On September 30, 2021, Congress averted a potential federal government shutdown by passing a continuing resolution to provide funding for government operations through December 3, 2021.1 This was only a temporary measure, and lawmakers will continue to wrestle with the budget for fiscal year 2022, as well as the debt ceiling, which requires action by mid-October.
About 77% of retirees between the ages of 62 and 75 plan to spend down at least some of their retirement assets. The top reasons cited include lifestyle, medical expenses and health insurance, housing expenses, and discretionary spending. The remaining 23% intend to maintain or grow their assets. Why would retirees not want to spend down the assets they’ve worked so hard to save? Here are the reasons they gave.
On Saturday, September 25, 2021, the House Budget Committee voted to advance a $3.5 trillion spending package to the House floor for debate. The House Ways and Means Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation had previously released summaries of proposed tax changes intended to help fund the spending package. Many of these provisions focus specifically on businesses and high-income households.
Investors rode a bumpy ride, opening last week lower only to rebound later but not enough to avoid a third consecutive weekly dip. Only the Nasdaq was able to avoid closing the week in the red, but barely. The Dow and the Global Dow fell nearly 1.0%, while the S&P 500 and the Russell 2000 declined more than 0.8%. Traders were able to overcome concerns early in the week of the possible financial collapse of a major Chinese property developer, only to learn last Friday that Chinese regulators will now consider crypto-related transactions illicit financial activity.
October is the kickoff season for financial aid. That’s when incoming and returning college students can start filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, for the next academic year. The FAFSA is a prerequisite for federal student loans, grants, and work-study, and may be required by colleges before they distribute their own institutional aid to students.
Stocks have generally retreated in September on concerns that the Delta variant is slowing the economy’s rebound and that the markets, which had been surging, may be primed for a decline. The benchmark indexes generally lost ground for the second consecutive week, with only the Russell 2000 able to close the week in the black. Ten-year Treasury yields climbed 3 basis points last week, the dollar climbed higher, and crude oil prices increased $2.34 per barrel. Among the market sectors, only consumer discretionary (0.5%) and energy (3.3%) advanced. The remaining sectors lost value, led by materials (3.2%) and utilities (3.1%).
Stocks retreated last week, with each of the benchmark indexes listed here falling at least 1.3%. The Russell 2000 and the Dow dropped the furthest, declining 2.8% and 2.2%, respectively. Investors contended with mixed signals. A better-than-expected jobless claims report, while encouraging, could prompt the Federal Reserve to start reducing its asset purchases sooner. Also, the spread of the Delta variant may impede economic recovery. Each of the market sectors fell for the week, with real estate dropping nearly 4.0%. Crude oil prices and the dollar inched ahead last week, while gold prices, which had been climbing, fell 2.2%. Ten-year Treasury yields climbed marginally higher.
The U.S. housing market, already strong before the pandemic, has heated up to record levels in 2021. The Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, which measures home prices in 20 major metropolitan areas, reported a 12-month increase of 18.6% in June 2021, the largest year-over-year gain in data going back to 1987.
Two large infrastructure bills have taken important steps to advance in Congress:
On August 10, 2021, the Senate passed a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, to be named the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act when enacted.
Senate and the House have also passed a resolution along party lines (on August 11 and August 24, respectively) that sets the stage for additional legislation, a $3.5 trillion “human infrastructure” spending package that includes tax provisions.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq recorded multiple record highs last week. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here posted solid gains, led by the small caps of the Russell 2000, which climbed more than 5.0%. Following the conclusion of the Federal Reserve’s much-anticipated Jackson Hole symposium, Fed Chair Jerome Powell reiterated the message that tapering bond purchases would likely begin this year, while interest rates would remain in place for some time. The market sectors generally advanced, with energy climbing 7.4% and financials adding 3.5%. Ten-year Treasury yields rose 5 basis points to 1.31%. Crude oil prices rebounded from the prior week’s dip, rising over 10.0% to $68.72 per barrel. The dollar slid against a basket of currencies, while gold prices advanced for the second consecutive week.