MarketWatch rounds up 10 of its most interesting topics over the past week.
1. What a change of control might mean for your retirement
The Democratic Party won control of the House of Representatives on Election Day. Here’s what that might mean for Social Security, Medicare, pensions and 401(k) accounts; what it might mean for people seeking relief from student debt; and what it might mean for labor laws and the minimum wage.
More election coverage:
• Drug stocks rise after midterm elections, with one analyst calling outcome a ‘best-case scenario’
• Why stock-market investors say ‘gridlock is good’ after midterms deliver split Congress
• Here’s what the new Congress will try to do — and one i-word isn’t on the list
• McConnell eyes infrastructure in next Congress as he warns Democrats against ‘presidential harassment’
• Big banks are election losers as Democrat Maxine Waters set to lead key committee
• Why the midterm results sparked an emerging-markets rally
• Here are the stock-market sectors in the spotlight after midterm elections
• Obama lost on Tuesday night — and Obamacare won
• How the fight over Trump’s taxes may play out
2. What it means when Warren Buffett repurchases shares
On Nov. 3, Berkshire Hathaway
said it had repurchased shares for the first time in six years, and that its new policy would be to buy back more whenever CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger “believe that the repurchase price is below Berkshire’s intrinsic value, conservatively determined.” Here’s what happened last time Berkshire bought back shares.
3. Biotech bargain basement
Biotech stocks have taken a tumble recently. According to an analyst with an excellent track record in the sector, two giant biotech companies are now trading below the value of their product pipelines.
4. Elon Musk is ‘boring’
News related to Tesla is never dull. The electric-car company’s CEO, Elon Musk, also runs Boring Co., and MarketWatch readers had a lot to say after he gave a sneak peak at its test hyperloop tunnel in Los Angeles.
5. Sessions is pushed out, and marijuana stocks rally
Marijuana stocks added to their recent rally after President Trump asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign on Wednesday. Sessions is against the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. He also recused himself from the investigation of Russian connections to Trump’s 2016 campaign, much to the president’s annoyance.
Don’t miss: How ‘peak good news’ for marijuana stocks may undermine investors
More on the Sessions aftermath:
• President blasts Republican candidates who lost in midterms and ousts Jeff Sessions
• New acting attorney general Matt Whitaker wanted limits on Mueller’s Trump probe
• Key House Democrat wants answers about why Sessions was forced out
6. Remember October
There was plenty of worry among investors when the SP 500 Index declined 7% in October. The post-election rally may have eased concerns, but if you have most of your money parked in an SP 500 index fund, a lot of risk is concentrated among the largest companies. Here’s how to lower your investment risk easily and cheaply.
Also see: How investors can stay balanced in a seesawing stock market
7. It’s that time again
The IRS has increased IRA, 401(k) and other retirement account contributions for 2019.
8. Speaking of retirement planning …
Even if you do not need any advice about how to plan for financial independence, you know someone who needs to read this. They can learn how easy it is to make a small sacrifice each month.
9. Time to lock it in
Mortgage loan rates are rising as people try to lock in lower-cost home financing before it is too late.
10. On a lighter note …
• My cheating husband just inherited $3 million from his father’s estate — should I still divorce him?
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Philip van Doorn covers various investment and industry topics. He has previously worked as a senior analyst at TheStreet.com. He also has experience in community banking and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York.
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