Stocks managed small gains as investors wrestled with concerns over economic growth prospects and a rise in COVID-19 infections. The Dow Jones Industrial Average picked up 0.24%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 0.40%. The Nasdaq Composite index added 0.43%. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slipped 0.78%.1,2,3
A Choppy Week
In a truncated week of trading, stock market action was turbulent and indecisive. A mixed start saw cyclical stocks sell off amid concerns of slowing economic growth, while growth stocks advanced in response to falling yields.
After strengthening mid-week with the release of the FOMC meeting minutes, stocks skidded when reopening fears resurfaced Thursday on a new wave of global COVID-19 infections and Japan’s emergency declaration that reintroduced lockdown protocols. This led to a broad-based sell-off, with financials, home builders, and technology hit hard. A drop in bond yields added to the deteriorating sentiment.
Bond yields rebounded on Friday, setting the stage for a strong comeback for stocks, with the three major indices closing at new all-time highs.4
Attention Turns to Bonds
Since reaching a 2021 high of 1.74% in March, the 10-year Treasury yield has been in a slow, steady decline, closing at 1.37% on Friday.5
One explanation may be that reopening sentiment has turned more cautious as the Delta variant of COVID-19 spreads globally. Another view is that overseas investors are buying Treasuries, effectively lowering yields.
Perhaps it's abating inflation concerns, or simply excess liquidity finding its way into bonds. Whatever the message, the yield narrative has changed from just a few months ago when it was believed that the 10-year treasury was heading to two percent.5
Tax Tip - Your Plans This Summer May Be Eligible for Itemized Deductions
If you have big plans this summer to sell or buy a home, donate some old items, or hit the casino, some of these activities may be able to be itemized as deductions. Here are some examples:
If you are refinancing your home this summer, you may be able to deduct a part of your mortgage interest. There are some limits to these deductions, though. According to the IRS, the deduction is limited to interest paid on a loan secured by the taxpayer’s main home or second home. When you refinance, you must use the loan to buy, build, or substantially improve your main home or second home.
If you are buying a new home this summer, you can deduct mortgage insurance if you pay on a total of $750,000 in qualifying debt for a first and second home or $375,000 when married filing separately.
Lastly, if you enjoy hitting the casino, you may be able to itemize and deduct gambling losses up to the amount of gambling winnings.
* 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.gov6
Footnotes and Sources
2. The Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2021
3. The Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2021
4. CNBC, July 9, 2021
5. U.S Department of Treasury, July 9, 2021
6. IRS.gov, November 9, 2020
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The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, may not materialize, and are subject to revision without notice.
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Weekly Market Insights: Stocks Edge Higher in Short Week
July 12, 2021