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Weekly Market Insights: Is Stimulus Near?

Weekly Market Insights: Is Stimulus Near?

| December 09, 2020
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Stocks marched higher last week on an improving outlook for the passage of a fiscal stimulus package.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.03%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 tacked on 1.67%. The Nasdaq Composite index gained 2.12% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, gained 0.78%.1,2,3

A Record Week for Stocks

After opening the week with moderate losses amid rising COVID-19 infections, stocks turned higher as investor sentiment was buoyed by the resumption of fiscal stimulus negotiations. As lawmakers discussed various proposals, stocks managed to grind higher.

A better-than-expected jobless claims report on Thursday added fuel to the market rally, but the gains evaporated in late-day trading following news by a major pharmaceutical company that it would be slowing its rollout of the vaccine due to logistical challenges.4

A disappointing jobs report on Friday did not keep investors from bidding stocks higher as the week came to a close, sending the Dow Jones Industrials, S&P 500, and the NASDAQ Composite indices to record high closes.5

The Start of Holiday Shopping

The start of the holiday shopping season provides important insight into the state of the economy and overall consumer confidence. In response to the pandemic, consumers avoided in-store visits over the Thanksgiving weekend. This translated into a 22.4% decline in spending from last year’s levels.6

However, spending prior to the Thanksgiving-to-Sunday period surged 65.7% from a year earlier, thanks to large retailers introducing Black Friday-like deals as early as mid-October.7

Of course, the pandemic has led to an acceleration in shopping online. Cyber Monday sales jumped 15.1% over last year’s levels as consumers spent almost $11 billion, making it the largest U.S. online shopping day ever.8

This Week: Key Economic Data

Wednesday: Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS).

Thursday: Consumer Price Index (CPI), Jobless Claims.

Friday: Consumer Sentiment.

Source: Econoday, December 4, 2020
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

Monday: Coupa Software (COUP)

Tuesday: Autozone (AZO), Mongodb, Inc. (MDB), Chewy, Inc. (CHWY)

Wednesday: Campbell Soup Company (CPB), Slack Technologies (WORK)

Thursday: Lululemon Athletica, Inc. (LULU), Adobe, Inc. (ADBE), Broadcom (AVGO), Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST)

Source: Zacks, December 4, 2020
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.

“It is wonderful what we can do if we are always doing.”

– George Washington

Paying Employment Taxes? Make Sure You’re Using the Correct Form

If you’re a small business owner, you should understand the differences between two commonly used employment tax returns.

Form 944, Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return, is designed for small business owners to pay employment taxes once a year instead of quarterly. Business owners may receive a notice from the IRS informing them that they can file Form 944. Business owners may have to file this form every year until the IRS notifies them differently.

Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return, is a form designed for employers to report income taxes, Social Security, or Medicare tax withheld from employee’s paychecks. Again, the IRS may inform business owners of whether they should use Form 941.

If you have questions about which form you should use, please contact our office. We may be able to provide some guidance or help you find some information on the IRS website.

* 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 IRS9


Have a Healthier Holiday

The holidays are known for rich meals and lots of sweet goodies. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t stay healthy! Here are some tips to help you have a healthier holiday, while still enjoying this special time of year:

  • Choose your splurges. Enjoy things you can only have once a year and save your stomach for those.
  • Don’t skip meals. If you do, you might be even hungrier later and overeat.
  • Don’t feel guilty. This is probably the most important wellness tip this season. If you do overindulge, don’t beat yourself up over it. Try to do better next time and just focus on having a relaxing holiday!

Tip adapted from Mayo Clinic10

I have keys that will open no locks. I have a space and a lock that’s a key. You can enter but you can’t leave, and yet - you can escape. What am I?


Last week’s riddle: You heard me before, yet you hear me once more. Then I die 'til you call me again. What am I? Answer: An echo.

Sunset at Lake Tahoe, California.


Footnotes and Sources


1. The Wall Street Journal, December 4, 2020

2. The Wall Street Journal, December 4, 2020

3. The Wall Street Journal, December 4, 2020

4. The Wall Street Journal, December 3, 2020

5. CNBC, December 4, 2020

6. CNBC, November 30, 2020

7. CNBC, November 30, 2020

8. CNBC, December 1, 2020

9. IRS.gov, December 17, 2019

10. Newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org, December 4, 2020


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.

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG is not affiliated with the named representative, financial professional, Registered Investment Advisor, Broker-Dealer, nor state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and they should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

Copyright 2020 FMG Suite.

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