POCKETBOOK: Week ending July 21, 2017

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  • Both Sides

On the one hand, the VIX ,(it’s designed to track stock market fear), is at its lowest level —-hold on to your hat– in 24 years. That puts it when Bill Clinton was president. This according to BusinessInsider.com.

In another BusinessInsider.com piece,  private client cash levels are reportedly super low because those folks would rather invest in the market than to hold cash. True for institutional investors, too. Reason being ecause of the continued robust returns in the U.S. and many global markets.

On the other hand,  there is something referred to as the “Icarus trade”. Or simply put, flying too close to the sun eventually burns everybody.

According to a client note from strategists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, “A big fall in markets…. will be an autumn, not summer event…. and Icarus won’t soar forever.”


  • Market Quick Glance

Last week, and for the most part, the bulls were still running—with one exception, the DJIA. It lost ground for the week and in its 1-year return.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index 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, July 21,  2017.


-DJIA + 9.20% YTD down from last week’s +9.49%

  • 1 yr Rtn +16.54% down from last week’s 16.92%

The DJIA reached a new all-time high on July 14, 2017 of 21,681.53.

(Previous high was on July 3,2017 of 21,562.75. Prior to that high dates include: 21,535.03 on June 20, 2017; 21,391.97 reached on June 14, 2017; 21,305.35 on June 9, 2017; 21,225.04 on June 2, 2017; and 21,169.11 on March 1, 2017.)


-S&P 500 +10.44% YTD up from last week’s 9.85%

  • 1yr Rtn +14.20% up from last week’s +13.66%

The S&P 500 reached a new all-time high of 2,477.62 on July 20, 2017.

(Prior to that date new highs and dates include: 2,463.54 on July 14, 2017; 2453.82 on June 19,2017; 2,446.2 reached on June 9, 2017; 2,440.23 reached on June 2, 2017; 2,418.71 reached on May 25, 2017; 2,405.77 reached on May 16, 2017; 2403.87 on May 9, 2017; 2,400.98 reached on March 1, 2017.)


-NASDAQ +18.66% YTD up from last week’s +17.26%

  • 1yr Rtn +25.89% up from last week’s 25.40%

The Nasdaq reached a new all-time high on July 20, 2017 of 6,398.26

(Previous high include: 6,341.7 on June 9, 2017; 6,308.76 on June 2; 6,217.34 reached on May 25; 6,170,16 on May 16; 6,133 on May 9, 2017; 6102.72 on May 2, 2017; 6074.04 on April 28, 2017; and 5,936.39 on April 5, 2017.)


-Russell 2000 +5.80% YTD up from last week’s +5.28%

  • 1yr Rtn +19.27% up from last week’s +18.85%

The Russell 2000 reached its latest all-time high of 1,452.05 on July 21, 2017.

(Previous highs include: 1,433.789 on June 9, 2017; 1,425.7 reached on April 26, 2017 and of 1,414,82 reached on March 1, 2017.)


-Mutual funds

The average U.S. Diversified Equity Fund gained ground last week and closed at 9.84% at the end of the business day on Thursday, July 20, 2017, according to Lipper. That’s up from the previous week’s close of 8.74%.

Of the 8,549 U.S.Diversified Equtiy Funds heading, Equity Leverage Funds lead the way with a YTD average return of 22.19%.  Dedicated Short Bias Funds lost ground with the average YTD return for funds in it -14.23 %.

Sector Equity Funds showed their stuff with Global Science/Technology Funds YTD average returns of 29.97%. Commodities Energy Funds were the losers at -17.48%.

Under the World Equity Funds heading India Region Funds continued to shine, up for the year an average of 30.42%.The closest downer, still above 10%, were Global Equity Income Funds, 10.72%.

And shareholders of Mixed Asset Funds had the sweetest YTD returns if they were invested in Mixed-Asset Target 2055+Funds, 12.70%. Lowest returns, although still on the plus-side of the grade, were in Alternative Multi-Strategy Funds, 2.18%.

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.


  • On the lighter side…

It’s summertime. People are traveling and flying more. Getting squeezed more, too. But small seats and limited leg space isn’t the point of this brief. Nope, the subject is food. Airplane food. Good and bad. Food that passengers seated in all classes– from those in the back-of-the-plane to those in first-class and private jets—are offered.

In a Bloomberg.com piece titled “Why You Should Never Eat Food on Planes, and Other Jet-Set Tips” by Mark Elwood, I read that one well-traveled stewardess had a “tried-and-true” secret: Forget eating in-flight.

Why? When flying high, your digestive system shuts down.

As a result, once back on Earth that same system has to start working harder just to get things moving and doing so makes you tired.

Wanna land feeling refreshed, forget about eating and over-eating. Instead, drink oodles and oodles of water. You and your body will likely be much happier.





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