Despite a good start to earnings season and some solid economic data, worries of slower second-half economic growth led to a pullback in stock prices last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.52%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 0.97%. The Nasdaq Composite index sank 1.87% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, was flat (-0.06 %).1,2,3
Stocks weakened amid an active week of news, including two important inflation reports, Congressional testimony from Fed Chair Jerome Powell, a string of economic reports, and the start of the second-quarter earnings season.
The earnings season began on a strong note as 95% of the first S&P 500 constituent companies to report checked in with “earnings above estimates” by an average of 22%. Despite these above-expectation earnings, stocks moved little on the results.4
Bond yields continued to trend lower amid Powell’s testimony that monetary policy would remain unchanged. A decline in consumer sentiment fed worries of economic slowdown, leading stock lower and cementing losses for the week.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) jumped 5.4% in June, representing the biggest monthly gain since August 2008. The core CPI, which excludes food and energy, increased 4.5%, which was the fastest pace since September 1991.5
The CPI report was followed by the Producer Price Index, which surged 7.3% from a year earlier, outpacing May’s jump of 6.6%. Higher wholesale prices were primarily attributed to increased commodity prices and labor costs.6
Fed Chair Powell, in Congressional testimony subsequent to these reports, reiterated his position that the accelerated inflation of recent months will be temporary.
Who Can Deduct Car Expenses on Their Tax Returns?
Wondering if you can deduct expenses such as gas, depreciation, and lease payments on your tax returns? If you are a business owner or self-employed individual, you may be able to. If you use your car for both business and personal purposes, the expenses may be split and the deductions will be based on a portion of the mileage used for business.
There are two ways to calculate the car expenses you may be able to deduct. The first method is to calculate and deduct the actual expenses, including depreciation, lease payments, gas and oil, tires, repairs and tune-ups, insurance, and registration fees.
The second is to use the standard mileage rate, which is a rate calculated to represent gas and some of the above factors. In 2021, the standard mileage rate is 56 cents per mile. Taxpayers who want to use the standard mileage rate for a car they own must choose to use this method in the first year the car is available for use in their business.
* 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, July 16, 2021
3. The Wall Street Journal, July 16, 2021
4. Earnings Scout, July 15, 2021
5. CNBC, July 13, 2021
6. Reuters, July 14, 2021
7. IRS.gov, February 1, 2021
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Weekly Market Insights: Stocks Retreat, Inflation Advances
July 19, 2021