POCKETBOOK: Week ending May 25, 2017


Lifted from The American Legion, photograph by Andrew Lichtenstein
  • Remember and give thanks

One by one. That’s how we bury those we love and those who have given their lives in battle for us.

On this Memorial Day, why not take one added step to remember and give thanks for all who have sacrificed their lives for our freedoms by participating in a national moment of remembrance: At 3 p.m. today,  join with millions of others and take a minute to be silent and give thanks honoring all of those who have died in service to our country.

It’s the right thing to do no matter what political beliefs you may have or don’t have.


  • Market Quick Glance

Last week I pointed out how the 1-year returns for the indices below have been mighty impressive. This week those figures are worth looking at again because all the year-to-date returns were up for the week but the 1-year figures have lost ground.

Could that longer look be an indication of a downward trend? While we won’t know for sure until more time passes, one thing is hard to argue with: Unless you’re a day trader, it’s over the longer term where most money is made.

Below are the weekly and 1-year performance results— including the dates each reached new highs— according to data from CNBC.com. Data is based on prices at the close of business for the week ending on Friday, May 26, 2017.


-Dow Jones +6.67% YTD up from last week’s 5.27%

  • 1yr Rtn +18.24% down from last week’s 19.33%

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


-S&P 500 +7.91% YTD up from last week’s 6.38%

  • 1yr Rtn +15,58% down from last week’s +16.75%

The S&P 500 reached a new all-time high of 2,418.71 on May 25, 2017. (Previous high of 2,405.77 was reached on May 16, 2017. Before that the high of 2403.87 was reached on May 9, 2017and before that, the a high of 2,400.98 was reached on March 1, 2017. )


-NASDAQ +15.36% YTD up from last week’s +13.01%

  • 1yr Rtn +26.69% down from last week’s 29.10%

The Nasdaq reached another new all-time high this year of 6,217.34 on May 25, 2017. (NASDAQ previous highs were as follows: 6,170,16 on May 16, 2017; 6,133 reached on May 9, 2017; 6102.72 reached on May 2, 2017; 6074.04 on April 28, 2017; and 5,936.39 hit on April 5, 2017.)


–Russell 2000 +1.85% YTD up from last week’s +0.75%

  • 1yr Rtn +21.28% down from last week’s +24.90%

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

The year-to-date return for the average U.S. Diversified Equity Fund had a good performance week. At the close of business on Thursday, May 25, 2017 it stood at 6.70% That’s up a tidy sum from the previous week’s figure of 4.77%.

Large-Cap Growth Funds continued to lead the way, up 15.59%. Close behind it were Equity Leverage Funds, up15.26% followed by Multi-Cap Growth Funds, up 14.17%.

Lots of pluses and minuses in the Sector Funds world with the average fund under this broad heading up 4.77%. Those invested in Global Science/Technology Funds enjoyed an average return of 24.73% while Commodities Energy Funds’ had an average return of -13.72%.

But it’s World Equity Funds where things continue to be going well as the average fund under this heading was up 15.01%.

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.


  • What’s behind “Sell in May and go away”

Some of the they’s on Wall Street are saying that because this market has been so confounding and difficult to call that this time it’s different. Time will tell if the they’s have it right. Or, they don’t.

In the meantime, here’s what history has taught us about the May-November six-month investment strategy that coined the “Sell in May and go away” saying.

From a recent Reuters.com story comes this: “In the last 20 years, a $100 investment in the S&P from November through April would have become $343 while a $100 investment in May through October in the same years would have slipped to $98.50, according to Bespoke Investment Group…”

“From 1928 to 2017 the $100 would have become $4,270 from November through April but would only be worth $257 from investing from May through October,according to Bespoke…”




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