POCKETBOOK Week Ending Dec. 21, 2018


  • Your Christmas Lump of Coal

It takes more than tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy to make a market shine: As, if not more important, is a country’s confidence in its President’s actions along with that of his appointed cabinet, the economy and what’s happening around the world. So….so much for this year’s Santa Claus rally.

You might want to take a belt of hooch before reviewing the performance of last week’s markets. Here, from CNBC.com, is a bit of it:

-The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 6.8%—the worse percentage drop since October 2008.

-Nasdaq lost 8.3% and is now 22% below the high it reached in August.

-The S&P 500 lost 7% last week.

-Performances of both the DJIA and the S&P are on track for their worst December performance since the Great Depression of 1931.

If nothing else, the gift that 2018 has reminded all investors of is that just as a stock’s price can go up, so can it fall. And that’s okay. After all, investing never came with any promises. Only hopes.


  • Market Quick Glance

2018 has turned out to be one ugly year for anyone who bet that stock indices would delightfully reward investors with positive returns this year. It hasn’t.

Worse yet, more than one talking head predicts that at least the first half of 2019 to be a rough one for equities.

Stephen Suttmeier, chief equity technical strategists at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch relies on charts for his analysis and says, “We do think the equity markets are set up to continue this cyclical bear market or bear market, just call it what it is—and correct further, a further retracement.”

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for the four major indices—DJIA, S&P 500 and NASDAQ — including the dates each reached new highs. Data is according to CNBC.com and based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Dec. 21, 2018.

DJIA -9.20% YTD WAY down from the previous week’s -2.50%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn -9.43% also way down from the previous week -1.67%

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 -9.61% YTD WAY down from last week’s -2.76%

  • 1 yr. Rtn -9.98% also way down from last week’s -1.96%

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 -8.26% YTD WAY down from last week’s 0.11%

  • 1yr Rtn -9.08% also way down from last week’s 0.79%

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.



-Mutual funds

P U. There was only one U.S. Diversified Equity Fund heading that ended last week with a positive average return. It was Dedicated Short Bias Funds with an average total return of 11.15%. That category of funds numbers 162 out of the 8,214 funds under the U.S. Diversified heading.

In other words, there is nothing pretty about the average returns on equity funds last week. Then again, how could their be with the stock prices fall, fall, falling.

The average year-to-date total return for funds that fall under the heading of U.S. Diversified Equity Funds stood at -9.18% at the close of business on Thursday, December 20, 2018, according to Lipper. That’s down a huge heap from the previous week’s figure of -3.12% %.

For a broader look, the average Sector Equity Funds’ return was -9.98%; World Equity Funds, -15.34%; Mixed Asset Funds, -6.95%; Domestic L-T Fixed Inc Funds, -1.15%; and World Income Funds, -4.09%.

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.


  • Then Again: OPPORTUNITY

If you liked Apple at $233.47, its 52-week high, you gotta love it at $150.73, Friday’s closing price. Right?

Well, may yes, maybe no.

However you assess the worth and value of investing in any stock—whether it’s Apple or something else– depends upon three things—and always three things:

1.How you think.

2.Your reason(s) for investing in it.

3.The price at which you intend to sell it.







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