POCKETBOOK Week Ending March 22, 2019

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  • Recession coming?

The bond market is signaling a recession could be in our near future and if that is the case, word is recessions typically last around a year and during them stocks don’t always perform horribly during one. The bugaboo in it all, however, is inflation: It and recessions are first cousins and no one is a fan of it. Then again, we’re already seeing price increases on plenty of the items we purchase thanks to the tariffs Trump has imposed.

Oh well, another day in the upside down, topsy turvery pretzel-like who-is-on-first world we all are currently living in.

But I degress.

Back to the recession subject.

From CNBC MarketInsider.com comes this: “As far as recession goes, our economist feels quite optimistic that a recession will be avoided, at least this year. The market is focused not only on U.S. fundamentals but also on what’s happening in China, what’s happening in the rest of the world and how likely it is that political uncertainty, whether through trade policy or whatever, how likely is that to persist and beget a recession,” said Mark Cabana, head of short U.S.rate strategy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch…..
“As recession signals begin to flash and recession probabilities increase, I would expect market participants and people who deploy capital will become more cautious and there’s a risk that it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy,” Cabana said.”

Okay then.

 

  • Pew Research’s not-so-bright future study returns

A recent Pew research report has shed light on some not-so-happy or inspiring future outcomes. In other words, looking out 30 years, things aren’t looking very rosy.

Below are a few of results from the Pew Research Center Social & Demographic Trends report dated March 21, 2019:

  • 7 in 10 Americans were dissatisfied with the way things are going in this country.
  • 60% of those interviewed say the U.S. will be less important in the world by 2050.
  • 73% think that the gap between the rich and poor will continue to grow.
  • 65% say the country will be more politically devided over the next 30 years.
  • And, the majority of those responding expect the economy to be weaker, health care less affordable, the environment worse and  that older Americans will have a harder time makes ends meet than they do now.

Oh my.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

A week of mixed year-to-date returns with 1-year returns up.

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, March 22, 2019.

DJIA 9.32% YTD up a tad from the previous week’s 9.10%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn 6.45% way up from the previous week 2.23%

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   11.72% YTD down from the previous week’s 12.59%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 5.94% way up from the previous week’s 2.74%.

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 15.18% YTD down a hair from last week’s 15.87%%

  • 1yr Rtn 6.64% up from last week’s 2.76%

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

The year-to-date cumulative total reinvested performance for equity funds that fall under the  U.S. Diversified Equity Fund heading was 14.26% at the close of business on Thursday, March 21, 2019, according to Lipper.

Among the 408 Mid-Cap Growth Funds that fall under that huge Diversified category, the average year-to-date return was an impressive 20.17%. Small-Cap Growth Funds, however, performed better: 20.37% for the 592 funds that Lipper tracks in that group.

And then there are Equity Leverage Funds—-the average YTD performance of the 228 funds under that heading was 28.36%.

On the other hand, Dedicated Short Bias Funds’ average YTD return was -20.61%.

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.

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