New Infections Increase Anxiety

Despite news of another COVID-19 vaccine candidate, stocks were mixed amid investor anxiety over an increase in new infections and economic lockdowns.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.73%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 declined 0.77%. The Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.22% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, gained 1.42%.[i],[ii],[iii]

Groundhog Week

The announcement of another potential COVID-19 vaccine ignited strong gains to begin the week. But, like the week that preceded it, the gains sparked by the vaccine news were eroded in the following days as worries over the economic impact of new infections moved to the fore.  

The market has been grappling with conflicting narratives. One is the optimistic view that, with COVID-19 vaccines apparently near at-hand, the return to economic normalcy grows ever closer.  That hopeful outlook has been offset by anxiety over new infections, rising hospitalizations, and some local and state lockdowns.

These crosscurrents kept stocks range bound for the week, with the technology sector and small and mid-size stocks lending support to the overall market.

Powell Sounds a Warning

In a speech last week, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned that the nationwide increase in COVID-19 cases could hamper economic activity in the upcoming months. He expressed concern that consumer spending may trend lower despite efforts to control the spread of infections.[iv]

Powell once again voiced his support for additional fiscal stimulus to assist small businesses, state and local governments, and the unemployed. He also said that even after full economic recovery, some businesses and workers may wrestle with an economic landscape altered by the coronavirus.

Robert Roman
CEO, Managing Director


THIS WEEK: KEY ECONOMIC DATA

Tuesday: Consumer Confidence.
Wednesday: Durable Goods Orders, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Jobless Claims, Consumer Sentiment, New Home Sales.

Source: Econoday, November 20, 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

Tuesday: Best Buy (BBY), Medtronic (MDT), Dollar Tree (DLTR), Dell Technologies (DELL), VMware (VMW), Analog Devices (ADI) 
Friday: Deere & Company (DE)

Source: Zacks, November 20, 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.



“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.”

– Jim Davis


Tips to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

Tax-related identity theft is when someone uses your personal information to file a fraudulent tax return. They can use information like your Social Security number and other personal details.

Here are some tips to protect yourself:

  • Always use security software on your computer, including anti-virus protection.
  • Use a strong and unique password for each of your online accounts.
  • Look out for spam calls, emails, and texts and report them to the IRS.
  • Protect your information and any of your dependents’ info, as well.

Today’s identity criminals are getting more creative, but you can protect yourself by taking these important steps. Always be careful of who you give your information to.

* 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 IRS[v]  


How to Get Out of an Uphill Bunker Shot

Landing in the bunker is hard enough, but landing in the bunker and navigating an uphill lie is a tricky shot for even the most seasoned golfers. There are a few tricks to follow, though, that can help with this shot.

First, make sure you angle your shoulders to match the slope, rather than trying to go in with your normal set up. If you do this, you’ll be more likely to get your club stuck in the sand. Instead, put a little weight on your front foot and then lean back into the slope.

The second tip is to make sure you choose the right club. You need less club, like a sand wedge, to help the ball roll more. Tip adapted from PGA Tour[vi]


Wake Up With This Morning Breathing Exercise

We’re back at it with one last breathing exercise for stress management! This one is perfect to do first thing in the morning to help relieve muscle stiffness and clear your breathing passages.

From a standing position, bend forward at the waist, slightly bend your knees, and let your arms hang loosely toward the floor. As you inhale slowly and deeply, slowly roll up to a standing position, lifting your head last. Hold your breath for a few seconds in this standing position, then exhale slowly as you bend back down from the waist. Repeat as needed.

Tip adapted from University of Michigan Medical School[vii]


Eco-Friendly Thanksgiving Tips

These tips will help you enjoy your Thanksgiving festivities while also being eco-friendly:

  • Use the good cloth napkins and dishes instead of disposable plastic ones.
  • Decorate with nature instead of plastic or synthetic decorations. Fall leaves, acorns, pinecones, and flowers make beautiful fall decorations.
  • Reduce your energy usage by cooking things at the same time to limit how much you have to use your appliances.
  • Prepare less food to reduce food waste. Or, properly store and freeze leftovers so you can enjoy them later!
  • Buy local and organic produce. Local and organic produce requires less energy to produce and transport.

Tip adapted from EcoWatch[viii]


Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.

Diversification does not guarantee profit nor is it guaranteed to protect assets.

International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors.

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 average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. The DJIA was invented by Charles Dow back in 1896.

The 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 stocks of technology companies and growth companies.

The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) that serves as a benchmark of the performance in major international equity markets as represented by 21 major MSCI indices from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia.

The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.

Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

You cannot invest directly in an index.

Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

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.

These are the views of Platinum Advisor Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named representative,

Broker dealer or Investment Advisor and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named representative nor the named Broker dealer or Investment Advisor gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your financial professional for further information.

The market indexes discussed are unmanaged and generally considered representative of their respective markets. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results. 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.


  1. The Wall Street Journal, November 20, 2020
  2. The Wall Street Journal, November 20, 2020
  3. The Wall Street Journal, November 20, 2020
  4. CNN.com, November 17, 2020
  5. IRS.gov, March 4, 2020
  6. Pgatour.com, November 20, 2020
  7. Uofmhealth.org, November 20, 2020
  8. Ecowatch.com, November 20, 2020

Vaccine Triggers Rally

News of a COVID-19 vaccine ignited a rally in economically sensitive stocks and a broad retreat in technology companies last week, though enthusiasm was tempered by reports of rising new infections and fresh lockdowns. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 4.08%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 2.16%. The Nasdaq Composite index fell 0.55% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, jumped 4.01%.[i],[ii],[iii]

Vaccine Hopes 

Reports of an effective COVID-19 vaccine sent stocks soaring on Monday as the end to economic uncertainty appeared to be in sight. Stocks that had been pummeled by economic lockdowns surged on the news, while the stay-at-home stocks suffered steep declines. Bond yields and oil prices both moved higher on expectations of increased economic activity.

Market enthusiasm evaporated in the days that followed, however, as higher COVID-19 infections, new lockdowns, and low expectations for a new fiscal stimulus package dampened the optimism brought on by the pending vaccine. 

Stocks closed the week on a higher note, with cyclical stocks adding to their gains and technology companies shaving part of their losses.  

Clouds Over Chinese Capitalism?

The market was caught by surprise last week when Chinese regulatory authorities issued draft guidelines to address concerns over abusive monopolistic practices. Shares in some of the biggest Chinese technology companies dropped on the news. This follows the prior week’s suspension of a listing of a large initial public offering for one of the country’s leading fintech companies.

It’s difficult to say whether Chinese regulators are acting on concerns that western nations have with the dominance of Big Tech companies, or if they are attempting to rein in the power and influence of privately owned corporations. An answer may not be clear anytime soon, but investors will be watching.

Robert Roman
CEO, Managing Director


THIS WEEK: KEY ECONOMIC DATA

Tuesday: Retail Sales.
Wednesday: Housing Starts.
Thursday: Existing Home Sales, Jobless Claims, Index of Leading Economic Indicators. 

Source: Econoday, November 13, 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: Palo Alto Networks (PANW), Tyson Foods, Inc. (TSN), JD.com, Inc. (JD)
Tuesday: Walmart (WMT), The Home Depot (HD) 
Wednesday: Nvidia Corp. (NVDA), Target Corp. (TGT), Lowe’s Companies (LOW), The TJX Companies (TJX)
Thursday: Workday, Inc. (WDAY), Ross Stores (ROST), Intuit (INTU), Netease, Inc. (NTES) 

Source: Zacks, November 13, 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.



“The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart”

– Elizabeth Foley


Tax Pros Should Protect Their EFIN

Every tax professional has their own electronic filing identification number, or EFIN. To help maintain security, tax pros can verify the number of returns submitted using their EFIN and look out for suspicious activity. Tax pros can check this information using the IRS e-Services. Once they create an account, they can see the number of returns the IRS received and match this number to their records.

* 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 IRS[iv]  


How High Should You Tee Your Ball for Your Driver?

Properly teeing up your ball is the first step in hitting a great shot. You won’t find an exact measurement of how high you should tee up your ball because it depends on the type of shot you want to achieve and the club itself.

For a normal drive, you should tee the ball up so half of the golf ball is above the height of your driver. If you are hitting downwind or want your drive to go higher, tee the ball up higher. If you want to achieve a lower ball flight or you’re playing on a windy day, tee the ball lower. When you properly tee up your ball, your tee should stay in the ground after your shot because all of your force is directed into the ball properly.
Tip adapted from Golficity[v]


Friendships May Benefit Your Health in Many Ways

Making friends is one of the very first things we do as children and that need for connection only gets more important as we age.

Friendships may benefit our health in a number of ways. First off, having friends may decrease stress levels, which impact both our mental and physical health. Laughing with friends is one of the best forms of medicine! Friendships may also help keep our minds sharp. You’re engaging more with others and feel less isolated and alone. Lastly, friends are a great support system and can help us through tough times.

So grab a friend and celebrate the holiday season!

Tip adapted from Live Science[vi]


DIY Rain Harvesting

Did you know that about 600 gallons of rainwater can be harvested from about one inch of rain if it falls from a thousand square foot roof? Harvesting rainwater is a great way to save water and take full advantage of Mother Nature this fall. Plus, you don’t even need fancy equipment to get started. Here’s what you need to know:

  • You can calculate how much rainwater you’ll harvest by using data points like how much it rains where you live and the length and width of your roof.
  • Rainwater tanks can be as small as 55 gallons.
  • Make sure to place your rainwater reservoir underneath a downspout.
  • The main components of a rainwater harvesting system are a barrel, a transportation system for the water, and a filter.
  • Even if you’re not the handiest, some rain catchers are as simple as a garbage bin, a lid, and a filter.

Tip adapted from Morning Chores[vii]


Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.

Diversification does not guarantee profit nor is it guaranteed to protect assets.

International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors.

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 average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. The DJIA was invented by Charles Dow back in 1896.

The 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 stocks of technology companies and growth companies.

The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) that serves as a benchmark of the performance in major international equity markets as represented by 21 major MSCI indices from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia.

The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.

Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

You cannot invest directly in an index.

Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

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.

These are the views of Platinum Advisor Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named representative,

Broker dealer or Investment Advisor and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named representative nor the named Broker dealer or Investment Advisor gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your financial professional for further information.

The market indexes discussed are unmanaged and generally considered representative of their respective markets. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results. 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.


  1. The Wall Street Journal, November 13, 2020
  2. The Wall Street Journal, November 13, 2020
  3. The Wall Street Journal, November 13, 2020
  4. IRS.gov, March 5, 2020
  5. Golficity.com, November 13, 2020
  6. Livescience.com, November 13, 2020
  7. Morningchores.com, November 13, 2020

Markets React to Election

Stocks soared last week as investors anticipated that a split Congress would raise legislative hurdles to changing corporate taxes and adjusting regulatory oversight of big technology companies. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 6.87%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 tacked on 7.32%. The Nasdaq Composite index surged 9.01% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, rose 7.65%.[i],[ii],[iii]

Bulls Take Charge

Coming off a poor close to October, stocks surged throughout election week, jumping higher in pre-election trading on bargain hunting and strong factory activity. The rally picked up steam as Americans went to the polls and shifted into overdrive Wednesday morning.

Investors were buoyed by Congressional results that indicate that the next president would have to work with a divided Congress. Though a divided Congress might result in a smaller potential stimulus package and continued gridlock, investors seemed to believe that was outweighed by a diminished risk of higher taxes, greater regulation, and policy initiatives that might be challenging to businesses.

Stocks took a pause to close out the week, even as a solid jobs report saw the unemployment rate fall a full percentage point to 6.9%.[iv]

Yields Gyrate

Overlooked amid the powerful rally in stock prices was the swing in yields last week. Action in the bond market is important since 10-year Treasury yields are a benchmark for setting borrowing costs for businesses and they represent another view on the strength of the economic recovery.

The 10-year Treasury note rose as high as 0.942% during after-hours trading on election evening and dropped to 0.768% by the end of normal trading hours on Wednesday.[v]

Robert Roman
CEO, Managing Director


THIS WEEK: KEY ECONOMIC DATA

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

Source: Econoday, November 6, 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: McDonald’s Corporation (MCD), Simon Property (SPG)
Tuesday: D.R. Horton (DHI), Rockwell Automation (ROK), Datadog, Inc. (DDOG)
Wednesday: Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (APD)
Thursday: Tencent Holdings (TCEHY), The Walt Disney Company (DIS), Cisco Systems (CSCO), Applied Materials (AMAT) 
Friday: Draftkings, Inc. (DKNG)

Source: Zacks, November 6, 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.



“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.”

– Marie Curie


Special Tax Considerations for Veterans

Veterans face unique tax considerations due to their status. This includes disabled veterans. Here are some things to consider for disabled veterans and their families:

  • Disabled veterans may be eligible to claim a federal tax refund if they receive an increase in the percentage of disability from the Department of Veteran Affairs.
  • They may also be able to claim this tax refund if they are granted Combat-Related Special Compensation.

A disabled veteran can file Form 1040X, Amended US Individual Income Tax Return, if they need to make changes to their return based on the above or other changing circumstances. The veteran may only have to file an amended return on the year that the change is made.

* 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 IRS.gov[vi]  


Know a Hole’s Playing Yardage to Improve Your Strategy

While hitting a long drive is important, there’s a lot more that goes into your golf strategy. The best golfers understand yardage, including both a hole’s playing yardage and their own yardage for each of their clubs.

Playing yardage explains a lot more than just how far it is to the pin. Using a formula, you can calculate how far you actually want your ball to travel in the air, which makes your game more accurate. The distance to the pin is your starting point. You then subtract the roll out and plus or minus for wind, elevation, and lie. Once you have that number, you can use your clubs accordingly by understanding each one’s yardage.
Tip adapted from Eric Jones Golf [vii]


Giving Back This Veterans Day

This Veterans Day give back to military members and their families. There are many ways to participate. Here are some to get you started:

  • Disabled American Veterans has many ways to give back, from events to charitable gifts to chances for advocacy.
  • The Wounded Warrior Project provides rehab and counseling and is always looking for new volunteers.
  • Operation Write Home has a very simple premise: provide the materials that service members need to write home to their loved ones. The organization sends blank, handmade greeting cards to our troops that they can then send back home. You can give back by donating or making your own card!

Tip adapted from Military.com[viii]


Green Careers for Veterans

For many veterans, leaving the military and reintegrating into civilian life can be a challenge. Fortunately, there’s an organization aimed at training veterans in careers that are in demand and good for the planet.

Green Veterans is a division of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sustainability in building design and construction. Green Veterans is designed specifically to make the transition from military to civilian life easier by providing networking, training, and volunteer opportunities towards those who served. With a focus on green careers and training, their goal is to help combat veteran unemployment and homelessness and help the planet at the same time. Tip adapted from GreenVets.org[ix]


Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.

Diversification does not guarantee profit nor is it guaranteed to protect assets.

International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors.

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 average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. The DJIA was invented by Charles Dow back in 1896.

The 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 stocks of technology companies and growth companies.

The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) that serves as a benchmark of the performance in major international equity markets as represented by 21 major MSCI indices from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia.

The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.

Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

You cannot invest directly in an index.

Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

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.

These are the views of Platinum Advisor Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named representative,

Broker dealer or Investment Advisor and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named representative nor the named Broker dealer or Investment Advisor gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your financial professional for further information.

The market indexes discussed are unmanaged and generally considered representative of their respective markets. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results. 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.


[i] The Wall Street Journal, November 6, 2020

[ii] The Wall Street Journal, November 6, 2020

[iii] The Wall Street Journal, November 6, 2020

[iv] The Wall Street Journal, November 6, 2020

[v] The Wall Street Journal, November 5, 2020

[vi] IRS.gov, April 21, 2020

[vii] Ericjonesgolf.com, November 7, 2020

[viii] Military.com, November 7, 2020

[ix] Greenvets.org, November 7, 2020

No Stimulus, Stocks Lag

Stock prices dropped last week as hopes for a fiscal stimulus bill faded and investors focused on rising COVID-19 infections, here and abroad.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 6.47%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 tumbled 5.64%. The Nasdaq Composite index lost 5.51% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slumped 5.02%.[i],[ii],[iii]

A Difficult Week for Stocks

Stocks opened the week lower as lawmakers failed to pass a fiscal stimulus bill and a pick up in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and Europe. Hardest hit were companies most exposed to pandemic-related economic impacts, including energy, travel and leisure, and industrials.

Losses accelerated mid-week on reports of rising coronavirus-related hospitalizations, along with news that Germany and France were reinstating partial shutdown restrictions.[iv]

Stocks attempted to recover on Thursday, but took another leg lower on Friday as earnings reports from the mega-cap technology companies failed to impress investors.

Positive Economic News

There were several strong economic reports during the week, but investors paid little attention. Among the highlights were durable goods orders, which rose for the fifth consecutive month, a sharp drop in initial jobless claims that were the lowest since March 14th, and a 33.1% annualized jump in economic growth during the third quarter.[v],[vi],[vii]

Investors also ignored a strong start to earnings season, which has seen 85% of reporting companies in the S&P 500 index beating earnings estimates by an average margin of 19%.[viii]

Robert Roman
CEO, Managing Director


THIS WEEK: KEY ECONOMIC DATA

Monday: ISM (Institute for Supply Management) Manufacturing Index. 
Wednesday: ADP (Automated Data Processing) Employment Report. ISM (Institute for Supply Management) Services Index.
Thursday: Jobless Claims. FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) Meeting Announcement.
Friday: Employment Situation.

Source: Econoday, October 30, 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: Paypal Holdings (PYPL), The Clorox Company (CLX), Mondelez International (MDLZ), Eversource Energy (ES) 
Tuesday: Humana, Inc. (HUM), Prudential Financial (PRU), Emerson Electric (EMR)
Wednesday: Qualcomm (QCOM) 
Thursday: Alibaba Group (BABA), Square, Inc. (SQ), Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY), General Motors (GM), Duke Energy (DUK), Cigna Corp. (CI), T-Mobile:US (TMUS), Booking Holdings (BKNG), MetLife (MET) 
Friday: CVS Health Corp. (CVS), Marriott International (MAR)

Source: Zacks, October 30, 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.



“You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.”

– Vernon Howard


Know the Signs of an IRS Phone Scam

Unfortunately, criminals often use the IRS as a gateway for common phone scams. These scams can differ, but they generally include someone posing as an IRS agent asking for payment. These calls can be scary, especially if you don’t know what to believe.

Here are some signs of a phone scam so you can recognize them and report them to the IRS immediately:

  • Generally, the IRS will first try to reach you by mail if you owe money. If you haven’t received any previous notice, the call might be fraudulent.
  • The IRS will never ask about personal information over the phone, such as your Social Security Number.
  • The IRS will also never request immediate payment using specific payment methods such as prepaid debit cards, gift cards, or wire transfers.
  • The IRS won’t demand that these taxes be paid without giving you the opportunity to ask questions about the amount owed.
  • The IRS won’t threaten to immediately bring in law enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you receive these scam calls, hang up immediately and report the call to the IRS using the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting form or by calling 800-366-4484.

* 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 IRS[ix]


Examine Your Spine Angle at Address

Your posture is one of the most important parts of your golf swing. Included in your posture is your spine angle at address and here, we share some tips on how to achieve the perfect angle to maximize your rotation.

Every golfer’s swing is going to be a little different depending on your unique body type and flexibility, but generally you should have a slight arch at your pelvis to create a straight spine. Many golfers hunch their shoulders into more of a “C” posture or are too extended, which can cause issues with your rotation. Instead, focus on a straight line going from your hips through your back and shoulders.

A simple drill to test whether or not you have the correct spine angle is to put a golf club along your spine and see if you can easily fit your hand between the club and your back. It should be a snug fit. If there’s too much space or two little space, your spine angle might be off.

Tip adapted from Golf Distillery[x]


The Mental and Physical Benefits of Walking

We all know the many potential benefits of exercise, but did you know that sometimes the simplest exercises are some of the most beneficial? Walking might seem like such a simple thing to do, but there are many potential health benefits to this form of exercise.

First off, walking has a very low barrier of entry and may be a good choice for people of all fitness levels! You don’t need any fancy equipment or skill level. Just grab your favorite pair of shoes and hit the road!

Secondly, walking may benefit both your mental and physical health. You burn active calories while walking, which can help with weight management, cardio health, and energy levels. But walking may also be a meditative escape for many people. It offers the chance to disconnect and focus on the moment. Walking for the sake of walking is one of the only exercises that doesn’t have an end goal, meaning that you can focus on just putting one foot in front of the other. Some people might enjoy listening to music or podcasts while they walk, but also consider just listening to the sounds around you. With so much screen time in our daily lives, it’s nice to disconnect for even just a short walk.

Tip adapted from Healthline[xi]


The Art of Thrifting

Thrift store shopping is not only fun (think: treasure hunting), but it’s a great way to recycle clothing, housewares, and other items. True, there can be a lot of clutter to sort through, but with a few pro-tips, you’ll be thrifting with the best of them.

Upcycle. You might just find that perfect denim jacket or pair of jeans to embroider, bedazzle, or alter, creating an entirely new look. Furniture can be transformed and upcycled to make into functional (and stylish) decor. Pinterest is a great resource for upcycling ideas.

Location, location, location. You may be tempted to go to more upscale neighborhoods, but you never know where you’ll score great stuff, so try varying where you scout.

When you thrift makes a difference. Skip Halloween and back-to-school time. The stores are usually picked over.

Know when to fold ‘em. Say no to sweat-stained and odor-laden clothing, and definitely, say no to moth holes. A bit of sewing, or even, springing for new soles on a pair of amazing shoes, is doable – and worth it.

Tip adapted from Elle Magazine[xii]


Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.

Diversification does not guarantee profit nor is it guaranteed to protect assets.

International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors.

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 average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. The DJIA was invented by Charles Dow back in 1896.

The 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 stocks of technology companies and growth companies.

The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) that serves as a benchmark of the performance in major international equity markets as represented by 21 major MSCI indices from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia.

The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.

Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

You cannot invest directly in an index.

Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

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.

These are the views of Platinum Advisor Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named representative,

Broker dealer or Investment Advisor and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named representative nor the named Broker dealer or Investment Advisor gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your financial professional for further information.

The market indexes discussed are unmanaged and generally considered representative of their respective markets. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results. 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.


[1] The Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2020

[2] The Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2020

[3] The Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2020

[4] CNBC, October 27, 2020

[5] The Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2020

[6] CNBC, October 29, 2020

[7] The Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2020

[8] CNBC, October 29, 2020

[9] IRS.gov, March 9, 2020

[10] Golfdistillery.com, October 30, 2020

[11] Healthline.com, October 30, 2020

[12] Elle.com, October 30, 2020

No Stimulus, Stocks Lower

The failure to reach an agreement on a new fiscal stimulus bill soured investor sentiment and sent stocks modestly lower for the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.95%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 0.53%. The Nasdaq Composite index slipped 1.06% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, declined 0.44%.[i],[ii],[iii]

Markets Disappointed with Stimulus Impasse

Stock prices ebbed and flowed all week, pulled by the gravity of fiscal stimulus talks in Washington, D.C. As investors saw improving prospects for a new fiscal stimulus bill, stocks rose. As prospects dimmed, stocks turned lower. 

Hopes for striking a deal were raised late in the week as comments from a key negotiator suggested that a deal might be getting closer to fruition. The week ended, however, without an agreement, cementing a disappointing week of performance. 

Market sentiment was further weighed down by the continued rise in COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and Europe, though anxieties were tempered by the belief that a full economic lockdown was unlikely.

New Jobless Claims Fall

Markets have been focused on weekly initial jobless claims as an important input into the state of economic recovery. After weeks of 800,000+ new jobless claims, last week’s report reflected an improving labor market, as new jobless claims rose by 787,000, below consensus estimates of 875,000, while continuing jobless claims fell by more than one million.[iv]

The report wasn’t entirely positive, however, as more than 500,000 individuals were added to the emergency assistance program that extends unemployment benefits to those who have run out of state unemployment benefits.[v]

Robert Roman
CEO, Managing Director


THIS WEEK: KEY ECONOMIC DATA

Monday: New Home Sales. 
Tuesday: Durable Goods Orders. Consumer Confidence.
Thursday: Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Jobless Claims.
Friday: Consumer Sentiment.

Source: Econoday, October 23, 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: Twilio, Inc (TWLO). 
Tuesday: Microsoft (MSFT), Pfizer (PFE), Caterpillar (CAT), Merck (MRK), Eli Lilly (LLY), 3M Company (MMM), Corning Inc. (GLW)
Wednesday: General Electric (GE), The Boeing Corporation (BA), Ford Motor Company (F), Visa (V), Mastercard (MA), Gilead Sciences (GILD), Blackstone Group (BX), Amgen (AMGN), United Parcel Services (UPS), EBay (EBAY), Norfolk Southern (NSC)
Thursday: Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR), Alphabet, Inc. (GOOGL), Southern Company Airlines (SO), Shopify (SHOP), Comcast Corporation (CMCSA), AnheuserBusch InBev (BUD) 
Friday: Abbvie (ABBV), Chevron (CVX), Charter Communications (CHTR)

Source: Zacks, October 23, 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.



“Getting people to like you is merely the other side of liking them.”

– Norman Vincent Peale


Parents Who Adopt May Be Able to Benefit From a Tax Credit

The adoption credit is designed for families who adopted or started the adoption process. These taxpayers may be able to claim up to $14,080 of credit for each eligible child. To determine eligibility, taxpayers should fill out Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses. This can help you determine how much credit you may be eligible for.

This credit may cover qualified expenses, including reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs and legal fees, adoption-related travel expenses, and other expenses directly related to the adoption. There are also income limits that could affect the amount of the credit.

The SECURE Act added an allowance for a $5,000 IRA withdrawal (without the usual 10% penalty) that can be used toward expenses related to childbirth or an adoption. This withdrawal counts as taxable income, though, and must be taken within a year of the child’s birth or arrival.

* 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 IRS.gov and CNBC.com[vi],[vii]


Try This Club Acceleration Drill

Every good golfer knows the importance of each phase of their swing: the load up, the store up, and the release of power. This drill will help you feel the correct amount of power throughout the whole swing.

Start by grabbing any club from your bag (the longer, the better). Set up as normal, then hold the club at waist height. Remember to maintain your normal tilts. Then, turn the club upside down so you’re holding the club head and swinging the grip.

Try to create a “swoosh” noise in your upward swing by swinging the club with enough power and follow through. Do this until you’re comfortable with the motion. Then, switch the club and your grip back to normal. This drill will help you understand the dynamics of a full swing as well as help you keep your front wrist flat and your back wrist hinged.
Tip adapted from Grant Brown Golf[viii]


Are You Storing Your Food Correctly?

Storing your food correctly can help minimize food waste, keep you safe, and keep your food tasting as delicious as possible. Here are some tips:

  • Your refrigerator should be at or below 40 degrees F and your freezer should be 0 degrees F. Check the temperatures regularly to make sure they are within safe ranges. Appliance thermometers are the easiest way to do this.
  • Never allow meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, or other foods that require refrigeration to sit out for over two hours. This also applies to leftovers in to-go containers.
  • Don’t overcrowd your fridge or freezer because air won’t be able to circulate.
  • Freezer burn doesn’t mean food is unsafe, it just means that air got in and caused dry spots on frozen food.
  • Store eggs in their carton in the fridge itself, not in the door. The door of a fridge is often a little warmer.

Tip adapted from FDA[ix]


Breathe Easy and Feel Better – with House Plants

Houseplants accent your home, decorating with beautiful pops of color and texture, but they can also make us feel better. One reason plants are a healthy addition to your home is that they clean the air. Greenery around the house removes over 85% of pollutants from the air within a 24-hour period.

Plants around the home also reduce stress and boost your mood. Need a few tips to get started? Here are a few, easy-care varieties:

  • Monstera deliciosa (Swiss cheese plant): It grows quickly and has big, beautiful leaves.
  • Epipremnum aureum (golden pothos or devil’s ivy): Great starter plants; they thrive in a hanging planter. Be careful if you have pets: they are toxic to cats and dogs.
  • Hedera (ivy): If you love ivy, this plant is for you.
  • Chlorophytum comosum (spider plant): These low-maintenance plants require watering from the bottom. They sprout babies regularly, so you can share them with friends and family.
  • If you want really low-maintenance plants, you can try succulents and cacti. They are easy to replant, and it’s fun to combine different varieties to make one-pot gardenscapes. They can also go longer without watering.

Tip adapted from Women’s Health[x]


Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.

Diversification does not guarantee profit nor is it guaranteed to protect assets.

International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors.

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 average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. The DJIA was invented by Charles Dow back in 1896.

The 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 stocks of technology companies and growth companies.

The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) that serves as a benchmark of the performance in major international equity markets as represented by 21 major MSCI indices from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia.

The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.

Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

You cannot invest directly in an index.

Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

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.

These are the views of Platinum Advisor Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named representative,

Broker dealer or Investment Advisor and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named representative nor the named Broker dealer or Investment Advisor gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your financial professional for further information.

The market indexes discussed are unmanaged and generally considered representative of their respective markets. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results. 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.


[i] The Wall Street Journal, October 23, 2020

[ii] The Wall Street Journal, October 23, 2020

[iii] The Wall Street Journal, October 23, 2020

[iv] CNBC, October 22, 2020

[v] CNBC, October 22, 2020

[vi] IRS.gov, March 10, 2020

[vii] CNBC.com, October 22, 2020

[viii] Grantbrowngolf.com, October 22, 2020

[ix] FDA.gov, October 22, 2020

[x] Womenshealthmag.com, October 22, 2020

A Difficult Week for Stocks

Stocks treaded water last week amid fading prospects for a stimulus bill, fears of a second wave of COVID-19 cases, and increasing political and regulatory pressures on Big Tech companies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added just 0.07% while the Standard & Poor’s 500 eked out a gain of 0.19%. The Nasdaq Composite index picked up 0.79% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slid 2.08%.[1],[2],[3]

Rocky Week 

The stock market began the week by posting strong gains on hopes of a fiscal stimulus bill. Also, investors were optimistic that earnings season would reflect an improving picture of corporate performance. 

But stocks stumbled midweek on a mixed bag of early earnings results, and an increase in COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and Europe. Disappointing news on some key COVID-19 treatment trials also weighed on the market, as did a jump in new jobless claims and a continued stalemate on a fiscal stimulus package. 

Stocks attempted to rally on Friday, emboldened by strong retail sales, but lost momentum as trading came to a close. 

Earnings Season Kicks Off

Earnings season began on an upbeat note as major banks mostly beat on revenue and profit expectations. Banks attributed the strength to rising consumer deposits, a drop in the amount of money set aside for failing loans, and strong results from their investment banking and trading units.[4]

Airlines fared less well. Investors were disappointed with the quarterly reports even though the average daily cash burn at these companies generally improved. Airline management uniformly accompanied their earnings announcements with warnings of continued near-term weakness due to COVID-19.[5]


THIS WEEK: KEY ECONOMIC DATA

Tuesday: Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Thursday: Jobless Claims. 
Friday: Industrial Production. Consumer Sentiment. 

Source: Econoday, October 9, 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

Tuesday: Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (C), Blackrock (BLK)
Wednesday: Bank of America (BAC), UnitedHealth Group (UNH)
Thursday: Morgan Stanley (MS)
Friday: Schlumberger (SLB), J.B. Hunt Transport Services (JBHT), Kansas City Southern (KSU), V.F. Corporation (VFC)

Source: Zacks, October 9, 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 always the simple that produces the marvelous.”

– Amelia Barr


Deductions for Teachers

School may look a little different this year, but eligible teachers can still deduct certain unreimbursed expenses on their tax return next year.

The taxpayer must be a kindergarten through grade 12 teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, or aide. They must also work at least 900 hours a school year in a school that provides elementary or secondary education as determined under state law.

Educators can deduct up to $250 of trade or business expenses that were not reimbursed. As teachers prepare for the school year, they should remember to keep receipts after making any purchase to support claiming this deduction.

Examples of expenses the educator can deduct include:

  • Professional development course fees
  • Books
  • Supplies
  • Computer equipment, including related software and services
  • Other equipment and materials used in the classroom

* 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 IRS.gov[6]


The Golden Rules of Putting

Putting is one of the most important aspects of the game and these “golden rules” will stop you from all those “gimme” putts you’ve been calling at the end of the game (we’re all guilty of it!).

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Make sure you have your thumbs down the shaft. This helps keep both your putter and your wrists straight.
  • Have your eyes directly over the ball. In fact, if you were to drop another golf ball from where your eyes are in a straight line down, the ball should land directly on the ball you’re about to put. That’s one drill to know whether your eyes are really directly over the ball.
  • Make sure to keep your wrists and arms straight, even during the follow through. When you’re able to hold this straight angle, you’ll be able to do more consistent putts.

Tip adapted from Today’s Golfer[7]


The Health Benefits of Writing

Tomorrow is National Day on Writing! This national holiday was designated by The National Council of Teachers of English and is used to celebrate writing, storytelling, and creativity. Even if you’re not a writer, everyone can enjoy the potential health benefits of this therapeutic hobby.

Here are some potential health benefits of writing:

  • Writing about emotionally-charged events may help put the events behind you and relieve symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
  • Writing may help provide mental clarity when making other decisions and dealing with emotions.
  • Writing may reduce stress and improve sleep.

The best thing about writing is that you don’t need a lot to get started. Grab a notebook and your favorite pen and journal for 5-10 minutes a day. As you get more comfortable, you can write more, or just save it for a quick decompress after the day.

Tip adapted from US News & World Report[8]


Energy Saving Tips in the Kitchen

Appliances and hot water account for a big part of energy use in your home. So, the kitchen is a great place to start saving energy. Here are a few kitchen energy saving tips:

  • Leave the faucet on the cold side when using small amounts of water. When the lever is in the “hot” position, it still draws hot water, even though it may not reach the faucet.
  • If you’re shopping for a new stove, look for a natural gas model with an automatic, electric ignition system. It saves gas since a pilot light is not burning continuously.
  • Your natural gas appliances should have blue flames; yellow flames indicate the gas is burning inefficiently. If you see yellow flames, consult the manufacturer or your local utility provider.
  • Be sure to keep range-top burners and reflectors clean; they will reflect the heat better, while saving energy.
  • Cover your kettle or pan or use an electric kettle to boil water. It’ll brew faster and will use less energy.
  • Eating for one? Use a toaster, microwave, or convection oven rather than your large stove or oven. Doing this will save up to half the energy of a full-sized oven.

Tip adapted from Energy.gov[9]


Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.

Diversification does not guarantee profit nor is it guaranteed to protect assets.

International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors.

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 average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. The DJIA was invented by Charles Dow back in 1896.

The 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 stocks of technology companies and growth companies.

The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) that serves as a benchmark of the performance in major international equity markets as represented by 21 major MSCI indices from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia.

The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.

Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

You cannot invest directly in an index.

Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

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.

These are the views of Platinum Advisor Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named representative,

Broker dealer or Investment Advisor and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named representative nor the named Broker dealer or Investment Advisor gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your financial professional for further information.

The market indexes discussed are unmanaged and generally considered representative of their respective markets. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results. 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.


[1] The Wall Street Journal, October 9, 2020

[2] The Wall Street Journal, October 9, 2020

[3] The Wall Street Journal, October 9, 2020

[4] CNBC.com, October 6, 2020

[5] The Wall Street Journal, October 8, 2020

[6] The Wall Street Journal, October 9, 2020

[7]  Allrecipes.com, October 9, 2020

[8]  IRS.gov, October 9, 2020

[9]  YouTube.com, October 9, 2020

[10] BusinessInsider.com, October 9, 2020

[11] MyModernMet.com, October 9, 2020

Stocks Rise, Stimulus Uncertain

Stocks staged a powerful rally last week, riding a wave of optimism over the prospect of the passage of a new fiscal stimulus bill.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 3.27%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 increased 3.84%. The Nasdaq Composite index gained 4.56% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, advanced 2.23%.[1],[2],[3]

Stimulus Stalemate?

The anticipation of lawmakers passing a new round of economic stimulus was a decisive driver of market action all week.

A mid-week tweet by President Trump announcing that he was ending stimulus negotiations sent stocks lower. Losses were exacerbated by sharp declines in some mega-cap technology companies as details emerged from a House Judiciary subcommittee report on its investigation into their competitive practices.[4]

Stocks quickly reversed direction, climbing after the President tweeted that he would sign a limited stimulus bill, but lawmakers appeared to reject a piecemeal approach.

Stocks consolidated on Friday, helped by continuing stimulus talks and new election polls that suggested that the risk of a contested outcome appeared to be fading.

Small Cap Rally

The outperformance of large cap stocks relative to small cap stocks has been both wide and persistent during the last ten years. Last week’s action in small cap stocks, as represented by the Russell 2000 Index, indicates that smaller companies may finally be making up some ground.[5]

Last week, the Russell 2000 Index rose 6.33%, outperforming the S&P 500 by 2.4%.[6]

While this outperformance may be fleeting, a potential broadening of the stock market rally may be considered a healthy development.

Final Thoughts

This week begins the third-quarter earnings season, with companies from a variety of industry sectors reporting (see below). Early earnings reports start predominantly with the major banks, whose earnings results may provide insight into the general health of American consumers.

As is often the case, company guidance about the future earnings may be of greater interest to investors than past results. 

Robert Roman
CEO, Managing Director


THIS WEEK: KEY ECONOMIC DATA

Tuesday: Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Thursday: Jobless Claims. 
Friday: Industrial Production. Consumer Sentiment. 

Source: Econoday, October 9, 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

Tuesday: Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (C), Blackrock (BLK)
Wednesday: Bank of America (BAC), UnitedHealth Group (UNH)
Thursday: Morgan Stanley (MS)
Friday: Schlumberger (SLB), J.B. Hunt Transport Services (JBHT), Kansas City Southern (KSU), V.F. Corporation (VFC)

Source: Zacks, October 9, 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.


“A reader lives a thousand lives before they die. The person who never reads only lives one.”

– George R.R. Martin


You Have the Right to Confidentiality

According to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, the IRS won’t share any information that a taxpayer gives with outside parties unless allowed by the taxpayer themselves or the law. This right to confidentiality is one of the 10 rights found in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Also included in the confidentiality clause:

  • The IRS can’t contact third parties, including employers, friends, or banks, for information without giving the taxpayer reasonable notice first.
  • The same confidentiality you have with an attorney also applies to tax professionals working with the IRS on your behalf.

Confidential communications include conversations, messages, and documents that are considered private or restricted between a taxpayer and their attorney or the IRS.

* 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 IRS.gov [8]


Try the Mirror Drill

If you find yourself digging into the ground with your club face on impact, chances are that you’re using the leading edge of the club and turning it into the ground. This means you’re not getting as much loft as you should, which can sabotage your short game.

To fix this problem, try the mirror drill. As you set up for your shot, turn your club so the grooves face up and imagine that there’s a mirror there. Throughout your swing, the “mirror” should always face up so you would be able to see yourself in it. This also includes during your back swing. The grooves (or “mirror”) should point straight back at you.

Practice this motion of keeping the club face open until it becomes natural, then follow through with your swing while keeping your “mirror” facing up. This will help you make better contact with the ball and improve your strike.

Tip adapted from PGA of Australia [9]


Get Lost in a Book for National Book Month

Did you know that October is National Book Month? There’s no better time to get lost in a great story because not only is reading entertaining, but there may also be some health benefits to getting lost in a good book, as well.

Here are some potential health benefits of reading:

  • Reading may bring existing neural pathways in the brain to life and help the brain remain elastic and active.
  • Reading may decrease mental decline, especially for older adults.
  • Reading may improve short-term memory and recall capabilities.
  • Reading may reduce stress and depression
  • Reading may help you fall asleep when used as a bedtime ritual. But, this only applies to reading real books, not e-readers or tablets.

Reading may have health benefits for people of all ages, from children to older adults!

Tip adapted from Business Insider [10]

Swap Out These Three Items for a Greener Kitchen

You don’t have to go entirely waste-free to make some beneficial and eco-friendly changes in your kitchen. Just a few substitutions can go a long way towards making your kitchen healthier for you and the environment.

Here are three items you can easily swap out to help make your kitchen greener:

  • Replace single-use plastic containers with glass. Single-use plastic can be found everywhere in your kitchen, from your dish soap to foods in your pantry and fridge. Replace pasta sauce and drink containers with glass instead. Glass containers can be reused in your kitchen afterward or recycled.
  • Turn old t-shirts into cleaning towels. Don’t throw your old t-shirts away, but give them a second life as cleaning towels. Use them to help keep your kitchen clean without using disposable sponges or paper towels.
  • Use what you have until it wears out. Rather than replacing all your existing plastic containers and water bottles with glass or eco-friendly options, use what you have until it wears out. Then feel free to replace them with more environmentally friendly options.

Get creative! What else can you do in your kitchen to make it more environmentally friendly?

Tips adapted from MyModernMet.com[11]


Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.

Diversification does not guarantee profit nor is it guaranteed to protect assets.

International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors.

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 average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. The DJIA was invented by Charles Dow back in 1896.

The 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 stocks of technology companies and growth companies.

The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) that serves as a benchmark of the performance in major international equity markets as represented by 21 major MSCI indices from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia.

The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.

Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

You cannot invest directly in an index.

Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

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.

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[1] The Wall Street Journal, October 9, 2020

[2] The Wall Street Journal, October 9, 2020

[3] The Wall Street Journal, October 9, 2020

[4] CNBC.com, October 6, 2020

[5] The Wall Street Journal, October 8, 2020

[6] The Wall Street Journal, October 9, 2020

[7]  Allrecipes.com, October 9, 2020

[8]  IRS.gov, October 9, 2020

[9]  YouTube.com, October 9, 2020

[10] BusinessInsider.com, October 9, 2020

[11] MyModernMet.com, October 9, 2020

Stocks Mixed Amid Uncertainty

Stocks were mixed last week as worries that stretched from Washington D.C., where prospects of a new fiscal stimulus bill dimmed, to Europe, which saw an increase of new COVID-19 cases.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 1.75%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 0.63%. The Nasdaq Composite index gained 1.11% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slumped 4.20%.1,2,3

Late Friday Rally Pares Losses

Dwindling chances of a federal fiscal stimulus, pre-election jitters, and worries over a second wave of coronavirus infections in Europe weighed heavily on investors.

The weakness in technology persisted. The Department of Justice proposal to curb legal protections for internet companies and require them to take greater responsibility for the content on their sites adding to that sector’s woes.

Energy stocks were also hit hard on concerns of a slowdown in economic growth hurting oil demand.

The week wasn’t entirely absent of good news. Investors focused on reports of new progress in developing a vaccine and the passage in the House of Representatives of a bipartisan continuing resolution bill to fund the government through December 11th.

Absent any apparent catalyst, stocks rallied in the final days of the week, cutting losses on major indices and powering the NASDAQ Composite to a weekly gain.