A Breath of Fresh Air
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Things may be finally cooling down, with the weather and the economy. Gas prices are at their lowest level in over 5 months. Higher mortgage rates are already pointing to a saner housing market, with fewer buyers and builders slashing prices.
Lately signs of slowing inflation have been like a pleasant breeze on a hot day to the stock market. Investors hoping this all means the Fed will go slower on rate hikes have pushed share prices higher. In fact, the S&P 500 has risen for each of the last four weeks. Time will tell if this is a bit of summer heat-induced delirium or if things are really moving in the right direction. Our only advice to FWIW readers is to remain focused on the long-term and not the daily ups-and-downs of the market. And drink lots of water.
This week also saw the Inflation Reduction Act actually signed into law. For those interested in a brief overview, we discussed it last week and this is a great chart of all the energy transition tax credits and incentives in both the IRA and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed in November. For those looking to see it in action, the Department of Energy was super speedy in almost immediately releasing a list of EVs that may be eligible for the up to $7,500 tax credit included in this bill.
Also noteworthy for investors is the 15% minimum tax rate for large corporations and the first ever tax on stock buybacks. Analysts say these won’t adversely affect most companies or change their behavior. But as one columnist writing on stock buybacks put it, “The horse has left the barn.” Stay tuned.
News you can use
- The nearly century-old Morgan Stanley is launching its first exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and they’re all aimed at socially responsible investors. The brokerage revealed plans for ETFs that track the Calvert International Responsible Index, the Calvert US Large-Cap Core Responsible Index, the Calvert US Large-Cap Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Index, and the Calvert US Mid-Cap Core Responsible Index. Fun fact: Morgan Stanley coined the term ETF three decades ago. You can view the largest US-listed sustainable funds here and learn about the difference between ETFs and mutual funds here.
- Thrifting gives customers bragging rights and the US secondhand market will more than double by 2026 to $82 billion, according to the 10th Annual Resale Report from thredUP. The online platform released better than expected earnings this week that boosted its struggling stock. Competitor Poshmark also received a vote of confidence from a Barclays analyst. A ranking of the best American cities for thrifting was released in time for National Thrift Shop Day on Wednesday.
- A landmark decision by the FDA to increase access to hearing aids lifted shares in makers this week. Those with mild to moderate hearing loss will soon be able to buy the devices Over-the-Counter. Nearly 30 million adults in the US have some degree of hearing loss. Manufacturers Eargo and Innerscope Hearing Technologies saw their stocks jump 77% and 30%, respectively, in a single day. There’s also speculation headphone companies like Apple and Jabra could enter the business.