Markets React to Turmoil in Middle East, Inflation Concerns.

Markets React to Turmoil in Middle East, Inflation Concerns.

October 16, 2023

Stocks ended mixed last week amid the outbreak of hostilities in the Middle East and higher-than-expected inflation data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.20%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 0.45%. But the Nasdaq Composite index slipped 0.18% for the five trading days. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, advanced 2.37%.1,2,3

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Inflation Hurts Sentiment

Stocks exhibited remarkable resilience in the face of a surprise attack on Israel and hotter inflation data than investors expected. Stock prices initially buckled on the breakout of hostilities in the Middle East. Still, they rallied in afternoon trading as investors gained optimism that the war may not spread to other countries. Oil and defense stocks rose sharply, while airlines fell. 

Stocks continued to advance into Wednesday as falling bond yields and a retreat in oil prices overcame the disappointment of an elevated wholesale inflation report. When consumer prices also came in higher than anticipated by Wall Street, stocks moved lower in response to higher bond yields. The weakness continued into Friday on a bump in consumer inflation expectations despite a solid start to a new earnings season.

PPI, CPI Updates

The disinflationary trend appears to be stalling if the inflation numbers are any indication. September’s producer price index (PPI) came in higher than expected, rising 0.5% versus a forecast of a 0.3% increase, while the year-over-year increase of 2.2% was the most significant jump since April. The driver of last month’s hop was in goods, which surged 0.9%.4

Consumer inflation data followed, which also came in hotter than forecast. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.4% in September and 3.7% year-over-year above the forecast of 0.3% and 3.6%, respectively. The news on core inflation was a bit more comforting, rising in line with expectations.5

This Week: Key Economic Data

Tuesday: Retail Sales. Industrial Production.

Wednesday: Housing Starts.

Thursday: Existing Home Sales. Jobless Claims. Index of Leading Economic Indicators.

Source: Econoday, October 13, 2023
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.

This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings

Monday: The Charles Schwab Corporation (SCHW)

Tuesday: Bank of America Corporation (BAC), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT), The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS), Prologis, Inc. (PLD), J.B Hunt Transport Services, Inc. (JBHT)

Wednesday: Netflix, Inc. (NFLX), Tesla, Inc. (TSLA), The Procter & Gamble Company (PG), United Airlines Holdings, Inc. (UAL), Abbott Laboratories (ABT), Morgan Stanley (MS), Elevance Health, Inc. (ELV)

Thursday: AT&T, Inc. (T), Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (ISRG), Blackstone, Inc. (BX), CSX Corporation (CSX), Union Pacific Corporation (UNP), Freeport-McMoran, Inc. (FCX)

Friday: SLB (SLB), American Express Company (AXP)

Source: Zacks, October 13, 2023
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. 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.

Investors Navigate Recession Fears After Difficult Quarter for The S&P

Even with the recent selloff the HCM-BuyLine® remains positive, but it has weakened, and we are monitoring it closely. This is truly a tale of two markets. If you have not been heavily invested in what has become known as the magnificent 7, meaning the 5 FANG stocks plus Nvidia and Tesla, you have made no...[READ MORE]

This communication is issued by Howard Capital Management, Inc. It is for informational purposes and is not an official confirmation of terms. It is not guaranteed as to accuracy, nor is it a complete statement of the financial products or markets referred to. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice. 

Taxpayer Bill of Rights  

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is available year-round for any questions. They also have a Taxpayer Bill of Rights, which promises the level of service and information you will receive when working with the IRS.7

Here are the ten fundamental rights you have as a taxpayer when interacting with the IRS:

  • The right to be informed: As a taxpayer, you have the right to know what is required to comply with tax laws.
  • The right to quality service: You will receive prompt, courteous, and professional assistance.
  • The right to pay no more than the correct amount of tax: You only pay what is legally due, including interest and penalties.
  • The right to challenge the IRS' position and be heard: You have the right to object to IRS actions and provide further justification with documentation.
  • The right to appeal an IRS decision in an independent forum: Taxpayers are entitled to a fair and impartial administrative appeal of most IRS decisions, including certain penalties.
  • The right to finality: You have the right to know how much time you have to challenge an IRS position and how soon the IRS must audit your taxes.
  • The right to privacy: All IRS inquiries, examinations, and enforcement won't be more intrusive than necessary.
  • The right to confidentiality: Taxpayers have the right to expect that their tax information will remain confidential.
  • The right to retain representation: Taxpayers have the right to retain an authorized representative of their choice to represent them in their interactions with the IRS.
  • The right to a fair and just tax system: Taxpayers have the right to expect the tax system to consider all facts and circumstances that might affect their liabilities, ability to pay, or ability provide timely information.

*This information is not intended to substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.

Health Benefits of Garlic

Not only is garlic delicious, but it also has many potential health benefits.

One of the most powerful benefits of garlic is that it may help your immune system and may help you combat sickness, including the common cold. One large, 12-week study found that a daily garlic supplement reduced the number of colds by 63% compared to a placebo. The average length of cold symptoms was also reduced by 70%, from 5 days in the placebo group to just 1.5 days in the garlic group.

Garlic may also improve cholesterol levels, which may lower the risk of heart disease. Garlic may lower both total and LDL cholesterol (otherwise known as the "bad" cholesterol).

So next time you're making your favorite dish, you may want to consider adding a few cloves of garlic to your recipe.8

Butternut Squash, Sausage and Tortellini Soup

Yield: 6-8 Servings

PREP TIME: 15 mins | COOK TIME: 45 mins | TOTAL TIME: 1 hour

This butternut squash, sausage and tortellini soup recipe features a silky sweet and savory broth topped with fresh herbs and Parmesan.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground mild Italian sausage
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 Granny smith apple, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 to 6 cups chicken stock (use more if you’d like a brothier soup)
  • 1 pound diced butternut squash
  • 1 sprig fresh sage
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or half and half)
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) fresh cheese tortellini
  • 2 cups finely-chopped kale, tough stems removed
  • fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • toppings: Parmesan and finely-chopped fresh basil


  1. Brown the sausage. Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and sauté until browned and cooked through, stirring and crumbling with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked sausage to a clean plate and set it aside, reserving 1 tablespoon of grease in the pot. (If there is no grease remaining, add 1 more tablespoon olive oil.
  2. Sauté the veggies. Add the onion, carrot and apple to the pot. Sauté for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and sauté, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.
  3. Simmer. Add the chicken stock, butternut squash, sage and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the soup reaches a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low (or whatever temperature is needed to maintain a low simmer), cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the squash and carrots are completely soft.
  4. Purée. Remove and discard the sage. Add the coconut milk. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup until smooth.
  5. Finish. Add the cooked sausage, tortellini and kale to the soup and stir to combine. Simmer for 3-4 minutes or until the tortellini are al dente. Taste and season the soup with salt and pepper as needed.
  6. Serve. Serve warm, garnished with your desired toppings, and enjoy!



Footnotes and Sources

1. The Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2023

2. The Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2023

3. The Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2023

4. CNBC, October 11, 2023

5. CNBC, October 12, 2023

6., October 9, 2023

7., February 6, 2023

8. April 24, 2023


Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. 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.

The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, may not materialize, and are subject to revision without notice.

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG is not affiliated with the named representative, financial professional, Registered Investment Advisor, Broker-Dealer, nor state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and they should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

Copyright 2023 FMG Suite.

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