Weekly Market Notes – January 27, 2020

Weekly_Market_Notes

For the Week of January 27, 2020

The Markets

Stocks slid in a broad sell-off Friday amid concern the spread of China’s coronavirus could disrupt travel and slow global economic growth. After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the second case of the virus in the U.S., the S&P saw its biggest one-day percentage drop in more than three months. For the week, the Dow fell 1.01 percent to close at 28,989.73. The S&P lost 0.63 percent to finish at 3,295.47, and the NASDAQ dropped 0.45 percent to end the week at 9,314.91.

Returns Through 1/24/20 1 Week YTD 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year
Dow Jones Industrials (TR) -1.01 1.68 20.96 16.05 13.13
NASDAQ Composite (PR) -0.45 3.82 31.69 18.49 14.38
S&P 500 (TR) -0.63 2.10 27.24 15.34 12.22
Barclays US Agg Bond (TR) 0.70 1.30 9.66 4.46 3.01
MSCI EAFE (TR) -0.17 0.42 17.29 8.83 5.60

Source: Morningstar.com. *Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three- and five-year returns are annualized. The Dow Jones Industrials, MSCI EAFE, Barclays US Agg Bond and S&P, excluding “1 Week” returns, are based on total return, which is a reflection of return to an investor by reinvesting dividends after the deduction of withholding tax. The NASDAQ is based on price return, which is the capital appreciation of the portfolio, excluding income generated by the assets in the portfolio in the form of interest and dividends. (TR) indicates total return. (PR) indicates price return. MSCI EAFE returns stated in U.S. dollars.

 

They Own It Now — Banks foreclosed on 143,955 homes nationwide in 2019, down 37 percent from 230,305 foreclosures in 2018 and down 51 percent from 291,579 foreclosures in 2017. The worst single month of foreclosures in U.S. history – 102,134 foreclosures in Sept. 2010 (source: ATTOM Data Solutions, BTN Research).

Really Low — Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, was up 2.3 percent for 2019. For the decade of the 2010s, inflation was up just 1.8 percent per year, the lowest decade of inflation in the U.S. since the 1930s. By comparison, the decade of the 1970s suffered 7.4 percent annual inflation (source: Department of Labor, BTN Research).

New Law — On Dec. 20, 2019, President Trump signed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019. The legislation increases the required minimum distribution age from 70½ to 72 for Americans who turn 70½ after Dec. 31, 2019 (source: Congress, BTN Research).

 

WEEKLY FOCUS – Prevent Tax Identity Theft

You may not be ready for tax season, but IRS imposters and identity thieves are. They’re just waiting to get your Social Security number, file a fraudulent tax return and claim your refund. If their scam goes well, you won’t know what happened until you file your return and the IRS rejects it as a duplicate. Leaving you with a lengthy wait for your return while the IRS investigates. Here are a few ways to thwart thieves.

Don’t take the bait. Ninety percent of all data thefts start with an email phishing scam.1 Learn to recognize warning signs like misspellings, generic messages and a false sense of urgency. Delete emails from people you don’t know or companies you don’t do business with. If you get an email that says there is problem with your account, contact the company directly using a known website or phone number. Never open links unless you are sure of the source.

Keep your mobile device and computer updated. Add two-factor authentication on your financial accounts, requiring a one-time code sent by text or email to log in.

Be a little anti-social, less open and less trusting. Thieves embed dangerous links in social media ads, messages, tweets and posts. Be particularly suspicious of posts that say you’ve won a gift card, promise gossipy details about a celebrity, warn your account will be closed, feature a test or survey, or redirect you to see a photo of yourself. Avoid sharing personal details on social media, such as your birthday, address, schedule or mother’s maiden name.

Head them off at the pass. File your return as early as possible, especially if your personal information may have been compromised in a data breach. Research a tax preparer before handing over your personal information. If you file yourself, mail your return directly from the post office or use a secure internet connection to file electronically.

Remember the IRS will not call, text or email. They’ll contact you by U.S. mail with an official seal. If you aren’t sure a communication is legitimate, call the IRS at 800-829-1040 to verify. If you fear you’ve been a victim of tax identity theft, call the IRS at 800-908-4490 or visit www.irs.gov/identitytheft.

If you would like more information about identity theft and protecting your confidential and important information, please contact our office. 1https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/national-tax-security-awareness-week-day-2-dont-take-the-bait-recognize-avoid-phishing-scams-from-identity-thieves

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* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Europe, Australia and Far East Index (MSCI EAFE Index) is a widely recognized benchmark of non-U.S. stock markets. It is an unmanaged index composed of a sample of companies representative of the market structure of 20 European and Pacific Basin countries and includes reinvestment of all dividends. Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond Index is an unmanaged index comprised of U.S. investment-grade, fixed-rate bond market securities, including government, government agency, corporate and mortgage-backed securities between one and 10 years. Written by Securities America, Copyright January 2020. All rights reserved. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. SAI# 2923324.1

 

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