Proposed Capital Gains Tax Rate Increase and Your Money

Stocks ended mostly flat on the week, with an abrupt tremor on Thursday after President Biden proposed a sharp increase in the capital gains tax rate. Housing market and job reports remain strong. The Nasdaq-100 sits just below all-time highs. Indexes for the week; the Dow down 0.42%, S&P down 0.11%, and Nasdaq down 0.25%.

Last Week

Government stimulus, monetary policy, and vaccinations have led indexes to reach near all time highs. President Biden’s proposal to increase capital gains tax rates to 39.6%, led to a severe drop on Thursday afternoon. The markets quickly recovered on Friday. Housing data continued to grab headlines, with the median selling price for existing U.S. homes up 17.2% year-over-year to $329,100 in March. Existing home sales actually dropped 3.7% last month due to supply being so limited, while new home sales in March increased 20.7% month-over-month and 66.8% year-over-year. The average sales price of new homes also increased 6% from the prior year. Jobless claims fell to a pandemic era low of 547,000. This is the lowest weekly level since March 2020.

Week Ahead

The Federal Reserve likely will not be changing monetary policy at Wednesday’s meeting. However, with economic data improving and inflation perhaps moving towards 4%, investors will be listening closely for clues about a shift in strategy. On Thursday, we will get our first look at Q1 GDP, with strong growth of 6.6% expected. The other main event this week is a slew of earnings reports. This includes a third of S&P500 companies and many of the important names in the Nasdaq, such as Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and Google.

The week will close out with U.S. pending home sales and several GDP reports from Europe and Canada. Before getting up in arms regarding the increased capital gains tax, consider this news was a reaction to the proposal. Also, this proposal only impacts individuals earning more than $1m. Year-to-date index performance; Dow up 11.23%, S&P up 11.29%, and Nasdaq up 8.76% through the close on Friday.

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