Your Weekly Blip 1/24/22

Your Weekly Blip 1/24/22

The Markets,
Last week’s market action was nasty and today opened lower over uncertainty regarding the situation in Ukraine coupled with inflation data which now has gurus predicting the Fed will raise interest rates four times this year to combat this hidden tax. Last week the Dow fell 4.5% or 1,646 points to close at 34,265 on moderate trading volume. Today’s wild ride saw the Dow plumet over 1,000 points before an end of the day rally put the index at a closing gain of 88 points. Trading volume was high. IBD went to “market in correction” (no kidding!) last week so caution is advised while the Ukraine thing unfolds.
The Economy and Earnings
Earnings have been hitting the wires. Bank of America reported well above estimates with a solid 9% revenue increase and a 39% jump in profits. Banks overall are having a good earnings season. One theme is that while bank trading revenues are disappointing consumer spending is up. Bank of America said business forecasts going forward look promising but urged caution as inflation is taking a bite out of purchasing power at both the consumer and producer levels.
Items of Interest
The Washington legislature voted overwhelmingly to push the payroll tax for the Washington Cares LTC Trust Act back to July 2023. At issue are how to make the tax fair in the sense that people who live outside of the state yet work in the state will not pay tax for something they will never use. It also protects members of the military who come and go. Indications right now show that those who have private LTC insurance will be able to opt out of the tax but between now and July of next year there could be more changes to the plan as lawmakers hash out the details.
Troop 100 had its Crew snow hike over the weekend. The sky was clear, and the stars were out. The scouts did well cooking, building snow shelters, fires and having fun. The problem with building fires on six feet of snow is that eventually you are looking at a fire several feet below where you are standing. The total number of scouts on the trip was six and we discussed how we can get more scouts off the zoom meetings and into the woods where they can grow and learn the hard way.
As a reminder our old toll free 800 number has been canceled due to our office move. From now on please use the regular business line 206-352-9205.