Our Thoughts

FJY News to Know #67

Wall Street Sees its Best Week Since 1974

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC last week the U.S. economy could restart its engine as early as next month. Stocks jumped on Thursday after the Federal Reserve announced that it would pump another $2.3 trillion into the economy to provide relief to businesses and governments walloped by the coronavirus. The three major U.S. indices posted strong weekly gains: The S&P 500 was up more than 11%, while the Dow rallied more than 12% — and the Nasdaq to almost 10%. The stimulus package will greatly counteract the dismal unemployment filings by millions of Americans — after having their jobs suspended or terminated. To read about how analysts and investors now feel about the economy, click here.

 

IRS Extends Other Deadlines on the Heels of the 1040 Filing Delay

Last month, the IRS extended the general filing date to July 15, 2020, which traditionally falls on April 15. Consequently, no late-filing penalty, late-payment penalty or interest will be due. An announcement last Thursday expanded this relief to additional returns, tax payments, and other actions. Individuals, trusts, estates, corporations, and other non-corporate tax filers qualify for the extra time. This means that anyone, including Americans who live and work abroad, can now wait until July 15 to file their 2019 federal income tax return. Not only this, but the changes will also apply to estimated tax payments: Individuals or corporations that have quarterly estimated tax payments due on or after April 1 and before July 15 — can wait until July 15 to make that payment without penalty. To get updated contact info for the IRS, please visit this page.

 

The Dow and the S&P 500 Won’t Announce First Quarter Numbers — At Least for Now

Following the stock market’s nearly 10% selloff on Thursday, the S&P and Dow Jones Indices announced that it would postpone the quarterly rebalance that was scheduled to take effect after the market close on March 20. The index provider said it decided due to the recent period of extreme global market volatility. However, it didn’t say when the rescheduled date would be. The delayed actions include the majority of weight updates and membership changes. In addition, capping constraints will be applied by the end of March. Investors sold nearly everything as a result of the coronavirus’ impact on the economy. Experts haven’t ruled out another a recession, despite global governments and banks trying to fight the effects of the international pandemic. To see the numbers of the various markets, click here.

 

U.S. Oil Industry Catches a Break After Saudis and Russia Agree to Back Off Production

The American oil industry, which has been blindsided by increased foreign production — and the corona pandemic to boot — is getting a much-needed break. Saudi Arabia and Russia have temporarily agreed to cut their production of crude, due in part to President Trump’s lobbying efforts. The result won’t save all companies, however, because the price of an American barrel is still too low to rescue them from bankruptcy. The coronavirus has reduced demand by an estimated 30 million to 35 million barrels a day, according to international agencies and oil experts. The oil industry employs about 10 million Americans at home, and production had been surging in recent years. Foreign competition and COVID-19 changed all that. To learn about the results of the international oil talks, please go here.

 

Financial Planner Groups Lobby Congress for Tax Deduction

Five groups who represent the financial planning industry want Congress to bring back a tax deduction for people who pay for financial advice. “We think it’s good public policy at any time, but especially and critically so now,” said Kevin Keller, CEO of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018 nearly curbed certain itemized deductions, including financial advisory fees. Before this overhaul, you were only able to claim miscellaneous itemized deductions if they exceeded 2% of a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income. If Congress were to restore this tax break, the groups would prefer to see it without this 2% limit. To understand their justification for this amount, click here.