothing lasts forever but the certainty of change.” — Bruce Dickinson Prior to January 1 of this year, IRA, 401(k), profit sharing and/or 403(b) accounts (collectively referred to here as “qualified retirement accounts” or QRA’s) allowed for account benefits to…

The Market Week In Review

Despite lower-than-expected jobs data, the U.S. stock market ended the week mostly higher amid further trade optimism.  Interest rates also moved higher over the course of the week as the 10-year Treasury yield rose from 1.78% to 1.83%.  The price of gold rose a slight 0.38% to $1,561 an ounce while crude oil dropped 6.35% to $59.03 a barrel as President Trump said he believes Iran is “standing down” from its retaliation on the U.S. This Week’s Economic Highlights The U.S. trade deficit fell by a sharp 8% in November to a three-year low of $43.1 billion, as Chinese imports…

The Market Week in Review

The U.S. stock market started the week mostly higher due to an announcement that China’s central bank will cut the minimum reserves for commercial banks, but ended the week marginally lower amid news that Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was killed in a U.S. airstrike.  Consequent to the U.S. airstrike news, interest rates also fell with the 10-year treasury yield dropping from 1.87% last week to 1.78% today.  The price of gold jumped 2.4% on the news to $1,555 an ounce while the price of crude oil (Iran’s main export) jumped 3.0% to $63.04 a barrel. This Week’s Economic Highlights Initial…

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