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The Northern Star Newsletter 10/1/20 - Stocks Mixed Amid Uncertainty


Message from Jon

Market Update

We spent September 3rd to the 23rd declining on the S&P 500 index. We met the 50-day moving average and ended up piercing it before trying to reverse back upward these past 3 trading days. Over that period of time, we saw a 10.53% decline resulting in a correction (See 1st chart below).1

The NASDAQ was also in correction territory at a 12.68% decline over the same period (See 2nd chart below). 2 


We still have about an increased volatility level on the VIX registering 31.15 as of Monday (See chart below).3 To give you some insights on this measurement, from single digits to about 15, you are normally considered under-valued-meaning you can buy almost anything if you see relatively low risk vs return ratio. From 15-20 is often considered fairly valued, meaning that you will want to make sure of what you are buying and how you are deploying capital since nothing is guaranteed. Above 25 you should count on a correction in the near-term, so be very cautious in how you want to deploy new capital. Above 35 should indicate that elevated levels of risk are present-kind of like swimming in the ocean when the lifeguard is not present and the signs on the beach indicate strong undertow.

When you look at the VIX measurement for 2020, you can see where we're humming along and then, bam! The pandemic hit us rapidly, followed by a slow receding risk line...but not quite gone enough to be back to pre-pandemic levels yet.


We are taking a cautiously optimistic view but are still sitting at above normal levels in cash, giving this market condition time to settle down. Our opinion that we expressed on the webinar last week is one of short-term concern but longer-term optimism once a vaccine and the election are in our review mirror.

These markets come with all kinds of opinions, views and "returns" that coworkers, friends and family will all have. Approach with caution. You will only hear a part of the story or see a part of the picture. Kind of like an iceberg, right? What you see is but a small portion of the total picture.


Till we speak again, enjoy your week,




  1. https://stockcharts.com/h-sc/ui
  2. https://stockcharts.com/h-sc/ui?s=$COMPQ
  3. https://elite.finviz.com/futures_charts.ashx?p=d1&t=VX

Stocks Mixed Amid Uncertainty


The Week on Wall Street

Stocks were mixed last week as worries that stretched from Washington D.C., where prospects of a new fiscal stimulus bill dimmed, to Europe, which saw an increase of new COVID-19 cases. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 1.75%, while the Standard & Poor's 500 fell 0.63%. The Nasdaq Composite index gained 1.11% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slumped 4.20%.[1][2][3] 

Late Friday Rally Pares Losses 

Dwindling chances of a federal fiscal stimulus, pre-election jitters, and worries over a second wave of coronavirus infections in Europe weighed heavily on investors. 


The weakness in technology persisted. The Department of Justice proposal to curb legal protections for internet companies and require them to take greater responsibility for the content on their sites adding to that sector's woes.[4]


Energy stocks were also hit hard on concerns of a slowdown in economic growth hurting oil demand.  


The week wasn't entirely absent of good news. Investors focused on reports of new progress in developing a vaccine and the passage in the House of Representatives of a bipartisan continuing resolution bill to fund the government through December 11th.[5]


Absent any apparent catalyst, stocks rallied in the final days of the week, cutting losses on major indices and powering the NASDAQ Composite to a weekly gain.


Fiscal Stimulus on Life Support

Market hopes for an additional fiscal stimulus bill, which were already fading, suffered another setback as events in Washington, D.C., appeared to make it more unlikely that lawmakers and the president could come together to fashion a compromise spending bill.


Many economists and market observers, along with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, believe that further spending may be needed to maintain the momentum of the current economic recovery. 



Tuesday: Consumer Confidence Index.

Wednesday: ADP (Automated Data Processing) Report. Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Thursday: Jobless Claims.  

Friday: Employment Situation. Factory Orders.


Source: Econoday, September 25, 2020

The Econoday economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.



Tuesday: Micron Technologies (MU), McCormick (MKC)

Thursday: Constellation Brands (STZ), PepsiCo (PEP), Conagra Brands (CAG)


Source: Zacks, September 25, 2020

Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.



Quote Of The Week

Fountain Pen

 "What goes best with a cup of coffee? Another cup." - Henry Rollins 

Recipe Of The Week

Fork and Knife

Whipped Coffee 

1 serving Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons of instant coffee
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of warm water
  • 1 cup milk
  1. Add the sugar, instant coffee, and water into a small bowl.
  2. Using a hand mixer (or a whisk), whip the entire mixture until stiff peaks can form and it's nice and fluffy.
  3. Prepare a glass with ice and milk.
  4. Pour the whipped coffee over the milk (or a milk alternative) and stir.
Recipe adapted from Jessica in the Kitchen[6]  



Tax Tips


Check Out the IRS YouTube Channel for Tips


Did you know that the IRS has its own YouTube channel? The channel is full of informational videos that answer common questions from taxpayers. They cover everything from filing a tax return for the first time to what to do if you don't receive a W-2.


In addition, the IRS also posts videos in multiple languages for multilingual taxpayers. They even have videos in American Sign Language to accommodate taxpayers of all languages and ability levels. They have their videos separated into different categories including Tax Tips, Identity Theft, Small Business, and IRS Tax Pros. Now it's easier than ever to get your tax questions answered online.


* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.

Tip adapted from IRS.gov[7]

Golf Tip


Make Better Contact With the Ball With This Simple Drill


Most players that make good contact with the ball during their shots have the same thing in common. They have a fair amount of length and extension through the club and their body. Because of this, they are able to take full advantage of the whole swing.


If you notice that you aren't making strong contact with the ball, it may be because your arms are bunching up or your hips are too far back. This simple drill will help you understand and correct this form:


Slide the golf club up so it's pressing into your stomach. Then, pivot your core forward and up. Once you get a feel for this motion, do small swings to recreate that feeling. Then, you can incorporate it into your full swing.


Tip adapted from PGA of Australia[8]

Healthy Lifestyle

Medical Cross

How to Make Healthy Habits Stick


We've all set goals that for some reason or another haven't happened. Believe it or not, there is a science behind whether you achieve your goals. Because of that, these tips can help:

  • Set a series of smaller goals instead of large goals - Although it can be beneficial to dream big, you may find it more attainable to set smaller goals and celebrate your successes along the way. For example, if your goal is to eat healthier, make an effort to change just one meal a day. Make your goals specific and attainable to succeed. 


  • Always look for new opportunities - You might be surprised how often an opportunity pops up for you to implement your new goal. For example, you can take the stairs instead of the elevator or take a 15-minute walk throughout your day to be more active. 


  • Be patient - Major life changes don't happen instantly and they're not easy! Try not to get frustrated if you don't see immediate progress. Be patient with yourself and celebrate the small victories as you go.

Tip adapted from Mayo Clinic[9]

Green Living


What Are B Corps?

Certified B Corporations (or B Corps), are businesses that uphold the highest social and environmental standards. They are businesses that are putting sustainability at the forefront of their business and do this through a number of different shifts in operations.


In order to receive a B Corp certification, a business is evaluated on their products and services, as well as on their overall positive impact of the company. They have achieved a verified score that assesses their workers, customers, community, and environment. A B Corps' board of directors may also have to have legal documents recording their balance of profit and purpose.


Supporting B Corporations is a vote for the future of how we do business!


Tip adapted from BCorporation.net[10]

Share the Wealth of Knowledge!


Please share this market update with family, friends, or colleagues. If you would like us to add them to our list, simply click on the "Forward email" link below. We love being introduced!



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.


International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors.


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.


The Nasdaq Composite is an index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market and is considered a broad indicator of the performance of stocks of technology companies and growth companies.


The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) that serves as a benchmark of the performance in major international equity markets as represented by 21 major MSCI indices from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia.


The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.


Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.


Past performance does not guarantee future results.


You cannot invest directly in an index.


Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.


Fixed income investments are subject to various risks including changes in interest rates, credit quality, inflation risk, market valuations, prepayments, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.


These are the views of Platinum Advisor Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named representative, Broker dealer or Investment Advisor and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named representative nor the named Broker dealer or Investment Advisor gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your financial professional for further information.


By clicking on these links, you will leave our server, as the links are located on another server. We have not independently verified the information available through this link. The link is provided to you as a matter of interest. Please click on the links below to leave and proceed to the selected site.


The market indexes discussed are unmanaged and generally considered representative of their respective markets. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. 

 [1] The Wall Street Journal, September 25, 2020

[2] The Wall Street Journal, September 25, 2020

[3] The Wall Street Journal, September 25, 2020    [4] The Wall Street Journal, September 23, 2020

[5] CNN.com, September 22, 2020   [6] Jessicainthekitchen.com, September 22, 2020

[7] IRS.gov, March 19, 2020
[8] Youtube.com, September 22, 2020 

[9] Mayoclinic.org, September 22, 2020

[10] Bcorporation.net, September 22, 2020  

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