POCKETBOOK: Week ending Oct. 27, 2017

 

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  • Taxes down; deficit up

One of the many things that puzzles me about the Republican’s tax reform policy suggestions is how this party that historically has focused on our keeping a lid on our nation’s deficit now wants to increase it. Tax cuts would do that.

Goofy isn’t it.

And depending upon the reports you read, annual deficits resulting from those tax cuts could amount to $1 trillion annually.

How very un-Republican.

Then again, plumping up our deficit would give way to the opportunity for Republicans to begin clamoring once again about getting rid of, by either reducing or privatizing, the benefits that millions of Americans have paid in to for years and expect— Social Security.

Oh, now I get it.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

And the truly remarkable continues. Just not quite as remarkably.

With the exception of the Russell 2000 which closed lower this week than it had the week before, all three other indices edged higher.

Re the S&P 500, it was technology stocks that helped inch that index upward. On Friday, the Technology sector rallied 2.6% in one day, according to the Bespoke Investment Group. That’s big. Could it be a sign of things to come? Who knows.

But what we do know is that Tech stocks now make up 24.2 percent  of the sector weightings in the S&P 500 index, say the folks at Bespoke. That’s big, too. Next in weightings come Financials, at 14.8%. That’s nearly 10% less that the Technology sector holdings.

Behind the Financial sector weightings come the following: Health Care, 14.3%; Consumer Discr, 11.8%; Industrials, 10.2%; Consumer Staples,8.0%; Energy, 5.8%; Utilities, 3.2%; Materials, 3%; Real Estate, 2.9%; and Telecom,1.9%

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for four major indices— including the dates each reached new highs—according to CNBC.com based on prices at the close of business on Friday, October 27, 2017.

 

-DJIA +18.58% YTD up a bit from last week’s 18.04%.

  • 1 yr Rtn +28.97% up from last week’s 28.44%

Another new all-time high was reached on the DJIA of 23,485.25 onTuesday, October 24, 2017.

The previous high of 23,328.84 was reached on October 20, 2017.

On March 1, the Dow stood at 21,169.11.

 

-S&P 500 +15.29% YTD up from last week’s 15.02%.

  • 1yr Rtn +21.00% up from last week’s +20.26%

The S&P 500 reached a new high of 2,582,98 on Friday, October 27, 2017.

It’s previous high of 2,575.33 was reached on October 20, 2017.

On March 1, 2017, that index stood at 2,400.98.

 

-NASDAQ +24.49% YTD up from last week’s +23.15%.

  • 1yr Rtn +28.48% up a chunk from last week’s 26.46%

 

The Nasdaq reached a new all-time high of 6,708.13 on Friday, October 27, 2017.

The previous high of 6,640.03 was reached on October 20, 2017.

On April 5, 2017 the index closed at 5,936.39.

 

-Russell 2000 +11.14% YTD down from last week’s +11.21%.

  • 1yr Rtn +26.75% up considerably from last week’s +23.73%

The Russell 2000 reached a new all-time high of 1,514.94 on October 20, 2017.

Prior to that, its previous high of 1,514.94 was reached on October 5, 2017.

On March 1, 2017 this index stood at 1,414,82.

 

-Mutual funds

At the time of this posting Sunday, October 29, 2017, I had not received Lipper’s weekly mutual fund performance figures.

I’m going to guess that while year-to-date total equity returns have changed—and quite likely in an upward direction—they probably didn’t change by much. So what follows below is a repeat of last week’s, October 19 results.

The year-to-date average cumulative total reinvested return for equity funds falling under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Funds moved up a bit when posted at the close of business on Thursday, October 19, 2017. It stood at 13.75%, accord to Lipper. The previous week it was 13.54%.

Comparing this week’s Thursday figures to last week’s, the average Sector Fund had a year-to-date total return of 9.53%, down a bit from the week earlier figure of 9.83%.

This week, the two fund types with y-t-d average figures of over 30% were the same fund types—Global Science & Technology funds up on average 39.47% ( last week’s figure 39.38%) and your basic Science & Technology funds, +32.39% ( up from last week’s figure of 32.01%).

World Equity Funds were down a hair from where they were last week at 24.44%, the week previous the figure was 24.54%. Four of them still had year-to-date average returns up over 30%: China Region Funds at +38.39% and down from last week’s +39.04; Pacific Ex-Japan Funds, 33.82% also down from last week’s +33.61%; India Region Funds, +32.32% up from last week’s+32.05; and Latin American Funds, +30.39% down from last week’s 30.94%.

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.

 

  • Another Presidential Pinocchio

President Trump loves to boast. I think he gets off on it. At least that’s what his less-than Presidential behavior has shown us: Don’t clap and cheer wildly during what he says at one of his functions, or White House meetings, and he pouts, bullies others and sends all sorts of unnecessary tweets out into the universe. Sad.

But when it comes his boasting about the U.S. stock market, while there is no denying the bulls have been running it over the past nine years,  The Donald’s time in the White House hasn’t resulted in him having the hottest market. President Barak Obama holds that record.

According to a Bloomberg.com piece dated October 27, 2017 by Nick Baker, “All stocks across the globe are valued at $89.9 trillion. U.S. shares make up only 31.6 percent of that total. That’s the lowest proportion since November 2011, or a few months after the U.S. flirted with default. And it’s sunk from the 11-year high of 38.3% set in December under then-President Barak Obama.”

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