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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Economic Update 07/10/17

By Robert Pagliarini on July 10, 2017

HIRING PICKS UP AGAIN The Department of Labor announced some good news Friday: the creation of 222,000 net new jobs in June, the largest hiring gain in four months. Approximately 4.7 million people reentered the labor force and found work in June, a peak unmatched in 27 years of monthly data. Wages rose 0.2% for…

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Economic Update 06/19/17

By Robert Pagliarini on June 19, 2017

FED DELIVERS EXPECTED & UNEXPECTED NEWS As Wall Street anticipated, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates on June 14. The Federal Open Market Committee voted 8-1 to take the benchmark interest rate north by a quarter-point to the 1.00-1.25% range. The Fed also said it would begin to reduce its $4.5 trillion balance sheet at…

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Economic Update 06/12/17

By Robert Pagliarini on June 12, 2017

AN UPBEAT REPORT ON THE SERVICE SECTOR The Institute for Supply Management’s May non-manufacturing purchasing manager index displayed a reading of 56.9 last week, showing expansion in U.S. service industries for an eighty-ninth straight month. Although the gauge declined 0.6 points from its April mark, it signaled a solid pace of growth. The index’s employment…

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Economic Update 06/05/17

By Robert Pagliarini on June 5, 2017

JOB CREATION, JOBLESS RATE DOWN IN MAY A day after ADP’s employment change report estimated a hiring gain of 253,000 in May, the Department of Labor’s latest jobs report told a far different story. It said employers added just 138,000 workers last month. The U-3 jobless rate fell to a 16-year low of 4.3% in…

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