January 2019
Market Update
(all values as of 02.29.2024)

Stock Indices:

Dow Jones 38,996
S&P 500 5,096
Nasdaq 16,091

Bond Sector Yields:

2 Yr Treasury 4.64%
10 Yr Treasury 4.25%
10 Yr Municipal 2.53%
High Yield 7.63%

YTD Market Returns:

Dow Jones 3.47%
S&P 500 6.84%
Nasdaq 7.20%
MSCI-EAFE 2.23%
MSCI-Europe 1.23%
MSCI-Pacific 3.98%
MSCI-Emg Mkt -0.27%
 
US Agg Bond -1.68%
US Corp Bond -1.67%
US Gov’t Bond -1.59%

Commodity Prices:

Gold 2,051
Silver 22.87
Oil (WTI) 78.25

Currencies:

Dollar / Euro 1.08
Dollar / Pound 1.26
Yen / Dollar 150.63
Canadian /Dollar 0.73
 

With the Holidays behind us and the New Year underway, we are excited to see what 2019 has in store! In the months ahead, you can expect to enjoy a monthly newletter like the one below with interesting articles on current events as it relates to the financial industry. This month we’ve included an article discussing federal shutdowns and a quick overview of tax rule changes going into effect in 2019. As always, we are here to help you!

The Common Occurrence Of Government Shutdowns – Fiscal Policy

Government shutdowns have been a common occurrence over the years under most every president. The length of the shutdowns have varied from 2 days in 1981 under President Reagan to 21 days in 1996 under President Clinton. A shutdown occurs when Congress fails to pass or the President refuses to sign legislation funding federal government operations and agencies.

Estimated costs of the most recent government shutdown are still unknown, with lost wages, exports, and government services essential to the operation of private sector businesses being affected. How much the shutdown may have weighed on the economy may not be known until later in the year.

Government shutdowns entail partial closure of certain agencies and departments, not complete closures. Departments affected during the most recent shut down include Homeland Security, Housing & Urban Development, Commerce, FCC, Coast Guard, FEMA, Interior, Transportation, and the Executive Office of the President.

Federal employees deemed as “essential” among the various departments are required to work without pay until a funding bill is passed by Congress. The closures affect numerous private businesses that rely and adhere to regulatory rules imposed by the Federal government, such as mortgage loans and Housing & Urban Development.

Sources: Congressional Records, https://www.congress.gov/congressional-record/2018/12/22

 
2019 Tax Planning

Tax Rule Changes For 2019 – Tax Planning

Various changes are effective for the 2019 tax year beginning January 1, 2019. The changes affect most every tax payer both as an employee and self employed business owners.

A provision in the tax code known as indexing will affect 2019 Tax Brackets & Rates, which is essentially an inflation adjusted modification to account for rising inflation trends. For 2019, income brackets increased by roughly 2% across all income levels.

Income brackets for capital gains have also increased slightly for 2019.

With personal exemptions eliminated under the new tax law, a larger single standard deduction was devised in order to streamline returns for taxpayers. Standard deduction amounts increased slightly for 2019.

For both employees and self-employed individuals, IRA and Qualified Plan contributions have increased as well for 2019.

Other significant changes occurring for 2019 include:

-Estate Tax Exemption increases from $11.18 million to $11.40 million in 2019. -Elimination of the ACA penalty for not having health insurance becomes effective -Unreimbursed medical expenses must exceed 10% of AGI in order to deduct -Alimony is no longer deductible for the payor and no longer taxable for the recipient for divorce decrees issued after December 31, 2018.

Sources: https://taxfoundation.org, IRS.gov