The Miller Financial Group
 
Rally Softens; But That May Be Healthy
Weekly Update - April 8, 2013
In This Issue
The Markets
Performance
Headlines
Recipe
Golf Tip
Health Tip
Green Fact
The Markets:


Markets pulled back last week as investors reacted to several disappointing economic reports and expressed concern that a spring swoon is around the corner. For the week, the S&P 500 lost 1.0%, the Dow trimmed 0.1%, and the Nasdaq fell 1.9%.[1]

 

The big news last week was Friday's job report, which showed a drop in the overall unemployment rate from 7.7% in February to 7.6% in March. However, much of the drop can be attributed to discouraged job seekers who stopped looking for work rather than organic job creation. Unfortunately, the economy only added a disappointing 88,000 new jobs in March, about half the number economists were expecting.[2] Earlier in the week, payroll processor ADP released a report showing that private employers added just 158,000 jobs in March, missing expectations of 200,000 new jobs.[3] Despite the poor data, it's usually unwise to read too much into a single report, since monthly job data is notoriously volatile.

 

In Washington, President Obama announced his intention to offer cuts to Social Security benefits and other government programs as a concession to Congressional Republicans, though no plan is final. While the White House's proposal could help to cut the federal deficit by $1.8 trillion over the next decade, it definitely has some drawbacks.[4] All political affiliations aside, cuts to any programs are bound to be painful, but may also be necessary to get U.S. spending back on track. All this back-and-forth we are seeing is a sobering reminder of how much work still needs to be done to get the nation's fiscal house in order; there is still a long road ahead.

 

Looking forward, investors will be watching first quarter earnings reports (which will start trickling in this week) and economic data to get a sense of how the economy is doing. Should initial earnings reports show weakness, stocks could experience further downside, though short-term consolidations are a common occurrence of healthy markets, and should not be viewed as a cause for alarm.    

 

ECONOMIC CALENDAR:
Wednesday: EIA Petroleum Status Report, FOMC Minutes, Treasury Budget
Thursday: Jobless Claims, Import and Export Prices
Friday: Producer Price Index, Retail Sales, Consumer Sentiment, Business Inventories

 

                    

Performance
 
Notes: All index returns exclude reinvested dividends, and the 5-year and 10-year returns are annualized. Sources: Yahoo! Finance and Treasury.gov. International performance is represented by the MSCI EAFE Index. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.
 
Headlines:


IRS audits of wealthy taxpayers targets 1 in 8 high earners. New data from the IRS shows that taxpayers with taxable incomes of $1 million or more were audited 12 times more than the total population. These audits are proving lucrative for the IRS, netting an average of $117,000 per return.[5]

 

Portuguese court rejects some austerity measures, upholds others. In a blow to government finances, Portugal's highest constitutional court rejected cuts in pension benefits and reductions in leave, but upheld other measures. The ruling will likely reduce the cash-strapped government's revenues by as much as $1.17 billion.[6]

 

Approximately 15% of the U.S. receives food stamps. Food stamp use grew 1.8% since January 2012, showing that one of the country's largest social welfare programs is still growing. Though annual growth is increasing, the pace of growth is slowing as the economy improves.[7]

 

Bank of Japan doubles down on bonds. In an effort to shake off nearly two decades of deflation, the Bank of Japan will begin a new quantitative easing program, purchasing 6.2 trillion yen in April and a further 7.5 trillion yen in six future installments (total of approximately $1.4 trillion.) While this may help boost economic growth, it will add to Japan's already unsustainable public debt load.[8]                       

 

  

Quote of the Week

"Too old to plant trees for my own gratification, I shall do it for my posterity."

- Thomas Jefferson     

Recipe of the Week

Strawberries and Syrup




Sometimes, the simplest dishes are the most delicious.
Recipe from RealSimple.com.

Ingredients:
2 pounds strawberries, hulled and halved
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier, cognac, or fruit brandy
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

 

Directions:
Place strawberries in a large bowl.
Simmer the granulated sugar and 1/3 cup water until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in the Grand Marnier. Pour the syrup over the strawberries and toss.Beat the cream and confectioners' sugar in a medium bowl until soft peaks form.Divide the strawberry mixture among individual bowls and top with the whipped cream. 


  

Golf Tip
   Can You Wiggle Your Toes?

With the proper setup, your weight should be distributed evenly on your feet. Many golfers have a tendency to stretch out towards the ball too much. This causes their weight to be too far forward. How can you tell if your weight distribution is proper? Easy! Just make sure you can wiggle your toes freely.
  
Healthy Lifestyle
Get a Regular Physical
                           

It's never too much to remember: Routine physicals are essential for long-term health. Staying on top of your health means regularly checking in with a physician. Found early, many common health problems can be treated before they become serious.

                                            

Green Living
Save Water When Watering
                           

The best time of the day to water your plants is at sunrise or sunset, as this minimizes water evaporation.       

                                           

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Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.

Diversification does not guarantee profit nor is it guaranteed to protect assets. 
  
The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. The DJIA was invented by Charles Dow back in 1896.

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Robert G. Miller, CFP , RFC, LUTCF
The Miller Financial Group
7700 West Camino Real
Suite 400
Boca Raton, FL 33433
561-353-3700
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