Meet Financial Services Administrative Specialist: Donna Lowe
Donna brings a successful 30-year career working in the life insurance industry with Life of Georgia and American General Insurance companies. After losing 2 jobs to downsizing by International companies, Donna wanted to find a job with a smaller, more personal employer. She was also looking to continue to work with Christian, family-oriented co-workers. So when she joined the McKnight team in 2016, she was delighted to find a team with integrity that prized honesty for all clients and each other.
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Prices across US services categories may prevail as a key driver of future disinflation. However, strong wage growth remains a headwind. Specifically, wages account for almost 40% of end-consumer prices across services categories relative to just 25% across goods categories. In our view, this cost structure underscores the importance of further labor market softening to counterbalance recent inflation resurgence.
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A late-week surge, triggered by reassuring Fed-speak, propelled stocks higher last week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.75%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 advanced 1.90%. The Nasdaq Composite index picked up 2.58% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, added 0.81%.1,2,3
Stocks Resume Climb
After rebounding to start the week, stocks weakened following higher inflation numbers out of Europe and higher-than-expected manufacturing activity.
Stocks continued their decline into early Thursday following a report of higher labor costs and low initial jobless claims. But stocks staged an afternoon relief rally on Thursday following comments by Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic that he was “still very firmly” supportive of increasing rates in quarter-point increments. The climb in stocks was remarkable, given that yields on 10-year Treasuries reached their highest level since November. Undeterred by a strong services data report, the upside momentum continued into the final trading day and added to the week’s gains.4
Disconcerting Economic Data
It was a relatively quiet week for economic news, but several new economic data reports gave insights into overall activity. U.S. manufacturing activity contracted in February–the fourth consecutive month it has done so. While this may eventually justify a reason for moderating future rate hikes, the activity exceeded analysts’ expectations. An accompanying survey of manufacturers pointed to improving demand and potentially accelerating price pressures.
Meanwhile, China reported an outsized jump in manufacturing activity, which may help relieve remaining supply chain kinks. But the report may also fuel commodity price increases and influence global inflation. Inflation remained a persistent issue in Europe, as February’s Eurozone inflation read was hotter than anticipated.
This Week: Key Economic Data
Monday: Factory Orders.
Wednesday: Automated Data Processing (ADP) Employment Report. Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS).
Thursday: Jobless Claims.
Friday: Employment Situation.
Source: Econoday, March 3, 2023
This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings
Tuesday: Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc. (DKS), CrowdStrike (CRWD).
Wednesday: MongoDB, Inc. (MDB).
Thursday: Ulta Beauty, Inc. (ULTA), DocuSign (DOCU).
Source: Zacks, March 3, 2023
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"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life."
– Steve Jobs
Outstanding Tax Bill? Consider an Offer in Compromise
An Offer in Compromise is a federal tax program allowing taxpayers to enter into an agreement with the IRS to settle their tax debt for less than they owe. This agreement is an option when taxpayers can't pay their full tax liabilities or when paying the entire balance owed would cause financial hardship. The goal is a compromise that suits the best interests of both parties.
The IRS considers various circumstances when reviewing OIC applications, including the applicant’s:
There is also an application to apply for an OIC. Taxpayers who meet the definition of a low-income taxpayer don't have to pay this fee.
*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.gov5
It's All in a Walk: 3 Tips for Integrating Walking Into Your Day
Getting more movement is always a good idea, but finding the time to fit a walk into your day can be hard. These tips will make it easier to get up and get moving:
Tip adapted from Help Guide6
We know that a seahorse isn’t a horse, and we know that a silverfish isn’t a fish. For that matter, a snakehead isn’t a snake – but what is it?
Last week’s riddle: About 90% of this country’s land area is made up of arid tan desert, yet its flag was once solid green (until 2011) – in fact, at one time it was the only nation in the world with a flag containing just one color. What nation is this? Answer: Libya.
Corvin Castle, Romania, Transylvania
Footnotes and Sources
2. The Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2023
3. The Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2023
4. The Wall Street Journal, March 2, 2023
5. IRS.gov, October 18, 2022
6. HelpGuide.org, November 1, 2022
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.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is an unmanaged index that is generally considered representative of large-capitalization companies on the U.S. stock market. Nasdaq Composite is an index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market and is considered a broad indicator of the performance of technology and growth companies. The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) and serves as a benchmark of the performance of major international equity markets, as represented by 21 major MSCI indexes from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia. The S&P 500 Composite Index is an unmanaged group of securities that are considered to be representative of the stock market in general.
U.S. Treasury Notes are guaranteed by the federal government as to the timely payment of principal and interest. However, if you sell a Treasury Note prior to maturity, it may be worth more or less than the original price paid. Fixed income investments are subject to various risks including changes in interest rates, credit quality, inflation risk, market valuations, prepayments, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.
International investments carry additional risks, which include differences in financial reporting standards, currency exchange rates, political risks unique to a specific country, foreign taxes and regulations, and the potential for illiquid markets. These factors may result in greater share price volatility.
Please consult your financial professional for additional information.
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