POCKETBOOK Week Ending Nov.17, 2018

scan0022                Thanksgiving at grandma’s 1976.

  • Thanksgiving

If there were only one day each year I could pick to celebrate, it would be Thanksgiving.

No matter what one’s race, income level, age, gender, faith affiliation, political point of view, height, weight, married, single, with or without children or immediate family, it’s the one day when each of us can take the time to slow down, breathe deeply and think about all the things we have to be thankful for.

Whether it’s simply the fact that we are giving thanks for being alive, or celebrating our various good or bad fortunes, the value in giving thanks is as intimate and personal a gesture as mindful prayer is: Giving thanks transcends the material and enriches our souls in incalculable almost inconceivable ways.

So be thankful.  It’s a good thing.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

  • Market Quick Glance

As you might expect, index returns weren’t so hot last week with both the DJIA and S&P 500 losing strength and returning to about half of what their year-to-date returns were two weeks ago.

For anyone curious about how past markets have performed during Thanksgiving week, the historic news is that typically it’s been  a good week for stocks with the S&P 500 gaining an average of 0.6% during the week, according to the Bespoke Investment Group. Here’s a chart from them showing the data:

IMG_6311

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. 16, 2018.

DJIA 2.81% YTD down from the previous week’s return of 5.14%.

  • 1 yr Rtn 8.33% from the previous week 10.77 %

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 2.34% YTD way up from last week’s 4.02%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 6.10% down from last week’s 7.60%

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 4.99% YTD way down from last week’s 7.29%

  • 1yr Rtn 6.69% up a bit from last week’s 9.73%

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 -0.52% YTD back to underwater from last week’s 0.91%

  • 1yr Rtn 2.73% down a lot from last week’s 5.05%

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.

 

-Mutual funds

Slip sliding away…..

At the close of business on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, the average total return for funds that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading was 0.68%—- way down from the previous week’s figure of 3.33%, according to Lipper.

But, compare that to what the average year-to-date return was for World Equity Funds, down in minus-land almost 10% (-9.96% to be exact) and our home grown based equity fund returns don’t look so bad.

Most deeply hit among World Fund types were India Region Funds, -17.97%, China Region Funds, -15.48%, and Pacific Ex-Japan Funds, -14.85%.

And I remember when earlier this year and about this same time last year, talking heads were expecting world funds to way outperform our US markets. Ooops.

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.

 

  • Predictions

It’s started.

Talking heads typically begin mouthing off about what their next year market predictions are right after Thanksgiving.

I’ve read a couple, so far. Some see the S&P 500 hitting 3,000. Others figure a recession is on the way. Still others say it’s gonna be a bad year for equities; a good year for fixed-income.

Personally, at this point in time, I don’t have an inkling of what’s to come in 2019.

But one thing I do know for sure—and can guarantee—it’s that tax time is right around the corner. Making sure your investment ducks are in a row and what’s been bought and sold is clearly documented.

Trump’s tax plan will no doubt disappoint  millions of individual investors and delight a few. To help plan your tax future, take a look at IRS Publication 5307, Tax Reform: Basics for individuals and Families.

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