POCKETBOOK Week Ending Jan. 25, 2019

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  • I’m Melting

Meltdowns appear to be the trend in this New Year as stocks prices gyrate up, melt down and then seemingly slide into a pool of yuck.

Like that Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz, whose nastiness eventually reduced her to a puddle, the one thing that totally destroyed her was water. Yes, clear, simple, every day, everywhere water.

If only a market meltdown could be corrected by a serious splash of water we’d probably all gleefully  click our ruby slippers together. But ruby slippers aren’t in. So the best we can do is to recognize a trend when we see one and address our investing money goals and needs accordingly.

According to Daniel Pinto, co-president of J.P. Morgan Chase, the market’s performance in December is likely to continue throughout this year—and to date he has been correct.

From CNBC.com: “Over time, you will probably see several more market events like we saw in December,” Pinto said last week in an interview at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.”

Some of the things fueling the markets’ current meltdown pattern include the behavior of our leaders, changes in investor habits/beliefs and an aging economic situation. Oh, and then there’s the huge lump under the living room rug that everyone seems to not see and walk around: America’s huge debt.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Continuing up in tiny bits on year-to-date returns but that’s not the case for 1-year returns.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for the three 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, Jan. 18, 2019.

DJIA 6.04% YTD up from the previous week’s 5.917%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn -6.2% down from the previous week -5.04%

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   6.30 % YTD down from last week’s 6.54%

  • 1 yr. Rtn -6.15% down from last week’s -4.55%

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 7.98% YTD a tiny bit from last week’s 7.87%

  • 1yr Rtn -3.32% down from last week’s -1.90%

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

Repeat from early January:

Looking up.

At the close of business on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, the total return for the average stock fund under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Fund heading was 4.70%, according to Lipper.

Looking at the fund types with the highest year-to-date gains under the various headings shows the following:

-U.S. Diversified Equity Funds average, 4.70%; highest Equity Leveraged Funds, 11.08%; lowest, Dedicated Short Bias Funds, -8.88%

-Sector Equity Funds average 4.88%; highest Energy MLP Funds, 11.74%; lowest Alternative Managed Funds, -2.20%

-World Equity Funds average 4.07%; highest Latin American Funds, 9.01%; lowest India Region Funds, -1.23%.

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.

 

  • Forever costs more

Forget that 50-cent Forever stamp as they’ve become a thing of the past.

Beginning a couple of days ago, (January 27, 2019), the U.S. Postal Service added a nickel to the price of the Forever stamp. That means it’s not two for a buck anymore.

Here, from USATODAY.com are some of the Postal Service price hike details:

  • “First-Class letter (1 ounce) will go up to 55 cents: The nickel increase is the largest percentage rise since 1991, when postage increased from 25 to 29 cents.
  • Additional letter ounce costs will decrease: Each additional ounce will drop from 21 cents to 15 cents. Mailing a 2-ounce letter, a wedding invitation’s typical weight, will cost 70 cents instead of 71 cents.
  • Postcard rates will remain the same: Mailing a postcard will run travelers 35 cents.
  • Priority Mail prices will jump: A small box that previously cost $7.20 will rise to $7.90, while a medium box will jump from $13.65 to $14.35.
  • Priority Mail Express fees will increase: Those looking to ship an envelope ASAP can expect to pay $25.50 instead of $24.70.

 

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