Stocks were mixed last week as good inflation news was offset by mounting debt ceiling concerns and rekindled regional banking fears.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.11%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 slipped 0.29%. The Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.40% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, fell 0.67%.1,2,3
Uncertainty Weighs on Stocks
The week got off to a quiet start as investors waited on April’s two key inflation reports scheduled for release on Wednesday and Thursday. When consumer prices rose less than forecasted, stocks broke out of their lethargy and moved higher. Stocks also got a boost on Wednesday afternoon from comments from the White House, hinting at an opening for negotiation on the debt ceiling.
Despite a substantial cooling in producer price increases, stocks turned mixed on Thursday amid a disappointing earnings report from a Dow Industrial component and new data that reignited investor anxiety over regional banks’ financial health. Stocks ended the week the way they began, largely drifting in an otherwise directionless fashion.
Inflation Pressures Ease
Consumer prices rose 4.9% year-over-year, the tenth consecutive month that the headline inflation rate has declined. This was a slight improvement over March’s 12-month increase of 5.0%. April’s monthly inflation rate was 0.4 percent, above March’s 0.1 percent rise. April’s increase was driven by higher housing, gasoline, and used car costs.4
Inflation progress extended into wholesale prices, which rose 0.2% in April–below the consensus forecast of a 0.3% rise. For the last twelve months, producer prices increased 2.3%, an improvement from last month’s 2.7% year-over-year gain and the lowest recording since January 2021.5
This Week: Key Economic Data
Tuesday: Retail Sales. Industrial Production.
Wednesday: Housing Starts.
Thursday: Existing Home Sales. Index of Leading Economic Indicators. Jobless Claims.
Source: Econoday, May 12, 2023
The Econoday economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.
This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings
Tuesday: The Home Depot, Inc. (HD).
Wednesday: Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO), Target Corporation (TGT), The TJX Companies, Inc. (TJX).
Thursday: Walmart, Inc. (WMT), Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT), Ross Stores, Inc. (ROST).
Friday: Deere & Company (DE)
Source: Zacks, May 12, 2023
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. 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. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.
Know and Understand Your Correct Filing Status
Taxpayers should understand their filing status well and at least be familiar with the other choices.
When preparing and filing a tax return, the filing status affects:
- If the taxpayer is required to file a federal tax return
- Their standard deduction amount
- If they can claim certain credits
- The amount of tax they should pay
Here are the five filing statuses:
Single: Normally, this status is for taxpayers who are unmarried, divorced, or legally separated under a divorce or separate maintenance decree governed by state law.
Married filing jointly: If a taxpayer is married, they can file a joint tax return with their spouse. When a spouse passes away, the widowed spouse can usually file a joint return for that year.
Married filing separately: Married couples can choose to file separate tax returns when doing so may result in more favorable treatment.
Head of household: Unmarried taxpayers may be able to file using this status, but special rules apply.
Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child: This status may apply to a taxpayer if their spouse died during one of the previous two years and they have a dependent child. Other conditions also apply.
*This information is not intended to substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.
Tip adapted from IRS.gov6
Note this alphabetic progression: B, C, D, E, G. What letter should then follow as the sixth letter in this successive series?
Last week’s riddle: I may be red, green, or yellow. Eat me, and you may stay a healthy fellow. My interior is white; I don't give off light. What am I? Answer: An apple.
Footnotes and Sources
- The Wall Street Journal, May 12, 2023
- The Wall Street Journal, May 12, 2023
- The Wall Street Journal, May 12, 2023
- The Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2023.
- CNBC, May 11, 2023
- IRS.gov, 2023
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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