Are Stocks Topping Out?

With global equity market returns of well over 100% since the bottom hit in March 2009 (Display) and the S&P 500 only modestly below the record it set a few weeks ago, some investors are asking if stocks are heading for a fall. We think any number of things could cause a short-term rollback—among them, [...]

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Government Shutdown Is Not a Tax Holiday

With just over a week to go before the October 15 filing deadline for US tax returns that are on extension, the Internal Revenue Service is currently operating under a government shutdown contingency plan.  What does that mean for taxpayers, especially those who have yet to file their 2012 returns?

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To Wait or Not to Wait? That Is the Charitable Gifting Question

Daniel B. Eagan and Brian Wodar The tax impact of delaying a charitable gift by just a couple of weeks (until 2013) could be large, but it may not be positive for US taxpayers.

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TAG Could Be Tagged in Fiscal-Cliff Negotiations

Doug Peebles, Jon Denfeld and Ed Dombrowski Caught up in the wrangling over the US fiscal cliff is a little-publicized program that could have big implications for short-term investors and bond yields if the program expires on December 31. If the Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG) program ends, huge sums of money may start looking for a new [...]

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A Municipal Bond Cliffhanger

Municipal bonds are popular because the interest they pay is exempt from federal taxation. But in its search for solutions to the fiscal cliff, the US federal government is looking under every rock for more revenue sources. This could put muni bonds’ tax-exempt status at risk.

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Tomato, Tomahto: Why Obama, Simpson-Bowles and Others Miss the Point on Munis

When it comes to eliminating or modifying the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds, everyone seems to have an opinion these days.

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Who’s Afraid of the Fiscal Cliff?

Warnings about the fiscal cliff have saturated the US public debate. But consumers are still spending, even though they face huge potential tax hikes, while companies are being very cautious—even though they have relatively little to lose.

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There’s Still (Barely) Time to Benefit from Favorable US Gift Tax Rates

Daniel B. Eagan and Andrew S. Auchincloss The door is closing but has not yet shut for families hoping to benefit from the current favorable gift tax environment in the US. Those who are ready to act now may still be able to transfer wealth efficiently.

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Does an Odd Economic Tidbit Reveal Surging Optimism?

The Philadelphia Fed Index, a leading measure of US economic activity, beat analysts’ expectations. But what caught our eye—and many others’ as well—was a detail within the survey: the future index jumped more sharply than it has since February 1991, when the first Gulf War ended unexpectedly quickly.

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Fiscal Cliff Adds Urgency to US Election Budget Showdown

With a record tax increase on tap for January 1, 2013, there has never been a better time for Washington to have a serious debate about fiscal policy. Before the economy reaches the so-called fiscal cliff, when huge tax increases and spending cuts are scheduled to take effect, US voters will have the opportunity to [...]

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