Stocks ended the week roughly where they began as investors digested a mixed set of new economic data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.12%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 slipped 0.16%. The Nasdaq Composite index fell 0.39% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, added 1.23%.1,2,3
Stocks Struggle for Direction
Stocks traded around the flatline without any catalyst in either direction. On Thursday, investors welcomed the European Central Bank, signaling its rate-hiking campaign may be nearing its conclusion and a successful IPO that revived optimism in the capital markets. Investors also cheered a stronger-than-forecast retail sales report and a modest increase in core producer prices, overlooking a higher-than-expected headline number.
But sentiment quickly reversed on Friday as a drop in consumer confidence, troubling news in the semiconductor space, and a labor strike at the nation’s major automakers dented Thursday’s optimism, sending major averages to a mixed close for the week.
Inflation Progress Stalls
Surging gasoline prices drove August’s inflation rate to its highest monthly rate this year, rising 0.6%, while the year-over-year Consumer Price Index posted a 3.7% increase, up from July’s 3.2% annual rate. Core inflation (excludes energy and food) was more encouraging, rising 4.3%-- down from July’s reading of 4.7%.4
Producer prices also came in higher than expected, rising 0.7% in August, above the estimate of a 0.4% increase and the biggest monthly gain since June 2022. The year-over-year increase was a more modest 1.6%. Gasoline prices significantly contributed to the month’s jump; excluding food and energy, prices aligned with forecasts, ticking up 0.2% in August.5
This Week: Key Economic Data
Tuesday: Housing Starts.
Wednesday: FOMC Announcement.
Thursday: Jobless Claims. Existing Home Sales. Index of Leading Economic Indicators.
Friday: Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) Composite Flash.
Source: Econoday, September 15, 2023
This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings
Tuesday: AutoZone, Inc. (AZO)
Wednesday: FedEx Corporation (FDX), General Mills, Inc. (GIS)
Thursday: Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI)
Source: Zacks, September 15, 2023
"I want to believe that there is a mountain so high that I will spend my entire life striving to reach the top of it."
– Cicely Tyson
How to Apply for Tax-Exempt Status for Organizations
If an organization wants to apply for tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3), it starts by filling out a Form 1023-series application. They must submit a complete application as well as the user fee. To complete the application, the organization also needs its employer identification number. Generally, an organization that is required to apply for the recognition of exemption must notify the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) within 27 months of the date of formation.
Some organizations (including churches or public charities whose annual gross receipts are less than $5,000) may not need to apply for 501(c)(3) status to be tax-exempt. When the IRS determines an organization qualifies for exemption under Section 501(c)(3), it will also be classified as a foundation unless it meets the requirements to be a public charity.
*This information is not intended to substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.
Tip adapted from IRS.gov6
Health Supplements: Are They Worth the Hype?
Over-the-counter brain health supplements claim to improve memory and promise enhanced memory and sharper attention and focus. Unfortunately, the FDA doesn't oversee product testing or ingredient accuracy but instead looks for supplements that make health claims related to treating specific diseases. Because of this, a brain health supplement could claim that it helps with mental alertness or memory loss.
Most brain health supplements contain omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in fish oil. Rather than choosing a supplement, some health professionals recommend eating a healthy diet full of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals instead. Also, exercising your brain like any other muscle may help with memory. Learning something new is a great way to keep your brain moving.
Tip adapted from Harvard Medical School7
How can you turn the Roman numeral for 9 (IX) into 6 by merely drawing a single, continuous line?
Last week’s riddle: Take a left-handed glove and turn it inside out. Which of your hands will it now fit – the left or the right? Answer: It will fit your right hand.
Footnotes and Sources
2. The Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2023.
3. The Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2023.
4. The Wall Street Journal, September 13, 2023.
5. CNBC, September 14, 2023.
6. IRS.gov, January 31, 2023.
7. Harvard Medical School, August 8, 2023.
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Weekly Market Insights: Stocks Stand Still, Awaiting Fed
September 18, 2023