There were plenty of excuses for stocks to retreat last week. News of a new phase in Chinese regulators’ crackdown on large, private-sector companies, a decline in new home sales, and concerns about the Delta variant weighed on investors.
After opening the week adding to record highs, stocks turned lower despite an earnings season that continued to impress.
Solid earnings from the mega-cap technology companies were not enough to propel stocks higher. Instead, stocks slipped throughout the week, fighting uncertainty over Chinese stocks, a disappointing second-quarter Gross Domestic Product number, and a retreat in technology shares they reset to fresh company guidance.
Chinese technology stocks were under pressure last week as Chinese regulators continued their push to rein in large companies for reasons that include data security, abusive corporate behavior, financial stability, and curtailing private-sector power.
Chinese government actions raised new levels of concerns about which industries may next fall in the crosshairs of regulators. American investors have plenty of exposure to Chinese companies. Substantial losses were felt by mutual funds and hedge funds, which account for about 86% of the holdings in the over 200 U.S.-listed Chinese companies whose aggregate market capitalization exceeds $2 trillion.3
Corporate earnings season has begun, and the results are turning heads on Wall Street.
Of the 120 companies in the S&P 500 index that reported numbers as of Friday, July 23, 89% of them beat the Street’s earnings-per-share estimates by an average of nearly 21%.1
The robust results are leading Wall Street analysts to raise estimates for the third and fourth quarters as well as the first-quarter 2022.1
Earnings season occurs four times a year, and it’s the time when a majority of publicly traded companies release their quarterly financial reports. Companies often go into great detail about their business, and some provide guidance about what lies ahead.
Typically, earnings season starts several weeks after the calendar quarter comes to a close. For example, the second quarter's earnings season began in mid-July, and the majority of companies are expected to release their earnings over the next six weeks.2
US Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler gave a speech this week in which he said that investor protection informs his thinking on the topic of cryptocurrencies. In the address, he called on Congress to help protect the public from fraud and asked for more authority to ensure that products and platforms do not fall between regulatory cracks.
On Thursday, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order aimed at making half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 electric. The measure is supported by US automakers and unions.
We've seen many articles about the recent uptick in inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). One aspect of CPI that most people aren't aware of is that housing prices are not part of the index. Inflation figures like the CPI actually include rents as opposed to housing prices. Currently we're seeing one of the largest historical differences in housing prices and rent. This could mean an increase in rent is coming, or perhaps a pause in rising home prices.
The news keeps getting better for Social Security recipients.
It's now projected that benefits will increase 6.1% in 2022, up from the 4.7% forecast just two months ago. That would be the most significant increase since 1983.4,5
It’s all about inflation. Social Security cost of living adjustments (COLA) are based on the consumer price index, which rose 5.4% in June — its largest 12-month increase since 2008. The official announcement is expected in October and, once it’s confirmed, the revised payment will go into effect in January 2022.6
More than 65 million Americans receive Social Security, and the annual cost of living adjustments are designed to help recipients manage higher costs. At the start of 2021, recipients saw a 1.3% increase.7
The average monthly benefit is $1,544 for retired workers. So a 6.1% increase amounts to $94 more a month. That might not be quite enough for a car payment, but it’s double the 3% raise being given to U.S. workers in 2021.7,8
Social Security can be confusing. One survey found only 6% of Americans know all the factors that determine the maximum benefits someone can receive. If you have any questions, please reach out. We have a number of resources at our fingertips that you may find helpful.9
Claiming Social Security can be one of the biggest decisions you make as you approach retirement.GTS Financial has software that analyzes countless scenarios to present you with clear options on which claiming strategies are a good fit for you. If you are approaching retirement and want an in-depth analysis run, let us know! Click this link to open up an email you can send to us, or let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The aging process is a daunting and inevitable one.
Which is why effort and action must be taken to improve the overall health, longevity, and quality of life.
Despite this, 80% of adults are not engaging in enough physical activity to reach prescribed guidelines and full health benefits of exercise. In general, but especially for seniors, inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle are extremely dangerous.
What are the dangers exactly? Increased risk of serious adverse health conditions such as blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, obesity, cholesterol issues, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, depression, and death from any cause. In 2008 there were 5.3 million deaths worldwide caused by a lack of physical activity out of the 57 million deaths worldwide.10
Many people know weightlifting is hugely beneficial but think light walking or recreational activity is “good enough” for seniors. There is this misconception that older aged individuals should stay away from any strenuous activity that can build strength like weightlifting. Continuing on completely unaware of the benefits of strength training.
Click here to read more.
*Please consult with your physician before beginning any new exercise routine*
In the practice of gratitude, sometimes you may be stuck on what to record. Or, you may feel you’ve said the same thing so many times, is it worth writing down again? In those moments don’t put down your pen, rather using a resource for guided practice is helpful. Give it a try!
Gratitude Guided Practice: What's your favorite moment of the day?
Maybe you’re smiling now, letting out a deep sigh (of relief) or closing your eyes to get back to that moment. If you’re not quite sure what that moment is then try this: close your eyes and imagine what your favorite moment looks like: Where are you? Who are you with? What are you doing? What do you see? What do you smell? What do you hear?
Hold this image for at least 30 seconds. Found your favorite moment? Awesome! Take some time and record that moment in your journal as it is indeed something to be grateful for!
Used with permission from our friends at Vertellis
Gratitude is one of our core values at GTS Financial. We take time to cultivate an attitude of gratitude in our personal lives, in our company culture and with our clients. One way we do this is to challenge you to record interactions, activities, or moments of gratitude 7 days in a row and note any changes you see in yourself. This little habit can literally change the way you look at the world! Email us at email@example.com with a message about your experience.
One of our clients recently sent us this inspirational message:
“After seven days of journaling, I am feeling very blessed. Even though I am in my senior years and live in an assisted living facility, I still have a purpose in life. My purpose changes daily related to the activities I am involved in and the interaction with residents.”
1. The Wall Street Journal, July 30, 2021
2. The Wall Street Journal, July 30, 2021
3. Yahoo Finance, January 7, 2021
4. Fortune.com, July 15, 2021
5. SeniorsLeague.org, May 12, 2021
6. InvestmentNews.com, July 13, 2021
7. SSA.gov, June 2021
8. SHRM.org, June 2021
9. FinancialAdvisorIQ.com, July 19, 2021
10. Lack of exercise as 'deadly' as smoking. (2012, July 18). Retrieved July 23, 2018
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