On the penultimate trading day of the week on Wall Street, all of the major averages had gains of 1% or more as financials lead the way and investors processed bank earnings and the latest economic data that supported the case for a rate hike delay. Rises in the Dow, S&P & NASDAQ came despite a weak jobs report, average retail sales and sluggish manufacturing & economic growth. Today also brought bad news to about 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries, or approximately 7 million Americans who are going to be paying a lot more for their monthly Medicare Part B premiums next year due to cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security benefits. There will not be a C.O.L adjustment in 2016 when the premium increases go into effect.
Individuals affected will see their monthly premiums rise from about $104.90 to $159.30, and $318.60 for married couples. Those whose income exceeds the threshold, as defined by individuals making more than $214,000 or couples making more than $428,000 per year, the projected increase is anywhere from $223 per month up to $509.80 per month. For high-earning married couples, their premiums can increase from $446 to $1,019.60 per month.
Here are the final numbers from Thursday, 10/15/15 on Wall Street:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 17, 141.75 (+217.00/ +1.28%)
NASDAQ: 4,870.10 (+87.25 / +1.82%)
S&P 500: 2,013.43 (+29.62 / +1.49%)