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Weekend reads: The Federal Reserve gets a lot of flak for inflation, but it has actually hit its target recently


The U.S. stock market benchmark rebounded from a steep loss on the day when the government published hot inflation numbers.

The S&P 500 Index ended Thursday with a 2.6% gain after investors took a closer look and saw a significant improvement from July through September, as Rex Nutting explained.

The whipsaw action wasn’t limited to stocks, and was described by Rick Rieder, the chief investment officer for global fixed income at BlackRock, as “one of the craziest days” of his career.

The bond market’s warning

Some investors who focus on stocks might not realize that the bond market is much larger, and that its movements can cause government and central-bank policies to shift. Larry McDonald, founder of The Bear Traps Report and author of “A Colossal Failure of Common Sense,” which described the 2008 failure of Lehman Brothers, explained just how bad the action was in the U.K. bond market over the past few weeks, when 30-year government bonds issued in December traded as low as 24 cents on the dollar. He also predicted what will happen if the Federal Reserve continues on its current course of interest-rate increases.

Related outlooks for interest rates:

Bullish signs for long-term stock investors

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Michael Brush argues the Federal Reserve is moving too quickly to raise interest rates and cool the U.S. economy. He expects a rapid decline in inflation and a new bull market for stocks. In a column, he shares five sentiment indicators that suggest it is time to buy stocks — especially this group of companies.

More: Here’s how you’ll know stock-market lows are finally here, says the legendary investor who called 1987 crash

Don’t forget to look over your portfolio

Beth Pinsker explains how to make sure your investments are best diversified to fit your needs during time of uncertainty in all financial markets.

Read on: $22 billion in I-bond sales can’t be wrong. Why you may want to buy them even when their rate resets soon

Time for a refreshing COLA if you are on Social Security

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The Social Security Administration has announced that its cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2023 will be 8.7%, the largest increase in four decades. There is more to the story, including tax implications and changes to Medicare, as Jessica Hall and Alessandra Malito explain.

Related: Can I stop and restart Social Security benefits?

Pay attention to Medicare open enrollment

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Medicare’s annual open enrollment season runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. The majority of Medicare recipients don’t review their plans each year, which can cost them a lot of money. Here’s how to approach Medicare’s 2023 enrollment period.

You won’t like this ‘new normal’ for the housing market

West Coast housing markets are already seeing price declines as mortgage loan rates hit 7%.

Stefani Reynolds/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Freddie Mac said interest rates on 30-year mortgage loans averaged 6.92% on Oct. 13, up from 3.05% a year earlier. Mortgage Daily said rates had hit 7.10% — the highest in 20 years — and economists are warning these levels could be a “new normal.”

A homeowner locked-in with a low interest rate on their mortgage loan will be reluctant to sell. And some would-be buyers may now be priced out of the market because of much higher loan payments. Here’s what economists expect for home prices in 2023.

More housing coverage from Aarthi Swaminathan: ‘No housing market is immune to home-price declines’: Home values are already falling in these pandemic boomtowns.

Tips for maximizing financial aid for college

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When you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, to help pay for your child’s college education, there may be a problem — old news. The form reflects your financial situation up to two years ago, and things may have worsened recently. Here’s how to make sure schools have the most recent information to help you get as much financial aid as possible.

This is why Florida’s insurance market is such a mess

Florida insurers are not only suffering from storm-damage payouts.

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Hurricanes are nothing new to Floridians, but insurers in the state are losing money even though premiums have doubled over the past five years. Shahid S. Hamid, the director of the Laboratory for Insurance at Florida International University, explains why the Florida insurance market is so distorted.

Here’s a travel option you may never have heard of — home swapping

Villefranche-sur-mer on the French Riviera.


Home swapping can give you an opportunity to live as a local in a faraway place while spending much less than you would as a tourist. Here’s how it works.

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