If it walks and talks like a bull…
Doug Kass is a stock trader, manages bundles of money, lives in Palm Beach and has recently changed his outlook on the market.
In his Doug Kass News and Commentary email, dated Feb 15, 2017, he wrote: “As traders, it’s our job to adjust to whatever environment the market presents.
“This is a bull market, the S&P 500 is trading at all-time highs, and corporate taxes are likely to be slashed in the near future. If the market (or an individual stock) wants to go higher, why fight it?”
But stock prices are one thing and personal household debt is quite another.
According to a recent CNNMoney.com story, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported that total household debt was $12.58 trillion at the end of 2016.
From the same CNNMoney piece came this: “For the year, (2016), household debt ballooned by $460 billion—the largest increase in almost a decade.
“That means the debt loads of Americans are flirting with 2008 levels, when total consumer debt reached a record high of $12.68 trillion.”
That’s no bull.
Market Quick Glance
More big time scores for the major indices as the week ending Feb. 17, 2017 came to a close. The upward trend was realized in all of the four indices followed below as each reached new all-time highs.
Below are the weekly and 52-week performance results— including the dates each reached its high—for four popular stock indices, according to data from CNBC.com. Most are based on the close of business prices on Friday, Feb. 17, although a few represent closing prices data from Feb. 15 and Feb. 17. (I don’t know why the different dates but that’s how CNBC reported them.)
-Dow Jones + 4.36% YTD way up from last week’s 2.56%
- 1yr Rtn +25.34% down from last week’s 27.36%
The DJIA reached a 52-week high of 20639.87 on Feb. 16, 2017 (previous all-time high was 20,298.21 was reached on 2/10/17).
-S&P 500 +5.02% YTD way up from last week’s 3.45%
- 1yr Rtn +22.02 % down bit last week’s 25.07%
The S&P 500 reached a 52-week high of 2,351.31 on Feb. 16, 2017 (its all-time high of 2,319.23 was reached on 2/10/17).
-NASDAQ +8.46% YTD way up from last week’s +5.27%
- 1yr Rtn +28.77% down from last week’s 33.86%
The Nasdaq reached a 52-week high of 5,838.58 on Feb. 17, 2017 ( its all-time high of 5,743.43 was reached on 2/10/17).
-Russell 2000 +3.15% up from last week’s +2.34%
- 1yr Rtn +38.44 % down from last week’s +44.15%
The Russell 2000 reached its all-time high of 1,405.21 on Feb.15, 2107 (its previous high of 1,392.71 was reached on 12/9/16).
Upward and onward.
The average U.S. Diversified Equity Fund had another good week as, at the close of business on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, the year-to-date return on funds under that heading was +4.59%, according to Lipper. That’s a decent jump from last week’s average of +3.11%.
The losing group under that big umbrella heading was Equity Leverage Funds, at – 12.37% on average. Winning group:Large-Cap Growth Funds, + 7.41%.
Four fund types under the Sector Equity Funds umbrella heading now have year-to-date average returns of +10% or greater. They include Precious Metals Funds, the average + 22.50%; Basic Metals Funds, + 10.36%; Commodities Precious Metals Funds, + 10.34%; Global Science/Technology Funds, + 10.23%; and Commodities Base Metals Funds, + 10%.
Latin American Funds, on average + 13.36%, and India Region Funds, + 10.77%, are the two biggest YTD winners so far this year under the World Equity Funds heading.
The average return of the 4,497 funds under the World Equity Funds umbrella is + 6.40%.
Visit www.allaboutfunds.com for more information about how various 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.
For the love of our pets and animals
If you’re a dog, or a cat, a pig, cow, snake or whatever lover, listen up: The global Animal Medication market is projected to reach $42.9 billion by 2018.
That’s according to a management story, “Animal health market to hit $43 billion in five years”, from WesternFarmPress.com.
That medication estimation, however, isn’t even close to the figures from the American Pet Products Association (APPA). Their estimate for 2016 is $62.75 billion. In 2015, the U.S. Pet Industry Expenditures figures totaled $60.28 billion, according to APPA.
While those figures are vastly different as the global Animal Medication and APPA represent two different segments of the huge pet industry/market, each show what many of us already know: Every year we spend a whole lot of money on our pets and animals.
For example, going back to figures from the APPA, in 2006 U.S. pet industry expenditures totaled$38.5 tillion. In 1996, $21 trillion.
I mention this because the cost and care of our pets, animals and livestock has been a huge and growing industry for some time now. And, it might be one in which you’d like to invest.
In the WesternFarmPress.com story the names of the “major players” in the global medication market included companies that most of us have heard of as they are the makers of many of the meds we two-legged folk take.
If you’re interested in catching this pet medication market– hope-it’s-not-too-late– trend by the tail and would like to research some of the companies included in the WesternFarmPress piece, they included: Abbott Animal Health, Bayer HealthCare AG, Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, Ceva Santé Animale S.A., Dechra Pharmaceuticals PLC, Eli Lilly and Company, Merck Animal Health, Merial Limited, Novartis Animal Health, Inc., Pfizer, Inc., Vetericyn, Inc., Vétoquinol SA, and Virbac SA.