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November 3, 2014 - Upside After A Turbulent Month

| November 03, 2014
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Investors took advantage of a data-heavy week and rallied strongly, raising the Dow and the S&P 500 to new records. Upbeat economic reports and fresh hope for the global economy contributed to the market's optimism. For the week, the S&P 500 gained 2.72%, the Dow gained 3.48%, and the Nasdaq gained 3.28%.[1] Markets surged Friday after Japan's central bank announced an unexpected expansion of its enormous quantitative easing program. The move came after economic reports indicated inflation (and demand) was weakening in Japan. Economists hope that pumping trillions more into the aging country's economy will be enough to stoke economic activity.[2] On the domestic side, investors got a first look at Q3 economic growth and found that gross domestic product (GDP) grew a whopping 3.5% for the quarter.[3] Though GDP growth decelerated from its 4.6% pace in the second quarter, it was the fourth quarter out of the last five that the economy has grown more than 3.5%.[4] Keep in mind that this is only the first GDP growth estimate, and it will definitely see revisions as more reports come in. The Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee met last week and announced the end of its quantitative easing programs, meaning that after October, the Fed will no longer purchase new bonds to prop up the economy.[5] Though the news was widely expected, analysts are reading a bit of a hawkish tone to the Fed's announcement. Because the Fed feels optimistic about the country's economic outlook, some analysts think that rate hikes might come as early as Spring 2015.[6] Either way, we're confident that the Fed will look closely at all the data available before making any big decisions. Looking ahead, analysts will be watching the European Central Bank's meeting to see whether Europe will follow where Japan is leading. Although demand is also weakening in Europe, it's unlikely that the ECB will take on significant asset purchases. Investors will also be watching to see whether the October jobs report supports opinions that the labor market is improving rapidly.[7] Overall, investors' fears that led to the selloff in mid-month turned out to be unfounded. Is there more room for upside after a turbulent month? If October has taught us anything, it's that markets can turn on a dime. Though investors are feeling better about the global economic picture, fresh worries could lead to further turbulence going forward. As always, we're continuously monitoring markets and making prudent changes where warranted. ECONOMIC CALENDAR: Monday: Motor Vehicle Sales, PMI Manufacturing Index, ISM Mfg. Index, Construction Spending Tuesday: International Trade, Factory Orders Wednesday: ADP Employment Report, ISM Non-Mfg. Index, EIA Petroleum Status Report Thursday: Jobless Claims, Productivity and Costs Friday: Employment Situation Gray Notes: All index returns exclude reinvested dividends, and the 5-year and 10-year returns are annualized. Sources: Yahoo! Finance and Treasury.gov. International performance is represented by the MSCI EAFE Index. Corporate bond performance is represented by the DJCBP. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. HEADLINES: Jobless claims rise, but remain close to 14-year lows. New claims for unemployment benefits rose slightly, but remained very close to the levels last seen in 2000. In context, these levels are 20% lower than they were last October, indicating that fewer workers are being laid off.[8] Durable goods orders falter in September. Orders for long-lasting manufactured goods fell for the second month in a row, indicating that companies are reluctant to spend in the face of slowing global growth.[9] U.S. wages gain most since 2008. A measure of labor costs showed that the wages paid to American workers gained significantly in the third quarter, a sign that a pickup in income growth is coming.[10] Gas prices drop below $3/gallon. Nationwide, average gasoline prices have dropped below $3/gallon for the first time since December 2010, driven by a glut of oil on international markets. This is a boon to American consumers, who are spending much less on transportation.[11] Gray Quote Of The Week Fountain Pen "Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle." - Abraham Lincoln Recipe Of The Week Fork and Knife Dulce de Leche Mousse Make your own dulce de leche in this easy dessert! Ingredients: Serves 4 1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut 1 cup heavy cream pinch kosher salt 1/4 cup dulce de leche Dulce de Leche 1 14-oz can of sweetened condensed milk Directions: 1.To make the dulce de leche, heat the oven to 425°F. Heat a kettle of water to boiling. 2.Pour the condensed milk into a pie plate or small oven safe dish. Cover tightly with foil and place it inside a roasting pan. Put it in the oven and carefully fill the roasting pan with the hot water until it comes halfway up the sides of the pie plate. Bake the mixture for approximately 1 1/2 hours, checking and replenishing the water as needed, until the milk is thick and golden brown. Cool uncovered. 3.To make the mousse, lower the oven temperature to 325°F. Spread the coconut flakes on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast the flakes, shaking them halfway through, 5-7 minutes until golden. Set aside to cool. 4.While they are cooling, beat the salt and cream just until soft peaks form. Don't overbeat. Gently fold 1/4 cup of the cooled dulce de leche into the mixture, being careful not to deflate the mixture. Scoop the mousse into individual bowls and chill for at least an hour and up to 8 hours. Serve topped with the coconut flakes and a small drizzle of dulce de leche. Note: the remaining dulce de leche can be kept sealed in the refrigerator for up to a week and used as an ice cream or yogurt topping or on oatmeal or pancakes. Recipe adapted from Charlyne Mattox | RealSimple.com[12] Gray Tax Tips Document Understanding the Small Business Healthcare Tax Credit The Small Business Healthcare Tax Credit helps small businesses and tax-exempt organizations pay for the healthcare they provide their employees. Your business may be eligible for the credit if it meets the following guidelines: •The business has fewer than 25 employees working full-time, or who work a mix of full-and part-time, i.e. 50 employees working half-time. •The average annual wage paid to employees is less than $50,000 (in 2013) and the employer pays at least 50% of all employees' health insurance premium costs. The tax credit is worth a maximum of 35% of premiums paid by small business employers. If you didn't owe any taxes during the tax year, the credit can be carried back or forward to other tax years. To learn more about small business tax issues, please contact a qualified tax professional. Tip courtesy of IRS.gov[13] Golf Tip Golfer 3-Point Putting Drill Dialing in the directional control and distance awareness of your short game is challenging. Use this putting drill to practice control and drop your stroke count. Choose a breaking putt that's between 15 and 40 feet long. Walk to about the halfway mark and place two tees six inches apart. You get one point for sending the ball between the tees; you get a second point if you can also end within three feet of the hole; and a third point for also sinking the putt. This game rewards accuracy, speed control, and perceptual awareness by forcing you to visualize the line the ball needs to take. Adjust the game as you improve by moving the tees, shifting your starting point, or moving the tees closer together. The more you play, the better you'll get at identifying and executing the best line to the hole. Tip courtesy of Dan Martin, PGA | Golf Tips Mag[14] Healthy Lifestyle Medical Cross 5 Minutes to Better Health Research shows that short bursts of activity can yield great benefits to health. They get the blood pumping, can help your arteries stay elastic, and help improve overall cardiovascular health. One study found that just two sessions a week of a high-intensity regimen was able to lower blood pressure by 9%. Here are some ideas for quick, high-intensity exercises that can boost your daily activity level: •On your daily walks, walk quickly up the hills to increase the intensity and recover on the downhill side. •On the treadmill, increase the intensity for 60-second bursts, and then recover for several minutes. •On a stationary bike, do all-out sprints of six seconds, and then recover for several minutes. Tip courtesy of AARP[15] Green Living Leaf Get Green Power From Your Utility Does your local utility company offer green power? Green power is energy created from renewable, more environmentally-friendly resources like solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower, or biomass. Many utilities will allow you to purchase green power for a small extra fee each month. The system works by selling green energy into the existing power grid and then allowing consumers to purchase the energy. Supporting green energy allows consumers to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels while encouraging the development of renewable energy sources. To find out if green power is available in your area, check the Green Power Network at energy.gov. Tip courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy[16] Share the Wealth of Knowledge! Please share this market update with family, friends, or colleagues. If you would like us to add them to our list, simply click on the "Forward email" link below. We love being introduced! Gray Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. Diversification does not guarantee profit nor is it guaranteed to protect assets. The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. The DJIA was invented by Charles Dow back in 1896. The Nasdaq Composite is an index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market and is considered a broad indicator of the performance of stocks of technology companies and growth companies. The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) that serves as a benchmark of the performance in major international equity markets as represented by 21 major MSCI indexes from Europe, Australia and Southeast Asia. The Dow Jones Corporate Bond Index is a 96-bond index designed to represent the market performance, on a total-return basis, of investment-grade bonds issued by leading U.S. companies. Bonds are equally weighted by maturity cell, industry sector, and the overall index. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are the leading measures of U.S. residential real estate prices, tracking changes in the value of residential real estate. The index is made up of measures of real estate prices in 20 cities and weighted to produce 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. Google Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. You cannot invest directly in an index. Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision. Fixed income investments are subject to various risks including changes in interest rates, credit quality, inflation risk, market valuations, prepayments, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors. These are the views of Platinum Advisor Marketing Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named representative, Broker dealer or Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named representative nor the named Broker dealer or Investment Advisor gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your financial advisor for further information. By clicking on these links, you will leave our server, as they are located on another server. We have not independently verified the information available through this link. The link is provided to you as a matter of interest. Please click on the links below to leave and proceed to the selected site. 1 http://goo.gl/0HcF74 2 http://www.marketwatch.com/story/japan-central-bank-shocks-market-with-fresh-easing-2014-10-31 3 http://www.cnbc.com/id/102135607 4 http://www.cnbc.com/id/102135607 5 http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/monetary/20141029a.htm 6 http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2014/10/29/why-three-fed-voters-two-hawks-one-dove-mattered-in-fomc 7 http://www.cnbc.com/id/102142629?trknav=homestack:topnews:19 8 http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/10/30/jobless-claims/18166865/ 9 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-28/durable-goods-orders-in-u-s-decrease-for-second-straight-month.html 10 http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/31/us-economy-costs-idUSKBN0IK19A20141031 11 http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2014/1101/Gas-prices-drop-below-3-a-gallon.-That-hasn-t-happened-in-four-years-video 12 http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/dulce-de-leche-mousse 13 http://www.irs.gov/uac/Small-Business-Health-Care-Tax-Credit1 14 http://www.golftipsmag.com/instruction/putting/lessons/use-your-senses.html?start=3#.VFZct9TF9t8 15 http://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2014/high-intensity-interval-training-photo.html#slide3 16 http://apps3.eere.energy.gov/greenpower/buying/
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