Weekly Update – September 17, 2018
Last week, the East Coast prepared for Hurricane Florence, which roared through the Carolinas and Georgia. As investors kept their eyes on the weather and its potential for destruction, estimates emerged of up to $27 billion in hurricane damage. This potential for damage contributed to insurance companies in the S&P 500 declining last week.  While the hurricane likely won’t have a large effect on our economy, its destruction could influence data for months to come.
- Consumer sentiment jumped: The September reading was at its 2nd-highest point since 2004. The data reveals that consumers expect the economy to grow and create more jobs.
- Retail sales stalled but are primed for growth: Spending barely increased in August, after months of strong growth. However, analysts believe this data is “a blip” rather than an emerging trend, as tax cuts and a healthy labor market leave Americans with money in their pockets.
- Industrial production rose for the 3rd-straight month: Auto manufacturing contributed to higher than expected industrial production in August. For now, trade tensions have not yet hurt this sector.
These data reports may not show blockbuster growth, but together they indicate our economy is doing well. In fact, they were strong enough to lead many economists and analysts to increase their projections of how fast the economy expanded during the 3rd quarter.
Looking back, the markets have come far from where they were 10 years ago. But risks will always remain, as Hurricane Florence and Lehman Brothers remind us. Today and in the future, we are here to help you understand where you are and plan for whatever may lie ahead.
Also, for those affected by the hurricane, we’re ready to support your recovery and provide the financial guidance you seek.
Thursday: Existing Home Sales, Jobless Claims
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 navel orange
- Kosher salt
- 20 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 pound thin asparagus, trimmed
- Put couscous in a bowl. Pour on juice from half an orange and 1 cup of hot tap water. Keep covered for 15 minutes. For seasoning, add salt and pepper and mix gently.
- At the same time, add cumin, cayenne, and salt to shrimp to season. Broil the shrimp with the asparagus mixed with oil and seasoned with salt and pepper, 2 minutes each side. Broil until shrimp is opaque throughout and asparagus is tender.
- After squeezing the juice from the other half of the orange on the shrimp, serve with couscous.
Recipe adapted from Good Housekeeping 
Kicking the Sugar Habit with a Detox?
- Use cool water while rinsing. Washing and rinsing with hot water uses more than three times the energy than using cool water during rinsing.
- The newer, more efficient washers use nearly four times less energy than the older machines. You can also save up to $70 a year in energy costs.
- Lower your water heater’s temperature to 120ºF, which is sufficient for most of your laundry.
- Do one big load rather than several smaller ones. But don’t overload your washer either.
- Clean your dryer’s outside vents regularly.
- Take your clothes out of the dryer slightly damp and hang them up. This reduces the need for ironing.
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