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The Northern Star Newsletter 10/24/19 - Nasdaq Composite, S&P 500 Rise


Message from Jon

Market Update:

This is the second week of earnings for S&P 500 companies. According to Eric Kuby of North Star, 14% have already reported and 81% of those have beaten estimates, making for a good start. 120 more companies are expected to report, combined with a Brexit vote and the remaining economic calendar reports, it should be a dynamic week on Wall Street.1

So far, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been met with resistance on his Brexit timeline but seems to be making headway on his overall plan for exiting the EU.2  Time will tell how this plays out, but in my opinion, should he get the nod to leave, it could cast a shadow on the Trade War talks for a bit in the headlines and possibly give the markets some sense of optimism. 

I have been reporting on political and headline news for what seems like too long now. I have been compelled to do so not out of any interest in politics or great desire to share my opinion, but because the fundamental and technical manner in which we would normally go about determining the health and direction of the markets has seemingly taken a backseat to the tweeting and press coverages that have stood front and center, hijacking investors' emotions and philosophy toward their investment approach. I wish this were coming to an end soon and that we could return to normal market mechanics and data reporting, but in my opinion, I am afraid this will be the norm for at least the next 6-12 months with the election coming into focus here soon.

We are becoming more proactive in our profit taking than normal and still cautious in what and when we buy going forward.


Till we speak again, enjoy your week and keep warm!



  1. https://nsinvest.com/the-good-the-bad-and-the-politics
  2. https://edition.cnn.com/uk/live-news/brexit-boris-johnson-parliament-tuesday-dle-intl/index.html


Nasdaq Composite, S&P 500 Rise


The Week on Wall Street
Earnings helped give the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 a slight lift last week, offsetting investor disappointment over the small scope of the preliminary U.S.-China trade deal reached on October 11. Blue chips took a small weekly loss.

The Nasdaq and S&P respectively gained 0.40% and 0.54% on the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated just 0.17%. Outdoing these three benchmarks, the MSCI EAFE index tracking stocks in developed overseas markets rose 1.35%.[1][2]

The Early Earnings Picture
According to stock market analytics firm FactSet, 15% of S&P 500 companies had reported results through Friday's close. Of those companies, 84% announced that net profits topping projections, and 64% said that revenues had exceeded forecasts.

One big question is whether overall earnings for S&P 500 firms will show year-over-year growth. There was no year-over-year earnings gain evident in either Q1 or Q2.[3]

Retail Sales Declined Last Month
Shoppers scaled back their purchases in September. The Census Bureau announced a 0.3% dip for retail sales, the first decrease in seven months.

Auto sales can influence this number, and car and truck buying fell 0.9% last month. A fall pickup in that category may help encourage another monthly advance.[4]

What's Next
If you buy your own health coverage, note that the open enrollment period for 2020 health insurance plans begins on November 1 in most states. The open enrollment window closes on December 15.[5]

Tuesday: The National Association of Realtors publishes a report on September existing home sales.
Thursday: A report on September new home sales arrives from the Census Bureau.
Friday: The University of Michigan's final October Consumer Sentiment Index appears, evaluating consumer confidence levels.

Source: Econoday, October 18, 2019
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.

Monday: Celanese (CE), Halliburton (HAL), Sap (SAP), TD Ameritrade (AMTD)
Tuesday: McDonalds (MCD), Novartis (NVS), Procter & Gamble (PG), Texas Instruments (TXN)
Wednesday: Boeing (BA), Eli Lilly (LLY), Microsoft (MSFT), PayPal (PYPL)
Thursday: Amazon (AMZN), Comcast (CMCSA), Intel (INTC), Visa (V)
Friday: Anheuser-Busch (BUD), Verizon (VZ)

Source: Zacks, October 18, 2019
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame and risk tolerance. 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

"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone."

-Audrey Hepburn

Recipe Of The Week

Fork and Knife

Cider-Braised Chicken Thighs

This healthy fall recipe is perfect for those cool nights at home. It incorporates some of the season's freshest produce and has a delightfully tart taste from the cider and apples. 

[4 servings]

  • 4 slices of turkey bacon
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 red apples, sliced
  • 1 12-oz bottle of hard cider
  • 2 Tbsp. of thyme
  • 2 Tbsp. of mustard seed
  • Salt
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, halved


  1. Cook the turkey bacon in a skillet until crisp. Set aside.
  2. Cook the chicken thighs, skin-side down, for about 10 minutes or until browned.
  3. Add the apples to the skillet, then cook for about 4 minutes or until brown on both sides.
  4. Add the cider, thyme, mustard, Brussels sprouts, and salt to the skillet and bring to a boil.
  5. Return the chicken to the skillet and simmer on low for about 10 minutes. Add the apples and bacon and cook another 3 minutes.
  6. To serve, divide the chicken thighs and pour any extra cider mixture on top. 

Recipe adapted from Midwest Living[6]



Tax Tips


Check Your Withholding Status Online

We recently talked about how important it is to check your withholding status, especially if you've experienced a life change, like buying a home, getting married or divorced, or growing your family. The IRS makes it easy to check your withholding status online with their Withholding Calculator.

The Withholding Calculator can help you determine whether you should submit a new W-4 to your employer, and you can also use the results to adjust your income tax withholding. If you have a more complex tax situation, you may need to use Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax form. This form can help you determine your self-employment tax, the alternative minimum tax, or tax on unearned income by dependents. Publication 505 can also help if you receive non-wage income, including capital gains, royalties, dividends, and more.

It's important to check your withholding to make sure you are deducting the right amount of taxes. These handy tools can help.

* 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


Be Aware of the Fake Turn

As we get older, we might lose flexibility in our shoulders and back, and it becomes harder to do a full turn in our swing. But this is an important movement to generate power, so make sure you continue to power your swing with a full turn, not a fake turn.

A fake turn might look good as your arms become parallel to the ground, but it's all in the arms. Instead, make sure to do a full shoulder turn and power your rotation with your torso as well. Keep your arms away from your head and rotate with as much arm length as possible. Allow your arms and shoulders to start the takeaway, but then let your pelvis rotate away from the ball to complete your backswing. Think of your golf swing as a circle. A full turn allows you to rotate away from the ball on a single axis and come back down on the ball with an equal amount of power. Don't fake it until you make it!

Tip adapted from Golf Digest Schools[8]

Healthy Lifestyle

Medical Cross

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

We all know someone in our lives who has been affected by cancer. A parent, a friend, a sibling, or maybe even us. This year alone, over 300,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Based on current statistics, a woman has a 12.8% risk of developing breast cancer during her lifetime, and while most individuals diagnosed are women, men make up an estimated 1% of all cases.

Even though there are many uncontrollable circumstances associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, including age, sex, family history, and genetic predisposition, among others, certain lifestyle-related factors are within your control - and they could decrease your risk. Some of these include:

  • Limiting alcohol consumption to fewer than one drink daily
  • Abstaining from smoking cigarettes and other tobacco-containing products
  • Eating a well-balanced diet with a variety of nutritious foods
  • Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Engaging in frequent aerobic and weight-bearing physical activity
  • Limiting dose and duration of hormone replacement therapy
  • Avoiding exposure to excessive radiation and environmental contamination
  • Breastfeeding, if possible and desired 

Above all else, regular screenings and exams, upon your medical provider's recommendations, may help to detect, diagnose, and treat breast cancer in its earlier stages. And research supports that taking proactive and preventative measures is associated with better outcomes.

Tip adapted from BreastCancer.org, National Cancer Institute[9][10][11]

Green Living


Proper Electronics Disposal

We live in a tech-driven world, and between the tablets, computers, smartphones, smart home accessories, and more, we go through a lot of batteries. Unfortunately, when not recycled properly, batteries can wreak havoc on the environment. But it's easy to dispose of your electronics when you know what you're doing.

If you have electronics you no longer want, don't just throw them in the trash. Instead, find an electronics recycling center near you. Call 2 Recycle is the country's largest, most-reliable battery recycling program and has drop-off locations all over the U.S. Or if you can't make it to a drop-off location, you can purchase one of their shipping boxes.

You may also want to reach out to your local trash collection service. If you are a customer, many trash and recycling companies will offer free electronics disposal pickup. State regulations vary, so do some research on how to properly dispose of electronic devices in your area.

Tip adapted from Money Crashers[12]

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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.

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 advisor 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.

[1] www.wsj.com/market-data

[2] quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/990300/historical-prices

[3] insight.factset.com/sp-500-earnings-season-update-october-18-2019

[4] www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-retail/weak-u-s-retail-sales-cast-gloom-over-economy-idUSKBN1WV1NG

[5] www.businessinsider.com/what-is-open-enrollment-your-opportunity-to-buy-health-insurance

[6] www.midwestliving.com/recipe/cider-braised-chicken-brussels-sprouts-and-apples/

[7] www.irs.gov/newsroom/there-are-two-ways-taxpayers-can-check-their-withholding-on-irsgov

[8] www.golfdigest.com/story/sean-foley-dont-fake-turn

[9] www.breastcancer.org/risk/factors

[10] www.cancer.gov/types/breast/risk-fact-sheet

[11] www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/testing/types

[12] www.moneycrashers.com/electronic-e-waste-recycling-disposal-facts/

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