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The tariff dispute between the U.S. and China is a clash between the world’s two largest economies. The tariff dispute between the U.S. and Mexico pits the world’s largest economy up against the globe’s 15th largest, coupled with an unequal relationship between the neighboring countries. 80% of Mexico’s exports are shipped to the United States, while just 16% of U.S. exports are sold to Mexico.
Robert Eugene Hart, 86, passed away peacefully on June 4, 2019, surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by his devoted wife, Audrey (nee Keene) Hart, his daughters Cynthia Hart and her partner Paul LeBrun, Doreen Hart, Elizabeth Hart and husband David Funk, beloved grandchildren Robert and Karen (nee Geihl) Baker, Jordan Baker, Erin Haney, Michael Haney, and Rose Madison, adored great-granddaughters Camila and Antonia Baker, former son-in-law Curtis Baker, nieces Susan Kaitz, Sharon Hart, and nephew Richard Hart.
The stock market’s run of four straight “up” months ended last week as the trade battle that has dominated headlines expanded to another country. The S&P 500 dropped 6.4% in May (total return), making the index’s +10.7% YTD performance less than satisfying. The latest threatened tariffs – directed at Mexico – are to be implemented in just one week (5% on June 10) and could increase fivefold to 25% in four months on October 1.
Last week likely did not bring any resolution to the U.S.-China trade conflict. Both sides are resolute with their positions, reluctant to accept terms proposed by the other. What is apparent however is that tariffs are impacting sales. U.S. companies exported $26 billion of goods to China in the first quarter 2019, on pace for $104 billion for the entire year.
It was the threat that sent a shiver through stock markets worldwide last week. The White House accused China of backpedaling on previous trade deal commitments, specifically language that was to be written in Chinese law that would strengthen the intellectual property rights of American firms.
U.S. employers added +263,000 jobs in April 2019, pushing the nation’s jobless rate to 3.6%, its lowest level since December 1969. In fact, the government has reported an unemployment rate lower than 3.6% only 17 times since January 1954 (65 years ago), equal to just 2% of the preceding 783 months (source: Department of Labor).
The rising and falling of the “cost of money” impacts financial decisions of American consumers. For the last 30 years, the cost of borrowing (home mortgages, auto loans, business loans, lines of credit) has trended downward, setting the stage for a lower “normal” interest rate. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, considered the most popular debt instrument in the world, was yielding 9.06% on 4/18/89 (30 years ago), falling to 5.23% on 4/18/99 (20 years ago), to 2.98% on 4/18/09 (10 years ago), and finally to 2.56% on 4/18/19 (source: Treasury Department).
Just as we take steps to keep ourselves healthy through the changing of the seasons, we need to do the same with our home. Heating and air conditioning units that aren’t properly maintained and cleaned can cause additional allergens and particles to circulate around your home.
Wicked winter weather brings its share of challenges. Expensive water damage from frozen pipes shouldn’t be one of them. Today, we’re sharing some preventative measures you can take now, before freezing temperatures set in, to reduce or eliminate the risk of cold-weather threats to your home.