POCKETBOOK: Week ending May 12, 2017



•Now and Then

Now: Age reality

From a story by James Fallows at theatlantic.com: “The tangled affair now known as Watergate began 45 years ago, before most of today’s U.S. population had ever been born.”

Fallows piece, “Five Reasons the Comey Affair Is Worse Than Watergate”, pointed out that the median age of Americans today is about 38. And for most people “Watergate is a historical allusion…”

From me: Age reality is important to keep in mind whenever you’re trying to understand and figure out why things are as they are in the markets, politics, the economy and your personal life.

Then: Stocks and Watergate

In case you’ve been wondering, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hadn’t hit the 4-digit mark before Watergate. Really. Truly. Kinda hard to believe that today, isn’t it.

But, according to a May 11, 2017 Reuters.com story by Rob Cox comes this: “The Dow stood at a little under 1,000 in early February 1973, just before Congress voted to create a select committee to look into the Nixon camp’s activities during the 1972 election.”

“Toward the end of 1974, after the president was forced to quit in August that year, the average had tumbled to a nadir below 600 points for a loss of over 40 percent, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon data…”

From me: Huh.


  • Market Quick Glance

Not much to yahoo about except that NASDAQ once again reached a new all-time high. As for the other indices, most year-to-date and 1-year returns lost ground last week.

Going forward, the bulls appear to still be bullying as the bears continue growling.

Below are the weekly and 52-week performance results— including the dates each has reached its high according to data from CNBC.com. Data is based on prices at the close of business for the week ending on Friday, May 12, 2017.


-Dow Jones +5.74YTD down from last week’s 6.30%

  • 1yr Rtn +17.92% down from last week’s 18.95%

The DJIA reached an all-time high of 21,169.11 on March 1, 2017.


-S&P 500 +6.79% YTD down from last week’s 7.17%

  • 1yr Rtn +15,83% down from last week’s +17.00%

The S&P 500 reached a new all-time high of 2403.87 on May 9, 2017. The previous high of 2,400.98 was reached on March 1, 2017.


-NASDAQ +13.71% YTD up a tad from last week’s +13.33%

  • 1yr Rtn +29.21% down a tad from last week’s 29.33%

The Nasdaq reached a new all-time high for the third time this year of 6,133 on May 9, 2017. (The previous high of of 6,102.72 was reached on May 2, 2017. Before that new high was 6074.04 an achieved on April 28, 2017 and before that date the high of 5,936.39 on April 5, 2017.)


–Russell 2000 +1.89% YTD down from last week’s +2.94%

  • 1yr Rtn +24.73% down from last week’s +26.09%

The Russell 2000 reached a new all-time high of 1,425.7 on April 26, 2017.

(Its previous high of 1,414,82 was reached on March 1, 2017.)


-Mutual funds

 Mutual fund performance figures will be updated later this week.

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.


•More indexes than stocks

Here’s a little something to chew on: Mix in the number of ETFs around with the number of indexes available for investors to pick from and the number of indexes now outnumber the number of stocks.

According to Bloomberg.com, “Traditional ones such as the S&P 500 are collections of securities weighted by market value, and the index funds mimic them as a low-cost way to deliver the market’s performance. Many new indexes are different: They include stocks based on custom criteria, such as having low volatility or high dividends..”

The full story, including charts, can be found at: https://bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-12/there-are-now-more-indexes-than-stocks .










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