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August 11, 2020
Market Commentary - 8/11/2020

There was good news and bad news in last week’s employment report.

The good news was the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics delivered better-than-expected data about employment. In July, the U.S. economy added about 1.8 million new jobs.

That’s about 300,000 more than the Wall Street consensus forecast, according to Jeff Cox of CNBC, who reported, “…there were wide variations around the estimates as the pandemic’s resurgence dented plans to get the shuttered U.S. economy completely back online. Forecasts ranged from a decline of half a million jobs to a rise of 3 million…”

The flip side of employment is unemployment. The U-3 unemployment rate, which reflects unemployed people who are actively seeking a job, declined in July.

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July 28, 2020
Market Commentary - 7/28/2020

Where are we on vaccines and treatments? During 2020, the United States government has spent more than $13 billion on Operation Warp Speed (OWS), which is focused on accelerating the development of vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, according to The Economist. The United States is not alone. Governments around the world are funding similar research. […]

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July 21, 2020
Market Commentary 7/21/2020

Is the United States economy recovering or faltering?

It depends on who you ask and which data you consider. For example, last week, the Department of Labor reported fewer people applied for first-time unemployment benefits during the week of July 11. That could be a tick in the positive data column. Week-to-week the number declined from 1.31 million to 1.30 million. The lackluster decline could be a tick in the negative data column since the long-term weekly average is about 20 percent of that number.

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July 17, 2020
6 Options for Distribution from a Company Plan

Whether you are changing employers or reaching retirement, deciding what to do with your company retirement plan is an important decision with more options than you may expect—six to be exact.

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July 14, 2020
Market Commentary 7/14/2020

Please don’t scream inside your heart.

Last week, a reopened Japanese theme park asked patrons to wear masks to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. It also asked them not to scream while riding the rollercoaster. “Please scream inside your heart,” park management urged.

During 2020, stock markets in the United States have taken investors on an emotional rollercoaster ride. By late March, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index had lost more than 30 percent. The Index has since regained most of those losses, although there have been many ups and downs along the way.

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July 7, 2020
Lifestyle News: Coping with Pandemic Stress

If your stress and anxiety levels are reaching a breaking point, you’re not alone. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) poll found 45 percent of adults in the United States are feeling worry and stress related to the coronavirus. Steps taken to reduce loss of life – social distancing, non-essential business closures, remote work, lack of daycare, shelter-in-place orders, online school – have caused many people to feel overwhelmed or isolated or both. Anxiety has been triggered by uncertainty about the future and concern loved ones may become ill.

Fortunately, there are actions we can take to stay calm and carry on.

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July 7, 2020
Market Commentary - 7/7/2020

Who could have guessed a global pandemic would produce outsized stock market returns? Near the end of last quarter (March 23), the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 30.75 percent for the year, and it looked like 2020 was going to be a disappointing year for many investors.

Since then, the S&P 500 has gained 39 percent, reported The Economist. It rose 20 percent from March 31 to June 30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also did well, delivering its second best quarterly showing since 1938. The Nasdaq Composite finished the quarter in positive territory.

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June 30, 2020
Market Commentary - 6/30/2020

Blame it on the coronavirus. Stock markets in the United States and Europe retreated last week as the number of new COVID-19 cases increased steadily in America. On Thursday, there were more than 44,000 new cases, the highest daily total to date, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control. “The turn has created […]

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June 23, 2020
The SECURE Act’s Impact on Your Retirement

Major changes to retirement tax rules took effect on January 1 this year that are impacting every retiree with a retirement account. In December, a $1.4 trillion spending bill was signed into law to keep the government running. Within this legislation was the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act—which brought some of the most significant changes we have seen to retirement tax laws in more than a decade.

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