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June 7, 2016 >>> Read more













The Markets (as of market close June 3, 2016)

Friday's dismal news on the labor front put a damper on expectations that the Fed will raise rates later this month, drove a pullback in domestic stocks, and sent Treasury yields into decline. Yet despite the day's market dips, most indexes ended the week either flat or in the green.

In international news, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries concluded its highly anticipated meeting last Thursday without agreement on production caps. The European Central Bank (ECB) held rates steady, while raising the outlook for inflation by 0.1% and growth by 0.2%. ECB President Mario Draghi noted current stimulus measures appear to be working.

Crude oil (WTI) closed at $48.90 a barrel last week, down $0.66 over the previous week. The price of gold (COMEX) rose to $1,246.50 by late Friday afternoon, up from the prior week's price of $1,215.30. The national average retail regular gasoline price increased to $2.339 per gallon on May 30, 2016, $0.039 above the prior week's price but $0.441 below a year ago.


Market/Index 2015 Close Prior Week As of 6/3 Weekly Change YTD Change
DJIA 17425.03 17873.22 17807.06 -0.37% 2.19%
Nasdaq 5007.41 4933.50 4942.52 0.18% -1.30%
S&P 500 2043.94 2099.06 2099.13 0.00% 2.70%
Russell 2000 1135.89 1150.45 1164.13 1.19% 2.49%
Global Dow 2336.45 2344.41 2349.87 0.23% 0.57%
Fed. Funds rate target 0.25%-0.50% 0.25%-0.50% 0.25%-0.50% 0 bps 0 bps
10-year Treasuries 2.26% 1.85% 1.71% -14 bps -55 bps

Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.

Last Week's Headlines

  • The United States saw just 38,000 new nonfarm payroll positions added in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And while the unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage point to 4.7%, it was not good news, as nearly half a million job seekers stopped looking for work. Employment increased in health care, mining continued to lose jobs, and employment in information decreased due to the Verizon strike. In addition, the number of persons employed part-time for economic reasons (also referred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased by 468,000 to 6.4 million in May. Average hourly earnings increased by $0.05 in May to $25.59. Earnings have risen an average of 2.5% over the past year.
  • Personal consumption expenditures (PCE)--or "consumer spending"--rose by 1% in April, the largest monthly gain in nearly seven years, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. PCE, which represents more than two-thirds of overall economic growth in the United States, increased $119.2 billion for the month. By comparison, PCE rose by just 0.2% in February and remained flat in March. Personal income increased $69.8 billion, or 0.4%, and disposable personal income (DPI) increased $63.5 billion, or 0.5%, in April.
  • The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had decreased in April, declined further in May. The index now stands at 92.6, down from 94.7 in April. The Present Situation Index decreased from 117.1 to 112.9, while the Expectations Index declined from 79.7 to 79.0 in May. The percentage of consumers stating business conditions are "good" improved from 24.2% to 25.9%. However, those saying business conditions are "bad" also increased, from 18.2% to 21.6%.
  • The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index rose 5.2% on an annual basis in March, down from 5.3% in February. The 10-City Composite and 20-City Composite Indexes remained unchanged from the prior month, at 4.7% and 5.4%, respectively. "Home prices are continuing to rise at a 5% annual rate," said David M. Blitzer, Managing Director & Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "The economy is supporting the price increases with improving labor markets, falling unemployment rates, and extremely low mortgage rates."
  • The Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Index grew for the third consecutive month, registering 51.3% for May, an increase of half a percentage point over April. The New Orders Index came in at 55.7%, down slightly from the April reading of 55.8%. The Production Index fell 1.6 percentage points to 52.6%, while the Employment Index held steady at 49.2%. Readings over 50 indicate growth, while readings less than 50 point to slowdowns.
  • On the other hand, the Markit U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index™ pointed to the weakest manufacturing performance since September 2009. At 50.7 in May, the index fell 0.1 percentage point from April's reading. Markit Chief Economist Chris Williamson attributed the slowdown to falling export demand and growing uncertainty surrounding the presidential election.
  • The Institute for Supply Management Non-Manufacturing Index was 52.9% in May, 2.8 percentage points lower than the April reading of 55.7%. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index decreased to 55.1%, 3.7 percentage points lower than April; the New Orders Index dropped 5.7 percentage points from the April reading of 59.9%; and the Employment Index decreased 3.3 percentage points to 49.7% from April.
  • The goods and services trade deficit was $37.4 billion in April, up $1.9 billion from $35.5 billion in March, revised, reported the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. April exports were $182.8 billion, $2.6 billion more than March, and imports were $220.2 billion, an increase of $4.5 billion over the prior month. Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit decreased $8.1 billion, or 4.8%, from the same period in 2015. Exports and imports both decreased 5.1%, to $39.0 billion and $47.1 billion, respectively.
  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, new orders for manufactured goods in April, up three of the last four months, increased $8.7 billion, or 1.9%, to $460.5 billion. This was the biggest jump in six months, driven largely by new orders for non-defense aircraft, which jumped by 65%. Shipments increased $2.2 billion, or 0.5%, to $456.8 billion. Unfilled orders increased $6.6 billion, or 0.6%, to $1,137.3 billion. Inventories decreased $0.5 billion, or 0.1%, to $620.8 billion. This followed a 0.1% March decrease.
  • In the week ended May 28, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment insurance claims was 267,000, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 268,000. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.6% for the week ended May 21, unchanged from the previous week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ended May 21 was 2,172,000, an increase of 12,000 from the previous week's revised level.

Eye on the Week Ahead

Given last week's unexpectedly disappointing employment numbers, all ears will be listening carefully to Janet Yellen's remarks on Monday to gauge the future of interest rates. Key data releases include the second estimate on Q1 productivity and labor costs, as well as the April results from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS).

Data sources: News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e. wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations. Market data: Based on data reported in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/ Market Data (oil spot price, WTI Cushing, OK); (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates). All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighted index composed of 2,000 U.S. small-cap common stocks. The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide. Market indices listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.




What should you know about distributions from IRAs and other retirement plans?

Effective retirement planning involves not only an awareness of the types of savings vehicles available, but also an understanding of taking distributions from these vehicles. In particular, you should be familiar with the income tax ramifications of distributions (including a possible 10 percent premature distribution penalty tax for distributions made prior to age 59 ½). You may be interested in knowing whether you can borrow money from your retirement plan, whether it is better to receive your retirement money in one lump sum or in monthly checks, and whether you can roll your retirement plan balance into an IRA.

In addition, you may be concerned about naming one or more beneficiaries for your IRA or employer-sponsored retirement plan. What are the tax implications? What about required minimum distributions from the plan after you reach age 70½?

What if you are an executive or business owner?  

A number of additional retirement planning tools are often available for executives, such as nonqualified deferred compensation plans offered by employers to their key employees. If you're an executive, you should realize that nonqualified plans and stock plans can be valuable tools for retirement planning. You should understand the mechanics of the special benefits afforded by your employer, including the tax implications for you.
If you are a business owner, on the other hand, you have some special retirement planning concerns of your own. In particular, you may want to plan for the succession of your business to family members or to others. You may also want to know which retirement plans are best suited to your form of business.
How do Social Security and other government benefits programs impact retirement planning?
If you're planning for retirement, you should also consider the Social Security income (if any) you'll be receiving in the future. In fact, it is possible for you to estimate your Social Security benefits ahead of time. You may want to check your Social Security record periodically to ensure that you have met the eligibility requirements and that your information is accurate and complete.
You'll also want to become familiar with ways to optimize your Social Security benefits and minimize their taxation. The timing of your receipt of benefits can be important, as can the impact of post-retirement employment. Other governmental programs should also be considered when planning for retirement.
In particular, you should review the topics of Medicare and Medicaid. You should know what Medicare does and does not cover and what other health care options are available to you. How expensive are these governmental and supplemental health programs? What are the eligibility requirements? Medicaid planning can be particularly important for people of modest means. You should know the Medicaid eligibility requirements, the penalties for transferring assets inappropriately, and the various strategies available for protecting assets. In addition, you should become familiar with the specific methods of protecting your personal residence and the extent to which your state can impose liens on your property and pursue recovery remedies after your death. If you are planning for your post-retirement years, you should also gain some familiarity with long-term care insurance, nursing homes, retirement communities, assisted living, and other housing options for elders.
Do government employees have special retirement concerns?
If you work for the federal government, a state government, a railroad, or if you are in the military, your retirement benefits may be subject to special rules. You should know how your retirement plan works, what distribution rules apply, how your survivors can benefit, how your plan may be integrated with Social Security, and what tax rules apply.





  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup pesto
  • ⅔ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 3 large flour tortillas (12")
  • 1 pound thinly sliced turkey or ham deli meat

In a bowl, beat together the cream cheese, pesto, and Parmesan cheese until smooth. Spread ⅓ of the mixture on top of one of the tortillas. Top cream cheese/pesto mixture with turkey or ham. Roll up tortilla tightly and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours.

Remove from refrigerator and unwrap. Slice into rounds and display on serving plate or tray.


Content provided by Broadridge Investor Communications.

The Prosperity Group is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any government agency.

Some of these materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable—we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.


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