Each week I receive Jonathan Clements’ Humble Dollar newsletter. Data from a recent one included stats from a 2016 General Social Survey that shows how much attitudes about our financial lives have changed over 44 years.
Here’s what that survey revealed:
-“30% of Americans said they were very happy in 2016, unchanged from the 30% who described themselves that way in 1972. Over this 44-year stretch, inflation-adjusted per capita disposable income rose 120%. More money, it seems, hasn’t bought happiness.”
-“29% of Americans were satisfied with their financial situation, versus 32% in 1972. Meanwhile, the percentage who aren’t at all satisfied has climbed from 23% in 1972 to 27% in 2016.”
-“31% of Americans felt their incomes were below average or far below average, compared with 24% in 1972.”
-“58% agreed or strongly agreed that they had a good chance of improving their standard of living, versus 72% in 1987.”
If you’re a survey results believer, it seems like those of us who have been around for a while were financially happier in ’72 than we are today.
Market Quick Glance
It was a week of new all-time highs reached for the DJIA, S&P 500 and NASDAQ but not the Russell 2000. The Russell did, however, see a nice move upward in its year-to-date performance.
For the past few weeks I’ve been pointing out that the 1-year return figures have been worth watching and I’ll say the say the same this week. Even though most saw gains, they were modest at best. Any trend seekers might want to keep their eyes on that longer view for no other reason, perhaps, than to have something to talk about.
Although the 1-year return for our major indices are attractive, they pale in comparison with that of the Caracas Stock Exchange, Caracas General: Its year-to-date return through June 2, 2017 is + 146.46% and for 1 year is up 403.44%.
Below are 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, June 2, 2017.
-DJIA +7.30% YTD up from last week’s +6.67%
- 1 yr Rtn +19.08% up from last week’s 18.24%
The DJIA reached a new all-time high of 21,225.04 on June 2, 2017. (The previous high of 21,169.11 was reached on March 1, 2017.)
-S&P 500 +8.90% YTD up from last week’s 7.91%
- 1yr Rtn +16.15% up from last week’s +15.58%
The S&P 500 reached a new all-time high of 2,440.23 on June 2, 2017. (Its previous high of 2,418.71 was reached on May 25, 2017. Prior to that, the 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 +17.14% YTD up from last week’s +15.36%
- 1yr Rtn +26.84% up a tad from last week’s 26.69%
The Nasdaq reached another new all-time high of 6,308.76 on June 2, 2017. (Its previous all-time high of 6,217.34 was reacged May 25, 2017. Then before that a high of 6,170,16 was reached on May 16, 2017; the high of 6,133 was reached on May 9, 2017; a high of 6102.72 was reached on May 2, 2017; 6074.04 on April 28, 2017; and 5,936.39 hit on April 5, 2017.)
–Russell 2000 +3.56% YTD way up from last week’s +1.85%
- 1yr Rtn +20.06 % down from last week’s +21.28%
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.)
As you might expect, the year-to-date return for the average U.S. Diversified Equity Fund was up from the previous week. This, thanks to the new highs reached by equity prices. So, at the close of business on Thursday, June 1, 2017 the average equity fund’s year-to-date return was 7.56%, up a healthy amount from the previous week’s figure of 6.70%.
The top performance categories under that heading are beginning to sound like a broken record a Large-Cap Growth Funds continued to lead the way, now up 16.40 %—that week the figure was15.59%. Once again behind it were Equity Leverage Funds, up 16.02% (last week it was15.26%) and then followed by Multi-Cap Growth Funds, up 15.14% (last week’s figure was14.17%).
While the average Sector Fund return barely budged, it ended the week up 4.78% a breath above the previous week’s figure of 4.77%.
That said, Global Science/Technology Funds continued to lead the performance game, up on average 25.29% ( last week’s figure was 24.73%) while Commodities Energy Funds lost more ground during the week with an average return of -16.07% ( the previous week the figure was -13.72%.)
It continues to be the wide great big world that we live in where the most money looks like it’s being made. The average return for the 4,495 funds that fall under the World Equity Funds heading were up 15.48%–that’s up from last week’s 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.
Is a June Swoon on the way?
Wall Street seers have always had a way of coming up with clever ways to describe the investment world. A world in which making heads or tails about what’s going can only be read in a rearview mirror.
With May behind us, so goes the “Sell in May and go away” quip and in comes the “June swoon”.
In 30 days we will know if there is any truth to that little ditty.