I know more than one investor who doesn’t believe the figures emphasizing how great our economy is, that the unemployment rate is as low as is publicized and that all on Wall Street is hunky dory.
So in search of some easy to understand market commentary, I’ve turned to Cresset Wealth Advisors November 2018 Market Review.
Here is what Cresset’s CFA, Jack Ablin, wrote in it re the economy: “The US economy has been growing at a rate that is above potential. Its 2.5% potential GDP growth rate is derived from 0.7% labor force growth plus a 1.8% (generous) productivity rate. Current 3.5% annualized growth has been fueled by consumer demand. Government spending added 0.6% to growth, fixed investments flat-line.”
Re tariffs: “Tariff talk has had a deleterious impact on exports. This sector, which on average has added 0.5% to economic activity, dragged growth down 0.5% in Q2.”
The entire Cresset November Market Review is worth a read and available at cressetwealth.com. Check it out.
Market Quick Glance
It was a week that brought some year-to-date returns up from underwater for the DJIA, S&P 500 and the Russell 2000. Yahoo, for that. Whether that trend will continue, however, is still anybody’s guess.
But to cover our bases, lest we think the bull is back, here’s another look at the following historic equity performance data from CNBC.com:
– Since World War II, the average correction for the S&P500 lasts 4 months and sees equities slide 13% before bottoming.
-Bear markets average a loss of 30.4% and last 13 months and takes stocks nearly 22 months, on average, to recover.
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 is according to CNBC.com and based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Nov. 2, 2018.
–DJIA 2.23% YTD up from the previous week’s return of -0.13%.
- 1 yr Rtn 7.46% up from the previous week 5.50 %
Most recent DJIA a new ALL-TIME CLOSING HIGH was reached on Oct.3, 2018 of 26,951.81. The previous high was reached on Sept. 21, 2018 of 26,796.16.
-S&P 500 1.85% YTD up from last week’s -0.56%
- 1 yr. Rtn 5.55% up from last week’s 3.84%
The S&P 500 reached a BRAND NEW CLOSING ALL-TIME HIGH on Sept. 21, 2018 of 2,940.91. The previous closing high was reached on August 29, 2018 of 2,916.50.
-NASDAQ 6.57% YTD up a lot from last week’s 3.82%
- 1yr Rtn 9.56% up a bit from last week’s 9.31%
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 0.81% YTD up a lot from last week’s -3.37%
- 1yr Rtn 3.44% also up a lot from last week’s -0.91%
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.
Equity funds have lost about half of their average year-to-date returns since October 18. And, at the close of business on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018, the average total return for funds that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading was 1.37%, according to Lipper. That’s down from 2.36% reported on 10/18/18.
Where you want to have been invested most recently is in that large broad category of funds and not in funds that fall under the Sector Equity Funds heading— they are down at -2.90% on average. Or in World Equity Funds, these babies are on average down at -9.46%.
World Income Funds have fared better, – 4.80% and Mixed Asset Funds -2.14% on average.
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.
Got money? Maybe
The end of the third quarter—that would be the end of September 30— Fidelity delivered some sweet news for its investors. For instance:
- The average 401(k) balance hit a new high of $106,500, up 2.4% from Q2.
- The average individual retirement account averaged $111,000, up 3.8% from Q2.
- The number of 401(k) millionaires was up 41 percent from last year at the same time.
- And, the number of IRA millionaires was up 25 percent from last year.
Hope these account balances continue to flourish for Fidelityites.