A fresh wave of positive corporate earnings surprises sent markets to new record highs last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.40%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 1.33%. The Nasdaq Composite index picked up 2.71% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, was up 0.68%.1,2,3
Earnings Drive Market
The week kicked off with the Dow Jones Industrials and S&P 500 index setting record highs as the financial markets carried over the previous week’s price momentum.4
Stocks continued to climb on a string of forecast-beating earnings results. With about half of the S&P 500 constituent companies having reported earnings, more than 80% of them have beaten Wall Street analysts’ consensus estimates. Based on these results, earnings for all S&P 500 companies are expected to come in approximately 39% above the third quarter of last year. (Forecasts are based on assumptions, and may not materialize.) Stocks overcame disappointing earnings from two mega-cap tech names on Friday to maintain the week’s solid gains.5
GDP Growth Slows
While businesses managed to post strong earnings in the third quarter, the first look at economic growth came in below consensus estimates. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at a 2.0% annualized rate in the third quarter, a slowdown from the two previous quarters, each of which posted annualized growth rates in excess of 6%.6
The spread of the Delta variant and backlogs in the supply chain were two major factors dragging on economic activity.
Do a Paycheck Checkup
Every year, the IRS suggests doing what it calls a “Paycheck Checkup.” Check your withholding status if you:
The IRS also suggests checking on any streams of taxable income that are not subject to withholding, such as interest, dividends, capital gains, self-employment income, or retirement plan distributions. You also should check your withholding if you’ve experienced changes to your medical expenses, taxes, charitable gifts, education credits, dependent care expenses, and more. These life changes might affect your deductions or tax credits. Paycheck Checkups may help you better manage the process of filing taxes.
* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.
Tip adapted from IRS.gov7
Footnotes and Sources
2. The Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2021
3. The Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2021
4. CNBC, October 24, 2021
5. CNBC, October 28, 2021
6. The Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2021
7. IRS.gov, January 22, 2021
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Weekly Market Insights: Earnings Build; GDP Slows
November 01, 2021