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Weekly Market Commentary

The Markets Overall, May was a good month for investors. The adage, “Sell in May and go away,” would have been poor advice last month. Major stock indices in the United States finished the month higher. Connor Smith of Barron’s reported:1 Despite the positive returns, May was also a volatile month for stocks as investors […]

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Weekly Market Commentary

The Markets

Perception versus reality.

A recent Harris poll, conducted on behalf of The Guardian newspaper, found that there is some confusion about the state of the American economy and U.S. stock market performance. A significant proportion of the Americans who participated think the economy and the stock market are in rough shape.1 Here are a few of the misperceptions uncovered by the poll:

  • Misperception No. 1: The United States is in a recession, according to 56 percent of poll respondents.1

Reality: The U.S. is not in a recession. The economy has been expanding, not shrinking. Here are the statistics for recent U.S. economic growth (after adjusting for inflation):

2020:         – 3.5 percent (pandemic year)2

2021:         + 5.8 percent3

2022          + 1.9 percent3

2023          + 2.5 percent3

2024:         + 1.6 percent (first quarter 2024) 3

  • Misperception No. 2: The Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index is down for the year, according to 49 percent of poll respondents.1

Reality: The S&P 500 was up 11.2 percent, year to date, through the end of last week. In 2024, the Index has charted 24 all-time highs, reported Jan-Patrick Barnert, Alexandra Semenova, Geoffrey Morgan and Michael Msika of Bloomberg.5  

  • Misperception No. 3: Inflation has been rising, according to 72 percent of poll respondents.1

Reality: Inflation has been trending lower. In April, inflation was 3.4 percent over the previous 12 months. While that rate is higher than the Fed’s target rate, it is far lower than inflation in June 2022 when it peaked at 9.1 percent.5

The confusion may be related to the fact that prices remain higher than they once were. There was some positive news on that front, last week. Several major retailers announced they are lowering prices on groceries and other items, reported Jaclyn Peiser of The Washington Post.6

  • Misperception No. 4: U.S. unemployment is near a 50-year high, according to 49 percent of poll respondents.1

Reality: Unemployment is near a 50-year low. The average U.S. unemployment rate from 1947 through 2023 was 5.7 percent.7 In recent years, the unemployment rate has been:

2020:         8.1 percent (Pandemic year)7

2021:         5.3 percent7

2022:         3.6 percent7

2023:         3.6 percent7

2024:         3.9 percent8 (April 2024, year over year)

Major U.S. stock indices finished the week mixed. The Nasdaq Composite Index finished the week higher, while the S&P 500 Index was flat for the week, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost ground.9 Yields on most maturities of U.S. Treasuries rose over the week.10


Data as of 5/24/24
1-WeekYTD1-Year3-Year5-Year10-Year
Standard & Poor’s 500 Index0.03%11.2%29%8.4%13.2%10.7%
Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index-1.15.212.8-1.84.31.8
10-year Treasury Note (yield only)4.5N/A3.71.62.32.5
Gold (per ounce)-2.512.720.37.612.86.3
Bloomberg Commodity Index-0.76.54.44.75.9-2.5

S&P 500, Dow Jones Global ex-US, Gold, Bloomberg Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods. 

Sources: Yahoo! Finance; MarketWatch; djindexes.com; U.S. Treasury; London Bullion Market Association.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.

LOOKING FOR A GRADUATION GIFT? Graduation season is well underway. If you’re looking for a gift for a high school or college graduate, consider giving one or more shares of appreciated stock. This is usually done by transferring shares from your account to the recipient’s account.11

There can be significant benefits to gifting an appreciated asset, including:

  • Realizing a tax advantage. When people gift shares of appreciated stock, they may realize a tax advantage. Typically, when shares that have increased in value are gifted to another person, the gift giver does not owe capital gains tax on the shares.
  • Allowing the asset to grow over time. The gift recipient may owe tax when they sell the shares, depending on the sale price and the recipient’s tax bracket. If the shares remain invested, though, they have an opportunity to grow over time.
  • Creating a teaching opportunity. When gifting shares, share the story of the stock with the recipient. Why did you buy it? How much has it appreciated? Do you think the recipient should keep it or sell it? Gifting shares creates an opportunity to share knowledge and increase financial literacy.

The government limits the amount of money that can be gifted to an individual without paying a gift tax. The annual gift tax exclusion is $18,000 per recipient in 2024. In general, a person can give up to $18,000 per recipient without having to pay a tax on the gift.12 Appreciated shares can also make great birthday and holiday gifts.

There can be complexities when gifting an appreciated asset. If you would like to explore the idea, give us a call.

Weekly Focus – Think About It 

Instructions for living a life:

Pay attention.

Be astonished.

Tell about it.

―From Sometimes by Mary Oliver13

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, not the presenting Representative, the Representative’s Broker/Dealer, or Registered Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice.

* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named firm or broker/dealer.

* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value.  However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.

* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.

* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.

* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client’s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.

* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.

* 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.

* Gold represents the 3:00 p.m. (London time) gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association and is expressed in U.S. Dollars per fine troy ounce. The source for gold data is Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (FRED), https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GOLDPMGBD228NLBM.

* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.

* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow,” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.

* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.

* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.

* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.

* The risk of loss in trading commodities and futures can be substantial. You should therefore carefully consider whether such trading is suitable for you in light of your financial condition. The high degree of leverage is often obtainable in commodity trading and can work against you as well as for you. The use of leverage can lead to large losses as well as gains.

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

* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.

* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.

* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.

* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. * Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:

1 https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/may/22/poll-economy-recession-biden (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2024/05-27-24_The%20Guardian_Majority%20of%20Americans%20Wrongly%20Believe%20US%20is%20In%20Recession_1.pdf)

2 https://www.bea.gov/sites/default/files/2021-01/gdp4q20_adv.pdf [Table 1] (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2024/05-27-24_BEA_Gross%20Domestic%20Product%204th%20Quarter%20and%20Year%202020_2.pdf)

3 https://www.bea.gov/sites/default/files/2024-04/gdp1q24-adv.pdf  [Table 1] (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2024/05-27-24_BEA_Gross%20Domestic%20Product%201st%20Quarter%202024_3.pdf)

4 https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-05-18/tokyo-to-new-york-stock-markets-are-on-a-record-hitting-spree-around-the-world (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2024/05-27-24_Bloomberg_From%20Tokyo%20to%20New%20York%20Stock%20Markets%20Are%20On%20a%20Spree_4.pdf)

5 https://www.bls.gov/regions/mid-atlantic/data/consumerpriceindexhistorical_us_table.htm

6 https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2024/05/24/grocery-prices-falling/ (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2024/05-27-24_The%20Washington%20Post_Grocers%20Are%20Finally%20Lowering%20Prices%20as%20Consumers%20Pull%20Back_6.pdf)

7https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNU04000000?periods=Annual+Data&periods_option=specific_periods&years_option=all_years  [Average is in pdf] (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2024/05-27-24_BLS_Labor%20Force%20Statistics%20from%20the%20Current%20Population%20Survey_7.pdf)

8 https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

9 https://www.schwab.com/learn/story/stock-market-update-close

[10] https://home.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/TextView?type=daily_treasury_yield_curve&field_tdr_date_value_month=202405

[11] https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/07/giftofstock.asp

[12] https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/frequently-asked-questions-on-gift-taxes [How many annual exclusions are available?] [13]https://readalittlepoetry.com/2014/09/10/sometimes-by-mary-oliver/

Weekly Market Commentary

The Markets

Reading the economic tea leaves.

Tasseography practitioners read tea leaves to forecast the future.1 Some economic data serve a similar purpose. Policymakers, central bankers, economists, and investors look at leading economic indicators to forecast where the economy may be headed.2 Classic leading indicators include:

Consumer confidence. Consumer spending is the largest contributor to economic growth in the United States. When consumers feel confident about their finances, the economy may continue to grow, and vice versa.2

The slope of the yield curve. When yields for short-term U.S. Treasuries are higher than yields for long-term U.S. Treasuries, then a recession may be ahead. “Yield curve inversions have preceded each of the last eight recessions,” reported the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.3

Stock market performance. Since investors make decisions based on how they believe the earnings of companies and the value of companies’ stocks will change over time, a rising or falling stock market is considered to offer insight to where the economy may be headed.4

“The leading indicators for the U.S. economy fell in April for the second month in a row…The leading index declined mainly because of weaker business orders, fewer permits to build new homes and a decline in stock prices last month. Stocks have since rebounded, however, to fresh record highs,” reported Jeffry Bartash of MarketWatch. “The economy slowed in the first quarter after heady growth in the second half of 2023. It’s unlikely to speed up much until inflation tapers off and the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates.”5

Some analysts believe rate cuts are still on the table for 2024, reported Sam Meredith of CNBC.6 Last week, theConsumer Price Index showed headline inflation (which measures price changes for a fixed basket of goods) and core inflation (which removes food and energy from the basket) both moved lower from March to April.7

Investors found a lot to like in the inflation data. U.S. stocks finished the week higher with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing above 40,000.8 Yields on most maturities of U.S. Treasuries moved lower over the week, lifting bond prices.9


Data as of 5/17/24
1-WeekYTD1-Year3-Year5-Year10-Year
Standard & Poor’s 500 Index1.5%11.2%27.5%8.4%13.2%10.9%
Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index1.76.312.1-1.04.32.0
10-year Treasury Note (yield only)4.4N/A3.61.62.42.5
Gold (per ounce)1.315.621.79.013.46.3
Bloomberg Commodity Index2.97.24.34.35.8-2.4

S&P 500, Dow Jones Global ex-US, Gold, Bloomberg Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods. 

Sources: Yahoo! Finance; MarketWatch; djindexes.com; U.S. Treasury; London Bullion Market Association.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.

WHICH STATE LOOKS THE MOST LIKE THE UNITED STATES? Fifty states joined the Union from 1787 through 1959.10 Every one of them has a distinct history and culture. States’ names originated from Latin, English, Spanish, French, Polynesian, Algonquian, Siouan, Iroquoian, Uto-Aztecan, and other languages.11 In Alabama, there are deep sea fishing rodeos12 and in Arizona there are sidewalk egg-frying contests.13 In Georgia, they like salted peanuts in cola,14 and in Michigan they call soda “pop.”15 Nebraska cheers for the Cornhuskers, while Oregon flies with the Ducks.

There are a lot of differences between U.S. states, but which state is most like the United States? That’s the question Lenny Bronner and Andrew Van Dam of The Washington Post wanted to answer. Bronner crunched U.S. Census data to create indices that compare U.S. states to one another and to the nation. Some of their findings can be found in this quiz.16

  1. Which state most closely resembles the United States when it comes to income? (Hint: Its state flower is the violet.)
    • Arizona
    • Illinois
    • Georgia
    • Nevada
  2. Which state is most like the United States when it comes to residents’ educational achievement? (Hint: It has the oldest state park in the nation.)
    • Rhode Island
    • West Virginia
    • Georgia
    • Texas
  3. Which state most closely mirrors the country when it comes to employment? (Hint: Its known for a tasty sandwich.)
    • Pennsylvania
    • Utah
    • Mississippi
    • Ohio
  4. Bronner constructed a similarity index using 30 variables to predict which states are likely to vote similarly. Which states are the closest match to one another? (Hint: You may have a hard time believing it.)
    • Arkansas – New Mexico
    • California – Texas
    • Florida – Wisconsin
    • New Hampshire – Ohio

Financial plans are a lot like states. They reflect the unique characteristics and needs of individuals and families. If you have any questions about whether you are on track to achieve your financial goals, get in touch.

Answers: 1) b; 2) c; 3) a; 4) b

Weekly Focus – Think About It  

“A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.”17

—Mahatma Gandhi, activist

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, not the presenting Representative, the Representative’s Broker/Dealer, or Registered Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice.

* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named firm or broker/dealer.

* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value.  However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.

* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.

* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.

* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client’s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.

* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.

* 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.

* Gold represents the 3:00 p.m. (London time) gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association and is expressed in U.S. Dollars per fine troy ounce. The source for gold data is Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (FRED), https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GOLDPMGBD228NLBM.

* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.

* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow,” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.

* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.

* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.

* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.

* The risk of loss in trading commodities and futures can be substantial. You should therefore carefully consider whether such trading is suitable for you in light of your financial condition. The high degree of leverage is often obtainable in commodity trading and can work against you as well as for you. The use of leverage can lead to large losses as well as gains.

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

* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.

* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.

* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.

* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.

* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:

1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasseography

2 https://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/leadingindicator.asp#citation-7

3 https://www.clevelandfed.org/indicators-and-data/yield-curve-and-predicted-gdp-growth

4 https://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/economic_indicator.asp

5 https://www.morningstar.com/news/marketwatch/20240517272/leading-index-for-us-economy-sinks-again-and-points-to-slower-growth

6 https://www.cnbc.com/2024/05/16/us-inflation-data-fuels-bets-of-fed-rate-cuts-as-early-as-september.html

7 https://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm

8 https://www.barrons.com/livecoverage/stock-market-today-051724?mod=article_inline (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2024/05-20-24_Barrons_Stock%20Market%20News%20From%20May%2017%202024_8.pdf)

9 https://home.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/TextView?type=daily_treasury_yield_curve&field_tdr_date_value_month=202405

10 https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2024/04/25/what-was-the-first-state/73278172007/

11 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._state#Name_origins

12 https://adsfr.com

13 https://www.nbcnews.com/business/travel/arizona-town-cooks-sidewalk-egg-fry-flna6c10488679

14 https://www.southernliving.com/food/peanuts-in-coke

15 https://www.michiganpublic.org/arts-culture/2013-04-14/are-you-a-pop-or-soda-person

16 https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2024/05/10/most-representative-most-unique-places-america/ (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2024/05-20-24_Washington%20Post_What%20State%20Best%20Represents%20America_16.pdf) 17https://www.azquotes.com/author/5308-Mahatma_Gandhi/tag/culture

Weekly Market Commentary

The Markets

Higher rates are doing what they’re supposed to do.

Last week, Federal Reserve officials spoke about keeping the federal funds rate higher until it becomes clear that inflation will reach the Fed’s two percent target rate.1

While people typically don’t mind earning more interest on their saving and investment accounts, higher rates are painful for consumers. That pain is why higher rates help lower inflation. They discourage borrowing and cause people to buy fewer goods. Lower demand for goods and services should lead to lower inflation, reported Trina Paul of CNBC.2

So far, the biggest fly in the inflation-reduction ointment is housing. Diccon Hyatt of Investopedia explained:

“In the first two decades of the 21st century, the U.S. built 5.5 million fewer homes than were needed, the National Association of Realtors estimated in a 2021 report…The effects of that housing shortage are rippling through the economy, most obviously in the form of soaring home prices…official inflation rates, which are designed to measure the cost of living, are highly sensitive to any changes in housing costs. Housing costs make up 45% of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the most widely watched measure of inflation.”3

May data show consumers are feeling discouraged.

The University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment dropped 13 percent from April to May. “[The] decline is statistically significant and brings sentiment to its lowest reading in about six months. This month’s trend in sentiment is characterized by a broad consensus across consumers, with decreases across age, income, and education groups…They expressed worries that inflation, unemployment, and interest rates may all be moving in an unfavorable direction in the year ahead,” stated Surveys of Consumers Director Joanne Hsu.4

While consumer sentiment dragged on markets, first quarter corporate earnings reports were stronger than expected, which lifted U.S. stocks. “With well over 80% of the S&P 500 having reported results, companies are on track to have increased earnings by 7.8%, well ahead of the April expectation of 5.1% growth,” reported a source cited by Lewis Krauskopf of Reuters.5

Declining sentiment caused U.S. stocks to stumble on Friday; however, major indices finished the week higher.6 Yields on many maturities of U.S. Treasuries moved higher over the week.7


Data as of 5/10/24
1-WeekY-T-D1-Year3-Year5-Year10-Year
Standard & Poor’s 500 Index1.9%9.5%26.2%7.6%12.6%10.7%
Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index1.24.59.7-2.23.81.9
10-year Treasury Note (yield only)4.5NA3.41.62.52.7
Gold (per ounce)3.414.216.58.813.08.2
Bloomberg Commodity Index1.44.20.13.35.5-2.7

S&P 500, Dow Jones Global ex-US, Gold, Bloomberg Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods. 

Sources: Yahoo! Finance; MarketWatch; djindexes.com; U.S. Treasury; London Bullion Market Association.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.

DATA PRIVACY WILL VARY. For decades, companies have plundered the digital world for valuable treasure – information about you. When it comes to controlling how personal data are used, some people are better protected than others. It often depends on where you live.

For example, in 2016, the European Union (EU) adopted its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The law is built on the idea that individuals have the right to own their personal information and decide who can use it, reported Fredric Bellamy of Reuters.8

In contrast, federal law in the U.S. allows businesses and organizations to collect personal data without the express consent of the people whose information is being collected. The government may step in to prevent or mitigate harm to the individual in certain sectors.8

In addition to choosing the type of data websites may collect, consumers can consult the free buyer’s guide created by a software firm’s foundation. The guide, called *Privacy Not Included, rates the privacy and security of connected toys, gadgets, and smart products.9 Among the many groups that have earned a warning label in the buyer’s guide are:

  • Dating apps. “Most dating apps (80%) may share or sell your personal information for advertising…It’s a bit strange because…apps work on a subscription model. So with dating apps, it’s not your money or your privacy. It’s often both. We also couldn’t confirm whether half (52%) of the apps do the bare minimum to keep all your personal information safe, by meeting our Minimum Security Standards,” reported Jen Caltrider, Misha Rykov and Zoë MacDonald.10
  • Automobile companies. “Car makers have been bragging about their cars being ‘computers on wheels’ for years to promote their advanced features. However, the conversation about what driving a computer means for its occupants’ privacy hasn’t really caught up…[car brands] can collect personal information from how you interact with your car, the connected services you use in your car, the car’s app (which provides a gateway to information on your phone), and can gather even more information about you from third party sources.”11 One company sold personal driving data to brokers who used the information to formulate “risk scores”. The scores were then sold to insurance companies, causing some drivers’ premiums to increase significantly.12

Some states have stepped in to provide additional protections for their residents. In March of 2024, there were “…15 states – California, Virginia, Connecticut, Colorado, Utah, Iowa, Indiana, Tennessee, Oregon, Montana, Texas, Delaware, Florida, New Jersey, and New Hampshire – that have comprehensive data privacy laws in place,” reported Bloomberg Law.13

In April, federal lawmakers proposed a law, the American Privacy Rights Act, that could give consumers control over how their information is used by companies that collect it, as well as the right to opt out of certain types of data collection, reported Cristiano Lima-Strong of The Washington Post.14

Weekly Focus – Think About It  

“If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.”15

-Jeff Bezos, CEO

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, not the presenting Representative, the Representative’s Broker/Dealer, or Registered Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice.

* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named firm or broker/dealer.

* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value.  However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.

* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.

* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.

* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client’s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.

* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.

* 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.

* Gold represents the 3:00 p.m. (London time) gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association and is expressed in U.S. Dollars per fine troy ounce. The source for gold data is Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (FRED), https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GOLDPMGBD228NLBM.

* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.

* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow,” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.

* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.

* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.

* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.

* The risk of loss in trading commodities and futures can be substantial. You should therefore carefully consider whether such trading is suitable for you in light of your financial condition. The high degree of leverage is often obtainable in commodity trading and can work against you as well as for you. The use of leverage can lead to large losses as well as gains.

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

* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.

* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.

* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.

* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.

* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:

[1] https://finance.yahoo.com/news/collins-becomes-latest-fed-official-to-warn-rates-will-likely-stay-higher-for-longer-154507285.html

2 https://www.cnbc.com/select/how-do-increasing-interest-rates-affect-inflation/

3 https://www.investopedia.com/the-housing-shortage-is-hurting-almost-every-part-of-the-economy-8636226#

4 http://www.sca.isr.umich.edu

5 https://www.reuters.com/markets/us/wall-st-week-ahead-earnings-bolster-us-stocks-crucial-inflation-report-looms-2024-05-10/

6 https://www.barrons.com/market-data

7 https://home.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/TextView?type=daily_treasury_yield_curve&field_tdr_date_value_month=202405

8 https://www.reuters.com/legal/legalindustry/us-data-privacy-laws-enter-new-era-2023-2023-01-12/

9 https://foundation.mozilla.org/en/docs/design/branding/sub-brands/privacy-not-included/

10 https://foundation.mozilla.org/en/privacynotincluded/articles/data-hungry-dating-apps-are-worse-than-ever-for-your-privacy

11 https://foundation.mozilla.org/en/privacynotincluded/articles/its-official-cars-are-the-worst-product-category-we-have-ever-reviewed-for-privacy/

[1]2 https://foundation.mozilla.org/en/privacynotincluded/articles/car-company-ceos-answer-tough-questions-about-cars-and-privacy-kinda/

[1]3 https://pro.bloomberglaw.com/insights/privacy/state-privacy-legislation-tracker/#

[1]4 https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2024/04/07/congress-privacy-deal-cantwell-rodgers/?_pml=115 https://www.azquotes.com/quote/531591