All three major stock indexes, the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and the Nasdaq finished the week in positive territory. The proverbial “kicking of the can” down the road continues as Federal Reserve Chairman Powell confirmed in remarks he made on Thursday, that the Fed will begin tapering measures this year, while holding steady on interest rates for the foreseeable future. He also intimated that inflation is hovering right around the 2% target, but that “full employment” is still well below expectations. I think we can all agree on the latter, more employees are still needed in several key areas. Chairman Powel does deserve some credit for preparing the “markets” appropriately for the coming pullback in easy monetary policies. If there is one thing the markets, overall, do not like, it’s surprises in major policy changes with short notice!
The situation abroad has deteriorated further, and this does give us some pause for concern. Late Friday, more warnings were issued for the potential of further civil unrest and terrorist activities. The U.S. has now responded with retaliatory actions, but the simple fact remains that the situation in Afghanistan will continue to be volatile in the weeks ahead. We are also watching the potential impact hurricane Ida may wreak for the Gulf Coast states. As of this morning, Ida is expected to reach category 4 status, and unfortunately, we all know too well the destruction this could cause an already fragile region. Mandatory evacuations have now begun in parts of Louisiana and the surrounding areas as landfall is expected to come Sunday morning.
As has been the case for most of the year, we have a lot to digest as we head into the last week of summer. I know for many, the return to school and schedules is a welcome change. The warm weather will soon begin to fade, and our routines, while still upended by Covid, will settle into the next phase. My motto (and my Doctors), is to soak up the vitamin D while you can. From a financial perspective, we feel good about how the rest of the year will unfold and have already started to set our sights on 2022 and what changes that might bring. In the meantime, enjoy this last week of summer as best you can. Stay golden!
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