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Stock Market Rally: A few months ago, seven of the largest tech companies in the U.S. were responsible for virtually all of the stock market gains in 2023. However, the stock market rally isn’t just a big tech rally any longer. Shares of many companies are making the rally broader. More than 140 stocks in the index, such as Lowe’s and General Electric, have hit fresh 52-week highs since the end of May. All 11 sectors of the S&P 500 have climbed during that period, pushing the index up 17% for the year. Small-cap stocks are rising, too.

Wall Street often views improving breadth as a measure of health in the stock market and an indication that the rally could last. This doesn’t negate lingering concerns about slowing corporate profits, the potential for a recession, or the Federal Reserve’s intent to tame inflation through interest-rate increases.

Along with this rally is the fact that the labor market has remained robust, and the latest data on consumer prices showed inflation eased in June to its lowest since early 2021.

(Source: The Wall Street Journal)

Economic Boosts: It’s always worth noting what is positively impacting the economy, and an unlikely source recently recognized by the Federal Reserve is the Taylor Swift Era’s Tour. Consisting of 131 concerts across 17 states and five continents, it has provided a noticeable positive boost in the hotel industry, restaurants and retail. Her Denver shows were set to generate $140 million for the state’s gross domestic product and estimated to bring in $200 million in direct consumer spending. It is believed that her tour will generate $4.6 billion in total consumer spending, larger than the GDP of 35 countries.

It’s not just Swifties contributing to the increase in consumer spending. According to Census Bureau data, retail sales in April climbed 0.4% to $686.1 billion.



While the pace of sales is off its record high, it continues to trend well above pre-pandemic levels.

Health Insurance and Kids: While we’re still in full swing of summer, the fall is slowly creeping closer. Once the kids are settled in school, the undesirable task of renewing health benefits comes around again. You may not be thinking about it yet, but there are some things to consider for those with kids approaching the age of 26.

Depending on where you live will determine whether your child can remain on your health insurance after 26. In Pennsylvania, for example, your child can stay on your insurance if they are a full-time student, a PA resident, unmarried, and has no dependents. If that’s not your child, they can’t remain on your health insurance.

We found this article to be a helpful starting point. If you’re turning 26 and gainfully employed, your employer may offer health insurance benefits. If you work in the gig economy, work part-time, or are unemployed, options may include Medicaid, the marketplace, Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, or Cobra.

Consider taking some time to look through what each option offers as you either prepare to move your child off your insurance or consider the options they have in their current situation. Don’t hesitate to reach out if we can be helpful in the conversation.

Business Briefing

  • Drug Shortage: A tornado in North Carolina damaged a Pfizer factory this week and could further strain U.S. drug supplies at hospitals. The factory produces nearly a quarter of Pfizer’s sterile injectable medicines. (The Associated Press)
  • Goldman Sachs: Goldman Sachs’ second-quarter earnings dropped 58%. Godman’s return on equity fell to 4%, lagging behind other top U.S. banks. Goldman and analysts had reduced their profit estimates for the quarter as it faced weakness in everything from investment banking to its struggling consumer arm. Still, the company’s quarterly report fell short of even the lower estimates. (The New York Times)

The Spectrum of Wealth: Someone we like to listen to is Morgan Housel, author of The Psychology of Money. He recently shared a podcast titled “The Spectrum of Wealth.” In the episode, he shared this quote: “If you want to be happy, that’s easy to accomplish. But most people want to be happier than other people. And that is very difficult because we overestimate how happy other people are. (Montesquieu)” The shifting definition of happiness and wealth has been around forever. It forces questions: “How much wealth would make me happy?” or “What makes me happy?” These are foundational questions we aim to consider when developing your financial plan.

In the episode, Housel expounds on how wealth is relative—one person who feels poor in one context might feel rich in another context and through someone else’s eyes. There is simply no objective measure of wealth. Part of what is interesting about Housel’s thoughts is that he thinks spectrums of wealth through words (not numbers). Spoiler alert: he suggests that the richest people are those who are respected and admired by those you want to respect and admire you regardless of your financial circumstance.

It’s an interesting listen that causes you to think. Here’s a link if you’re interested.