WEEKLY UPDATE – May 7, 2018
Domestic indexes posted strong results on Friday, May 4, as the latest labor report data lessened investors’ concerns about inflation and interest rates. Nonetheless, stocks had mixed results last week. The S&P 500 dropped 0.24% and the Dow gave back 0.20%, which marked both indexes’ 2 nd week of losses in a row.  Thanks to a bounce in tech stocks, however, the NASDAQ gained 1.26%.  International stocks in the MSCI EAFE decreased by 0.57%. 
Amid this relatively tepid performance, we reached a big milestone on May 1: Our current economic expansion is now officially the 2 nd longest on record. For 8 years and 10 months, the economy has been growing, and many sectors still have room to advance. 
As we look to better understand where we stand today, Friday’s employment report provides key insights into our economic health.
What We Learned About Employment
1. Growth Slowed
The report indicated that the economy added fewer jobs than expected in April, and average hourly wage growth also grew more slowly than forecast. Federal Reserve members watch this data closely to help anticipate changes in inflation. 
2. Participation Dropped
The percentage of working-age people participating in the labor force dropped by 0.1%.  This decline may result from people retiring or returning to school but can also come from people choosing to stop looking for work. The lower participation rate may contradict some of the more positive trends we’ve seen recently. 
3. Unemployment Declined
Despite missing growth projections, unemployment fell to 3.9%, the lowest point in 18 years.  The rate has only dropped below 4% during 3 other periods.  The low unemployment numbers came more from the lower labor force participation rate than from more people finding jobs. 
Lower participation rates could affect long-term economic growth. However, the combination of low unemployment and reasonable wage growth are likely a positive scenario for the economy. Many people who want jobs have them, but inflation should remain under control. 
As the bull market lumbers toward its 9 th year, many reports continue to indicate a solid economy.  If the economic expansion continues through July 2019, it would be the longest in history (with records going back to the 1850s). While that accomplishment would be noteworthy, our focus remains on current circumstances, and striving to find insight that affects your financial future. From trade to jobs to manufacturing and beyond, we have many details to watch on your behalf.
- ½ pound peeled and deveined shrimp, finely chopped
- 1 medium zucchini, coarsely grated (about ½ cup)
- 1 teaspoon green curry paste
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- ¼ cup basil, chopped
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- About 30 round dumpling wrappers
- 2 tablespoons canola oil, optional, for frying
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon green curry paste
- Stir shrimp, zucchini, curry paste, fish sauce, basil, and scallions together.
- Put 1 rounded tablespoon of filling in the center of a wrapper. Wet the wrapper’s edges with water using your fingers.
- Fold in half and seal. Pleat the seal if desired.
- Put sealed dumpling onto a floured or parchment-lined baking sheet. Do the same with the rest of the filling and wrappers.
- Add 1 tablespoon salt to a large pot of simmering water. Cook dumplings in 3 batches, stirring until the filling is cooked through, 3-6 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to move dumplings to paper-towel-lined plate.
- Heat a large skillet on medium-high.
- Put in canola oil and pan-fry boiled dumplings until golden brown and crisp, 1-2 minutes per side.
- Stir water, lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce, and green curry paste together.
- Serve with potstickers.
- Get permission from yourself to play your own game, said Dr. Bob Winters, an internationally renowned sport psychologist. Be persistent with yourself: Nothing’s going to spoil your game.
- Ignore the other players. Once you step up to the tee, disconnect yourself from others and don’t worry about what they think about your game.
- Create for yourself a safe space. Nothing matters around you. Don’t think about the other people or players on the course. Focus only on your upcoming shot.
- Decide before you step up to tee what kind of shot you’re going to make. Decisiveness instills confidence.
- Rehearsal time. Imagine your swing first in your mind. Then do a few practice swings. The real one is merely an expression of the one you’re already created in your imagination.
- The final strike. You’ve done all the mental preparation. Step up to the tee, and prepare to do the actual swing. Do the swing with muscle memory.
- Acceptance. Once you finish your swing, accept the results. If you’re on target, that’s good. If not, move on. You have 8 or 17 more chances to improve.
- Recommend preventative services.
- Treat most health problems.
- Refer you to a specialist when needed.
- Treat you with respect.
- Listen to your opinions and concerns.
- Encourage you to ask questions.
- Explain matters in ways you understand.
- Get recommendations from friends.
- Ask your doctor for recommendations if your doctor is retiring.
- Contact your health insurance company for a list of doctors in the insurer’s network.
- Confirm with your chosen doctor to see if the office accepts your insurance.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.
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