U.S. stocks climbed the last week in October, with the S&P 500 notching its longest weekly winning streak since April. Impressively, thanks to a stellar start to the third quarter earnings season, this year’s biggest pullback, a 5.2% drop from September 2 to October 4 – was fully recouped by October 20 (just 12 trading days). All three major U.S. equity indices ended the week and month at fresh all-time highs. The performance came despite earnings disappointments from two of the five-largest U.S. companies.
Here's what we're reading this week:
Weekly Commentary -- Corporate earnings beyond the restart -- BlackRock
BlackRock see above-trend corporate earnings growth moderating as we move beyond the economic restart. We remain overweight Europe and neutral U.S. equities.
U.S. stocks rallied to all-time highs on better-than-expected corporate earnings. Euro area economic activity is now close to its pre-Covid level.
The Federal Reserve is expected to announce the start of its taper of asset purchases this week and may push back against market pricing of rate hikes.
Navigating Employment & Materials Shortages -- iShares BlackRock
How can investors navigate shortages? BlackRock strategists weigh in.
13 Scariest Retirement Statistics: 2021 -- Think Advisor
Before "scary season" comes to a complete end, I think it's important to look at these scary retirement statistics posted by Think Advisor:
1. The Social Security trust funds are on track to go bust by 2033.
2. Older adults' expenses have risen nearly twice as much as Social Security benefits in the past 20 years.
3. Sixty percent of U.S. adults are “terrified” of what a health care crisis could do to their retirement.
4. Medical costs have skyrocketed more than 140% since 2000.
5. For a 65-year-old couple, there is a 75% chance that one spouse will need long-term care.
6. Life expectancy in the age of COVID fell by almost one year for 65-year-olds.
7. With only 1.6% interest rates on 10-year bonds, retirees need to rethink portfolios.
8. Ninety percent of Americans 45 and older aren’t waiting until 70 to collect Social Security.
9. Thirteen states still tax Social Security benefits.
10. Seventy-two percent of men and 89% of women failed retirement literacy tests.
11. There are 300,000 fewer births expected in 2021.
12. The $25,000 tax threshold on Social Security benefits ($32,000 for married couples).
13. Seven in 10 retirement-age investors worry that inflation will hurt their savings.