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The Northern Star Newsletter 7/5/19 - Down Week Ends Strong Month


Happy 4th Everyone!


Down Week Ends Strong Month


The Week on Wall Street
A month of gains for stocks ended with a weekly retreat. The S&P 500 lost 0.30%; the Nasdaq Composite, 0.32%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 0.45%. In contrast, overseas shares, tracked by the MSCI EAFE index, advanced 0.14%.[1][2] 

Last month was the best June for the blue chips since 1938; the best month for the S&P, since 1955. The Dow gained 6.9% in June, the S&P 6.2%.[3]

Trade Talks Could Soon Restart
All week, investors had one eye on Saturday's Group of 20 summit in Japan, where President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping were slated to meet. This weekend, President Trump announced that he and President Xi had agreed to a resumption of trade talks between the U.S. and China. As part of that agreement, the U.S. is holding off on placing tariffs on an additional $300 billion of Chinese goods.[4]

While trade tensions certainly remain between both countries, the news that formal discussions could resume may renew investor optimism about progress toward a trade pact. 

Powell Cautions Against Adjusting Rates Too Quickly
In the meantime, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell attracted attention with new remarks on monetary policy. Powell stated last week that the Fed officials were "mindful that monetary policy should not overreact to any individual data point or short-term swing in sentiment."[5]  

While many traders think the central bank will lower the benchmark interest rate at its July meeting, Powell noted that there was not yet consensus for a cut among Fed policymakers.[6]

What's Ahead
This will be a holiday-shortened trading week. The New York Stock Exchange will close early Wednesday, and all U.S. financial markets will close Thursday for the July 4 holiday. Markets reopen on Friday.

Monday: The Institute for Supply Management's latest purchasing manager index for the factory sector, considered the main barometer of the state of U.S. manufacturing.
Wednesday: Payroll giant ADP's private-sector employment report for June.
Friday: The June jobs report from the Department of Labor.

Source: Econoday / MarketWatch Calendar, June 28, 2019
The Econoday and MarketWatch economic calendars list 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.


No major earnings reports are scheduled for this week.


Quote Of The Week

Fountain Pen

"America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination, and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand."

-Harry S. Truman

Recipe Of The Week

Fork and Knife

American Flag Cheesecake

[12 Servings]


For the crust:
  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 5 Tbsp. butter
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
For the filling:
  • 2 cups cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the topping:
  • Whipped cream
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  1. Select your rectangular pie pan. Our favorite is a 9" x 11" baking dish.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  3. Stir all the crust ingredients together until combined.
  4. Press them into the bottom and sides of the pie pan. Make a thicker layer on the bottom than on the sides.
  5. Mix all the filling ingredients together, starting with the cream cheese and sugar, then adding in the eggs and vanilla when the former is smooth. If you're mixing by hand, make sure you don't over mix. If you're using an automatic mixer, set it at a low or medium-low speed.
  6. Pour the filling into the crust.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, then check it. If the crust isn't done, add another 10 minutes. Be careful not to scorch your crust!
  8. Let the cheesecake cool.
  9. Once chilled, spread the whipped cream across the top and decorate the top of the cheesecake like an American flag! Halve the strawberries and lay them out like the stripes, then put the blueberries in a square in the top left as the stars. The white whipped cream underneath will make it red, white, and blue!
Recipe adapted from allrecipes[7]


Tax Tips


Reporting Cash Payments

Expecting a little extra cash from a gift, sale, or trade? The IRS wants to know. Individuals, companies, corporations, partnerships, associations, trusts, and estates are all required to report cash transactions of more than $10,000. These cash payments can include jewelry sales, a gift from a family member, an overseas purchase, or any other cash transaction. You also need to report cash payments that were received in one lump sum, in two or more related payments within 24 hours, and as part of a single transaction or two or more transactions in the last year. 

Luckily, reporting cash payments is simple. All you have to do is file Form 8300, Report of Cash Payments Over $10,000 Received in a Trade or Business. The form requires information about both the giver and the receiver of the cash, a description of the transaction, and information about any other parties involved. 

* 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[8]

Golf Tip


Playing a Tricky Par 5? Ditch the Driver and Lay Up

There's a unique beauty to tough par 5s. Whether you're playing a winding layout with lots of twists or turns and trying to navigate various sand traps or bodies of water, or on a course that seems to prioritize the long ball, challenging your skills on strategic par 5s can be thrilling (yet, sometimes, frustrating). This tip might save you a few strokes.

Looking at the fairway spread out in front of you, you may be tempted to go for the driver and focus on power. But laying up for your first and second shot might be a better bet. For some difficult par 5s, many skilled golfers tee off with a 3-wood, driving iron, or even a 2-iron or 3-iron. These clubs will help you get enough distance on your tee shot (and perhaps, your second) with less risk of ending up in the sand, rough, or water. Aim for the center of the fairway and think about a target distance of 230 to 270 yards instead of trying to get as far as possible with your driver. 

Tip adapted from Golf Tips Magazine[9]

Healthy Lifestyle

Medical Cross

Ready to Go Keto?


If you've been seeing information about the ketogenic diet pop up everywhere, you're not alone! This diet is the newest nutrition craze to hit the wellness scene, but does it actually work?

Although fans of the keto diet have increased in recent years, the concept of the diet isn't a new idea. The goal of the diet is to achieve ketosis, which is the metabolic state in which your body burns fat instead of sugar. By eating a diet high in protein and fat, you can encourage your body to enter this state. 

Generally, the body burns glucose for energy. We store up higher levels of glucose when we eat a diet high in carbs and sugar. The keto diet seeks to reverse this process and force the body to run on fat instead of sugar. In addition, proponents of the diet claim weight loss, more energy, and a sustained appetite. Meal plans often include eggs, lean proteins, and lots of veggies.


Tip adapted from Healthline[10]


Green Living


Host a Plastic-Free, 4th-of-July Party

Hosting a 4th-of-July party this year? Cheers! Time to pull out the beverages, red-white- and-blue snacks, and sparklers. But there's one thing on your party-planning checklist you should consider leaving out - plastic!

Plastic waste is becoming a huge environmental issue, and events, like 4th-of-July parties, contribute to this growing problem. Between the plastic cups, utensils, serving dishes, and napkins, it's no wonder why there's so much plastic in our landfills and oceans. 

This year, try hosting a zero-waste party by renting cutlery, plates, cloth napkins, and glasses from your local party rental company instead of using disposable plastic options. Alternately, if you want the convenience of disposable plastic items, use compostable materials or "plastics" made from sustainable materials, like corn. These bioplastics don't produce a net increase in carbon dioxide gas when they break down, and they break down much faster than traditional plastic. Be nice to the environment this 4th of July!

Tip adapted from Friends of the Earth[11]

Share the Wealth of Knowledge!


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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] www.foxbusiness.com/markets/us-stocks-wall-street-june-28-2019


[4] www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-29/xi-trump-agree-to-restart-trade-talks-china-says


[5] www.thestreet.com/markets/feds-powell-suddenly-facing-dissent-says-tk-14998647


[6] www.thestreet.com/markets/feds-powell-suddenly-facing-dissent-says-tk-14998647


[7] www.allrecipes.com/recipe/233327/no-bake-cheesecake-flag-cake/


[8] www.irs.gov/newsroom/heres-how-small-businesses-can-connect-with-the-irs-over-social-media


[9] www.golftipsmag.com/instruction/strategy-troubleshooting/how-to-play-a-tricky-par-5/


[10] www.healthline.com/nutrition/ketogenic-diet-101


[11] friendsoftheearth.uk/plastics/eco-parties-plastic-free-ideas

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Summit Financial Group of Indiana
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