Economic Update 09/18/17

By Robert Pagliarini on September 18, 2017

INFLATION SPIKED IN AUGUST Economists had long assumed consumer prices would rise abruptly at some point, and they certainly did last month. The Consumer Price Index increased 0.4% in August, its biggest one-month advance since its 0.6% gain in January. Higher gas prices were a major influence: they rose 6.3% for August. Core inflation was…

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A Roadmap for Insurance Claims after a Natural Disaster

By Robert Pagliarini on September 14, 2017

After the winds end and the waters recede, people affected by the two monster hurricanes in the southern United States will need to move fast, keep records and become their own advocates if they are to recover financially. Many people whose property has been damaged by a flood learn quickly that standard homeowners’ policies cover…

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Economic Update 09/11/2017

By Robert Pagliarini on September 11, 2017

EQUIFAX BREACH MAY IMPACT 44% of AMERICANS Thursday evening, credit reporting agency Equifax disclosed that hackers had raided its databases this spring, accessing the personal information of up to 143 million people. Equifax believes that about 209,000 credit card numbers may have been collected in the process, plus numerous Social Security and driver’s license numbers.…

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Economic Update 08/28/17

By Robert Pagliarini on August 28, 2017

SUMMER SLOWDOWN HITS HOUSING MARKET Low inventory and high prices are taking a toll on existing home sales. They declined 1.3% in July, according to the National Association of Realtors, making a second straight monthly retreat. In the past 12 months, the number of existing homes on the market has shrunk 9.0%, while the median…

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Low Volatility Market: Ways to Reduce Risks That Persist

By Robert Pagliarini on August 24, 2017

If you’ve been thinking that not much is happening in the market lately, you’re right. Through the first seven months of the year, none of three major stock market indexes has fallen by more than 5 percent. And one gauge of market movement, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), which measures investors’ expectation of the ups…

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Won The Lottery? Take the Lump Sum or Annuity Quiz

By Robert Pagliarini on August 23, 2017

If you have won the lottery and want to know if you should take the lump-sum or the annuity (or even if you didn’t win and just want to dream a little), take the online Lump Sum vs. Annuity Quiz and see for yourself!

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Economic Update 08/08/17

By Robert Pagliarini on August 8, 2017

LATEST JOBS REPORT BRINGS GOOD NEWS U.S. payrolls swelled with 209,000 net new workers in July, according to the Department of Labor. That beat the 183,000 estimate by analysts surveyed by Reuters. About 53,000 of the hires were at restaurants and bars, with another 49,000 in the professional and business services category. While yearly wage…

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Economic Update 07/24/17

By Robert Pagliarini on July 25, 2017

WILL STOCKS GET AN EARNINGS BOOST? While the first full week of the Q2 earnings season saw no pronounced rallies, there were also no shocks. By Friday’s closing bell, 20% of S&P 500 member firms had reported calendar Q2 results, and a FactSet analysis showed 77% had topped sales projections and 73% had beaten earnings-per-share…

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Tips for Homebuyers Struggling in a Tight Market

By Robert Pagliarini on July 20, 2017

Summer often brings transitions. In between school years, families relocate, or consider looking for a different house. First-time buyers hit the streets, too. If you’re among those dipping your toe in the market, you might be noticing how frustrating it is: There’s a housing shortage. Home prices have increased by 40% in the last four…

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Economic Update 07/17/17

By Robert Pagliarini on July 17, 2017

INFLATION PRESSURE WEAKENS The Consumer Price Index was unchanged in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That left its yearly advance at only 1.6%, nearly half a point below the Federal Reserve’s target (the core CPI was up 1.7%). After the announcement, some economists and market strategists wondered whether the Fed would rethink…

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