We hope you enjoyed the long weekend. Despite the cold weather, the stock market is off to a hot start in 2019. Below are some headlines that we feel cover the most important topics heading into today.
INVESTING & THE ECONOMY
On Monday, the IMF released its latest forecasts for global GDP growth in the coming two years, and lowered both estimates from previous forecasts. Growth in 2019, the fund said, will be 3.5% globally, while next year it will come in at 3.6%. These figures, released on the eve of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, compare to 3.7% and 3.8% respectively at the last release.
Bank of America Chairman and CEO Brian Moynihan told CNBC on Tuesday the American consumer remains confident despite headwinds in the United States and around the world.
Wall Street doesn’t seem rattled by the longest government shutdown in American history. The S&P 500 has spiked more than 10% since the shutdown began on December 22. Stocks have been lifted by hopes that the United States will avoid an imminent recession, the Federal Reserve will slow its rate hikes and the US-China trade war will ease.
The IRS has released the new-and-improved Form 1040 for your 2018 individual federal income tax return. The good news is the return is now postcard-sized if your tax situation is super-simple. The bad news is it’s probably not — in which case the new Form 1040 is just alarmingly different than before rather than simpler.
Just a few short years ago, many investors were feeling lackadaisical about their cash holdings, and it was hard to blame them: Yields on most cash products fell somewhere between zero and abysmal. But now that the Federal Reserve has been lifting short-term rates for several years running, cash yields have begun to compel again–at least relative to other investment types.