POCKETBOOK: Week ending June 4, 2016

  • IMG_0204

  • Welcome to June

I’m guessing investors can expect the same from the equity markets this summer as they can from their summer travel experiences: No relief from worries about the direction of the stock markets or from the weather and the storms typically accompanying them.

Then again, worrying about things to come has never paid much of a dividend. Enjoying the moment, however, certainly has.

  • Market Quick Glance

-Indices:

Below are the year-to-date performance figures for the major indices through June 3, 2016, according to Bloomberg. To provide a longer performance perspective, 1-year returns have been added.

The Russell 2000 was the only index of the four below that enjoyed any noteworthy upward change—its y-t-d return gained about 1.5%.

-Dow Jones +3.49% YTD

1yr Rtn +2.44%

-S&P 500 +3.71%YTD

1yr Rtn +2.51%

NASDAQ -0.66% YTD

1yr Rtn -1.17%

Russell 2000 +3.12 YTD

1yr Rtn -6.31%

-Mutual funds

Through Thursday, June 2, 2016 the average U.S.Diversified Equity Fund jumped into positive territory ending the week up 2.65 percent, according to Lipper. Last week, if you remember, the average year-to-date returns of this group of 815 funds was down 1.29 percent.

It was Equity Leverage Funds that ruled the performance roost as the y-t-d performance of the 200 funds in that category had an average return of 7.40 percent. Behind it  Mid-Cap Value Funds with their average return of 6.45 percent followed by Small-Cap Value Funds at 6.45 percent.

Precious Metals Equity Funds are still rewarding their shareholders as the average return of this group was up 63.83 percent. Those rewards, however, just aren’t as much as they had been. Three weeks ago, (May 19), the average return of funds in this group was 75.64 percent. Now the return is 11.8 percent lower that the one reported on May 19.

One more thing: That 3-year average return of U.S.Diversifed Equity funds pointed out  in last week’s POCKETBOOK  of over 9 percent has shriveled  22 basis points to 8.80 percent.

I mention that only because investors need to look beyond current returns and back a few years to get a real sense of what’s happening in the market regarding the direction of equities.

It’s still an iffy market with recession worries that aren’t going away.

Visit www.allaboutfunds.com for weekly updates to see how equity and fixed-income funds have rewarded investors over the short-and long-term, based upon Lipper data. Short-term meaning weekly and monthly performance returns; longer-term includes quarterly, year-to-date, 1-yr, 2-yr, 3-yr and 5-yr returns.

Lipper’s weekly performance figures for stock and fixed-income funds are at www.allaboutfunds.com in the left column on the home page.

  • BMOs July outlook

I know, it’s still June but BMO likes to keep on top of things. And, in the BMO Wealth Management  June 2 report titled “July 2016 Outlook for Financial Markets” , its Summary by Jack A. Ablin,  BMOs Chief Investment Officer, is worth sharing.

Here’s the Summary:

“•Temp jobs are the first to go in a downturn. The sector has shed 27,400 jobs since December, reversing a five-year trend that saw it grow five times faster than overall employment.

“•Businesses are awash in more than $1.8 trillion of cash –and the 25 largest companies control more than half of the hoard. While this corporate “one percent” is up to its armpits in cash, the bottom 99 percent is swimming in debt.

“•What’s bothering the corner office? Consumers are confident, spending is strong and interest rates are low, yet companies aren’t spending.

“•Despite becoming an increasingly distant memory with every passing year, the housing bust and financial crisis inflicted lasting scars on American households.

“•Conviction and complacency are running hot, setting investors up for a surprise. “

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