Happy Labor Day
Let’s begin with the good news: It’s Labor Day. A national holiday that’s been recognized by rewarding some working Americans with a day off of work —but not all of them.
It’s also a long holiday weekend that marks the end of summer for many. And it’s traditionally a good reason for friends and family to get together, eat and shop the multitude of Labor Day sales going on.
The bad news is that gas prices are at a 4-year high now and laboring hasn’t paid off too much for many: Real wages are lower now than they were one year ago. One reason: While some salaries have increased over the past year, those increases haven’t mattered much if anything because they haven’t kept up with inflation. Bummer.
As for President Trump’s big tax breaks, few, very few, workers have gotten any benefit from it. Or, are likely to when 2018 taxes are due in 2019.
For a little history about how Labor Day got started, you’ll find an informative read in USA TODAY at:
Some excerpts from it include:
-“In the late 1800s, the state of labor was grim as U.S. workers toiled under bleak conditions: 12 or more hour workdays; hazardous work environments; meager pay. Children, some as young as 5, were often fixtures at plants and factories…..
“The dismal livelihoods fueled the formation of the country’s first labor unions, which began to organize strikes and protests and pushed employers for better hours and pay. Many of the rallies turned violent.”
-“On Sept. 5, 1882 — a Tuesday — 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march in a parade from City Hall to Union Square in New York City as a tribute to American workers. Organized by New York’s Central Labor Union, It was the country’s first unofficial Labor Day parade. Three years later, some city ordinances marked the first government recognition, and legislation soon followed in a number of states.”
Check out the on-line story for more.
Bottom line: If you are lucky enough to have a well-paying job today, pat yourself on your back. According to another newspaper report, only 1 in 4 working Americans think they are doing okay when it comes to their financial well-being.
I hope you are one of them.
Market Quick Glance
Turns out year-to-date index returns were all up at the close of last week. But, 1-year returns all lost ground.
Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for the four major indices—DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ and the Russell 2000— including the dates each reached new highs. Data if according to CNBC.com and based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Aug.31, 2018.
–DJIA 5.04% YTD up from previous week’s return of 4.33%.
- 1 yr Rtn 18.30% down a hair from the previous week 18.39 %
Most recent DJIA all-time high was reached on January 26, 2018 of 26,616.71. The previous high was reached January 18, 2018 was 26,153.42.
-S&P 500 8.52% YTD up a jump from last week’s 7.52%
- 1 yr Rtn 17.39% down from last week’s 17.86%
The S&P 500 reached a BRAND NEW CLOSING ALL-TIME HIGH on August 29, 2018 of 2,916.50. The previous closing high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 2,876.16.
-NASDAQ 17.47% YTD way up from last week’s 15.10%
- 1yr Rtn 26.15% down from last week’s 26.70%
Nasdaq reached a BRAND NEW 52-week CLOSING HIGH on August 30, 2018 of 8,1333.30. The previous high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 7,949.71.
-Russell 2000 13.37% YTD a jump up from last week’s 12.38%
- 1yr Rtn 23.87% down from last week’s 25.61%
The Russell 2000 reached a BRAND NEW 52-week ALL-TIME HIGH on August 31, 2018 of 1,742.09. The previous high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 1,726.97.
Another big jump up for the average equity fund.
At the close of business on Thursday, August 30,2018, the average total return for funds that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading was 9.12 %. That’s up considerably from the previous week’s figure of 7.87%, according to Lipper.
And, it continues to be a small-cap world: Small-Cap Growth Funds lead the performance way—returning on average 21.86%.
On the other hand, under that same broad heading the biggest loser was Dedicated Short Bias Funds, -11.96%
Looking around the world, returns aren’t so hot either as the average World Equity Fund had a return of -2.04%.
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.
While the skies may be ever-so slightly changing from that beautiful robin’s egg blue color to a deeper hue of blue in September, history shows that stock prices change too.
The DJIA averages a decline of 0.7% and the S&P 500 down 0.5% during the ninth month of the calendar year, according to “Stock Traders Almanac”.
You’ve been told.