If it had just been about the economic data, last week would have been a mostly good week. By the time Friday rolled around and the much-anticipated PCE (Personal Consumption Expenditures) Price Index came in a bit better than expected — coupled with a strong showing from US personal income and spending growth in August — no one much cared, such was the sudden focus on the looming government showdown. The markets continue to face numerous challenges, including another funding bill in 45 days (November 17th deadline), higher-for-longer interest rates due to various “sticky inflation” metrics, elevated oil prices and further wage gains. The Investment Office is mindful of this week’s labor market figures, particularly, with job openings, private payrolls, and September’s jobs report all on tap. On the wealth planning front, we discuss the benefits and risks of medicare advantage plans.