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Weekly Market Update, Week Ending February 23, 2024

Weekly Market Update, Week Ending February 23, 2024

February 26, 2024

Market-Moving News[i]

NASDAQ Nears Record

A rally on Thursday helped U.S. stock indexes rebound from the previous week’s mostly negative results. The NASDAQ’s gain of more than 1% left that index four-tenths of a percentage point below its record closing high set on November 19, 2021. The S&P 500 and the Dow added to record highs they had set 11 days earlier.  

Bullish Thursday

A stronger-than-expected earnings report from a major semiconductor company propelled U.S. indexes on Thursday to their biggest daily gains in a year. The NASDAQ’s nearly 3.0% surge was its biggest in 12 months, while the S&P 500’s 2.1% rise was its largest in 13 months. 

Japan’s elusive peak

It took more than three decades, but a Japanese stock market index finally set a record high on Thursday, climbing above its prior peak established on December 31, 1989. Japan’s equity market fell into a long slump in the early 1990s; it began its long rebound after hitting a low in early 2009.

Inversion deepens

The current inversion of the yield curve deepened on Friday to its most extreme level year to date, as measured by the gap between the yields of 2- and 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds. The 2-year’s closing yield on Friday was 4.68% while the 10-year’s  was 4.26%—maintaining an inversion, with short-term debt yielding more than long-term debt.

Fed’s rate agenda

U.S. Federal Reserve officials expressed concern that recent progress in reducing inflation could be reversed by any strong growth in spending by consumers and hiring by businesses. Minutes of the Fed’s late January meeting that were released on Wednesday showed that some officials “noted the risk that progress toward price stability could stall.”

Lagging small caps

An index of U.S. small-cap stocks slipped, becoming an outlier in an otherwise positive week for stocks. The Russell 2000 Index fell about 0.8% for the week, extending its run of year-to-date underperformance versus its large-cap peers. 

Oil’s rough ride

Oil prices fell about 2%, reversing course from the prior week’s gain, as the commodity traded in a fairly wide range. The price of U.S. crude climbed to nearly $80 per barrel on Tuesday before dropping as low as $76 the next day. On Friday, oil was trading slightly below $77.

The Week Ahead:  February 26-March 1

  • Monday
    • New home sales, U.S. Census Bureau
  • Tuesday
    • S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index
    • Consumer Confidence Index, The Conference Board
    • Durable goods orders, U.S. Census Bureau
  • Wednesday
    • Fourth quarter GDP, second estimate, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
  • Thursday
    • Personal Consumption Expenditure Price Index, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
    • Pending home sales, National Association of Realtors
    • Weekly unemployment claims, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Friday
    • Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index
    • Construction spending, U.S. Census Bureau
    • University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment

 Philosophy Quote of the Week 

You Can’t Control Everything

  • “You have been formed of three parts – body, breath and mind. Of these, the first two are yours insofar as they are only in your care.  The third alone is truly yours.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Tax Tips[ii]

Non-Cash Charitable Contributions

Being generous counts and can offer donors great tax deductions too.  Donating that old treadmill, which has been lying unused for years might reap some tax benefits.  Every year keep track of what you donate and the condition it was in when you donated it.

Most Taxpayers donate far more dollar value than they realize, but they seldom keep track of it.

Generally, taxpayers claim around $500 of non-cash donations but if they keep track of their non-cash donations we find families donate closer to $3,000 worth.  That means about $800 in tax refunds are being lost every year!  This type of deduction could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars each year, but you must document your contributions.  Keeping good records is what will always win, in the case of an audit.

This week we discuss non-cash contributions.  Non-cash items are furniture, clothing, home appliances, sporting goods, artwork and any item you contribute other than cash, checks, or by credit card.

Generally you can deduct your cash contributions and the Fair Market Value (FMV) of most property you donate to a qualified charitable organization.  Special rules apply to several types of donated property, including clothing or household items, cars and boats.  If your contribution entitles you to receive merchandise, goods, or services in return – such as admission to a charity banquet or a sporting event – you can deduct only the amount that exceeds the FMV of the benefit received.  FMV is generally the price you would get had you sold the property in an open market.  Usually the receipt you receive for the donation will state how much that is.

To claim a deduction for donated property valued at $250 or more, you must have a written statement or receipt from the charitable organization.  It must show the amount of the donation and a description of the property given.  It must also say whether the charity provided any goods or services in exchange for the gift.

If you donate property, the receipt that you are given must include a description of the items and a good faith estimate of its value.  For items valued at $500 or more of total non-cash items (food, clothes, electronics, computers, household goods, furniture, etc.) you must complete Form 8283, Non-Cash Charitable Contributions.

If you claim a deduction for a contribution of non-cash property worth $5,000 or more from any one item, generally an appraisal must be obtained, and Section B of Form 8283 must be completed and filed with your return, and you must attach a copy of the written appraisal along with the tax return.  If you file electronically, you will attach a PDF of the appraisal to the tax return, otherwise you can send in a written copy of the appraisal when filing a paper tax return.

It's a best practice to take pictures of items donated when giving away non-cash items (clothes, furniture, household items, artwork, etc.), because this helps show the condition and the number of items donated.  This way you can better prove your valuation amount used.

The Salvation Army has a website that is used to value items that are given to charitable organizations, by simply going to the website www.salvationarmyusa.org, and type in the word “valuation” in the search bar.  You will see different items that are given away and the valuation that has been accepted by the IRS for charitable donation purposes, based on the condition of the item, for each item donated.

Points to Remember

  • Most families donate closer to $3,000 worth of non-cash items but only claim around $500 on their tax returns
  • Be sure to get a written receipt for any cash, check or credit card contribution of $250 or more
  • Use Form 8283 if the amount of total non-cash charity is $500 or more
  • Take pictures of items donated, to prove condition and number of items given
  • You need a written appraisal (stating that it is for tax purposes) if the value of the item being donated is $5,000 or more, for any one item
  • Use the Salvation Army website, salvationarmyusa.org, to determine the value of the items donated

Health Tip of the Week[iii]

Keep Joints Healthy as You Age

For joints to work well, they need cartilage, a slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones, acts like a shock absorber, and helps joints move smoothly.  Joaquin Sanchez-Sotelo, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeon, says many people lose cartilage as they age, but it does not mean that joint replacement is inevitable. Here are some tips for keeping joints healthy.

Cartilage degenerates for various reasons, Dr. Sanchez-Sotelo says. People may be born with abnormally shaped bones or a tendency toward weaker cartilage.  Obesity, overuse or injuries from accidents also can damage joints and cartilage.

"When cartilage degenerates, the body forms bone spurs," Dr. Sanchez-Sotelo says. "This is a reaction to the main underlying problem, cartilage degeneration. Bone spurs can hit each other and become painful. Many patients get obsessed with bone spurs, but just taking them out won’t cure the problem, except in very rare circumstances."

Loss of articular cartilage is the essence of what is called osteoarthritis, a common joint disorder. Dr. Sanchez-Sotelo says most of his osteoarthritis patients are in their 60s when they go to see a health care professional with symptoms — achy and painful joints, stiffness, and loss of movement — that developed over time.

Dr. Sanchez-Sotelo says you can take steps when you are younger to protect your joints as you age. Having strong muscles around the joints can help take the load off the joints. However, people who exercise at high levels in sports, like football and bodybuilding, have higher risks of developing arthritis.

"You have to exercise within reason," Dr. Sanchez-Sotelo says. "Find that point where your muscles are healthy, flexible, strong and will protect the joints, but don’t overdo it."

Maintaining a healthy weight is important, as obesity is hard on the joints.  Glocosamine and chondroitin are popular supplements for joint pain, but lack convincing evidence that they work, Dr. Sanchez-Sotelo says.

He offers these suggestions for managing arthritic pain:

  • Modify your activities. If you have an arthritic hip or knee, instead of running — which results in the pounding of the joints — maybe you can try bicycling.
  • Take the load off the joints with gait aids. Using a cane can help lighten the load on your hip, knee and ankle joints, and decrease the pain. A knee brace — worn outside the clothes — shifts the load to the healthier side of the knee joint.
  • If the pain persists, you may want to consider over-the-counter medications, like acetaminophen and ibuprofen. However, be aware of the side effects, such as ulcers, kidney or heart issues. In general, narcotics should not be used for osteoarthritis.
  • If the pain continues, you also may consider injections with medications, such as cortisone or toradol, which, when injected into the joint, can help relieve pain. Again, these medications have side effects, so be sure to speak with your health care professional.
  • Hyaluronic acid, which also is injected, uses components similar to those of the joint lubricating fluid to try to replenish it. It has been more successful with the knee joint than hip and shoulder joints.
  • Some injections, marketed as regenerative medicine, include stem cells and platelet-rich plasma. At this point, many consider their use as experimental since there is no firm evidence about their efficacy.

"In the past, older people just accepted joint pain," Dr. Sanchez-Sotelo says. "Now people are living longer and want to remain active as they age. We are not all destined for joint replacement. There are some people in their 80s and 90s who have great joints." 


[i]https://www.jhinvestments.com/weekly-market-recap#investment-returns, accessed 02.26.2024.

[ii] Hockensmith, Robert F.  52 Ways to Outsmart the IRS, 2nd Edition.  Kindel Edition, location 41-42 of 226.  Accessed 02.26.2024.

[iii]https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/10-11mayo-clinic-expert-offers-tips-on-how-to-keep-joints-healthy-as-you-age/  Accessed 02.26.2024