Monthly Archives: May 2019

POCKETBOOK Week Ending May 17, 2019

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  • Happy Spenders and our Great(?) Economy

Whoa. I was at the brand new multi-thousand foot At Home décor store yesterday in North Palm Beach, FL. The hugely huge parking lot was jammed as were the too-many-to-count aisles. As you might imagine, the check-out line snaked around and you would have thought the joint was giving away stuff. They weren’t.

From there it was on to a Sunday stop at Costco and then Aldi’s. Jammola in both stores and their respective parking lots. I said something to the cashier at Costco about the crowd and he said, “It’s a great economy.”

Apparently it is.

Then again, Ford just announced it’s laying off about 10% of its 7,000 white collar work force with about 2,400 of the cuts coming to those in North America and 1,500 others to be eliminated via oluntary buyouts, according to CNN Business.

Then again, again, American households are now holding more debt than they did prior to the 2008 financial crisis. According to CNBC.com, 55% of U.S adults have credit card debt with 22% of them reporting the balances they carry range between $100 and $500 while10% have balances over $5,000.

But wait there’s more: Consumer sentiment is the highest it’s been in 15 years, according to a new University of Michigan survey.

“Consumers viewed prospect for the overall economy much more favorable, with the economic outlook for the near and longer term reaching their highest levels since 2004,” said Richard Curtin, chief economist for the Surveys of Consumers.

So happy moods are here again.

Then again, so far this year at least 10 stores– whose names we are all familiar with– are closing some of their stores. They include: Victoria’s Secret; JCPenny; Family Dollar; Gymboree; Payless ShoeSource; Charlotte Russe; GAP; Ann Taylor, Loft, Lane Brant: the Ascena Retail Group; Macy’s; and LifeWay Christian Stores.

Huh. I wonder how long our reportedly lowest unemployment rate in decades is going to last.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Last week there were downers everywhere as in on both the year-to-date returns and 1-year ones for the DJIA, S&P500 and NASDAQ.

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, May 17, 2019.

DJIA 10.44% YTD down again from the previous week–it closed at 11.21%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn 4.25% down again from the previous week 4.86%

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   14.07% YTD down from the previous week’s 14.95%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 5.12% down from the previous week’s 5.81%.

*****The S&P 500 reached a BRAND NEW CLOSING ALL-TIME HIGH on Friday April 26, 2019 of 2,939.88. The previous all-time closing high was on Sept. 21, 2018 of 2,940.91. Prior to that, the high of 2,916.50 was reached on August 29, 2018.

 

-NASDAQ 17.80% YTD down again from last week’s 19.32%.

  • 1yr Rtn 5.88% way down from last week’s 6.91%.

*********Nasdaq reached a BRAND NEW All-Time CLOSING HIGH on Friday, April 26, 2019 of 8,146.40. Prior to that, the previous high of 8,1333.30 was reached on August 30, 2018. Before that, on August 24, 2018 reached it’s then all-time high of 7,949.71.

 

-Mutual funds

The slide continues.

At the close of business on Thursday, May 16, 2019, the year-to-date cumulative total reinvested performance of U.S. Diversified Equity Fund was 15.04%,according to Lipper. That’s down from the previous week’s close of 15.11%.

Even though there has been a slide in the average year-to-date returns, many different types of funds have average returns near 20% and more. A few of them under the large umbrella heading of U.S. Diversified Equity Funds include;

-Large-Cap Growth funds, 19.30%;

-Multi-Cap Growth funds, 19.50%;

-Mid-Cap Growth Funds, 22.51%;

-Small-Cap Growth funds, 20.73%;

-and Equity Leverage funds, 24.84%.

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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POCKETBOOK Week Ending May 10, 2019

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And you thought everyone had a cellphone and computer.

  • The high cost of tariffs

Don’t be fooled by President Trump’s game of twiddlywinks he continues to play with our lives, our money and China over tariffs.

Most recently, he is playing a game to win you over in a couple of different ways: First, and most importantly, by playing with your pocketbook. Trump’s increased tariffs on the Chinese goods we import actually costs each and every one of us who purchases products made in China more.  Second, he’s flexing his muscle in a war that nobody wins.

So even if the president was able to come to some kind of agreement that winds up returning monies to the U.S., that headline might make news for a while but it’s the kind of news that doesn’t count—unless paying more is the counting you’re counting.

Since Trump’s increased tariffs imposed on China last week, China has retaliated by slapping billions in tariffs on the kinds of products American’s are fond of using. Such as coffee, beef, salmon, flowers,some fruits and veggies, according to USA TODAY.

As you’ve no doubt heard before and will no doubt continue to hear: No one wins a tariff war.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

And the worm has turned as all indices followed here were lower at their close on Friday than they were on Friday of the previous week. For how long the market dives is anyone’s guess.

BOTTOM LINES: Trump’s tariffs are costing everybody from the bottom line on corporate earnings, the bottom line on the major indices, and the bottom line in your personal and/or retirement accounts.

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, May 10, 2019.

DJIA 11.21% YTD down a heap from the previous week’s 13.62%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn 4.86% way down from the previous week 9.13%

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   14.95% YTD down a heap from the previous week’s 17.50%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 5.81% way down from the previous week’s 12.01%.

*****The S&P 500 reached a BRAND NEW CLOSING ALL-TIME HIGH on Friday April 26, 2019 of 2,939.88. The previous all-time closing high was on Sept. 21, 2018 of 2,940.91. Prior to that, the high of 2,916.50 was reached on August 29, 2018.

 

-NASDAQ 19.32% YTD down a heap from last week’s 23.04%.

  • 1yr Rtn 6.91% way down from last week’s 15.18%.

*********Nasdaq reached a BRAND NEW All-Time CLOSING HIGH on Friday, April 26, 2019 of 8,146.40. Prior to that, the previous high of 8,1333.30 was reached on August 30, 2018. Before that, on August 24, 2018 reached it’s then all-time high of 7,949.71.

 

-Mutual funds

Dipping down.

At the close of business on Thursday, May 9, 2019, the year-to-date cumulative total reinvested performance of U.S. Diversified Equity Fund was 15.11%, according to Lipper. That’s down from the previous week’s close of 16.50%.

Here’s a look at how the average fund type under various equity fund headings have performed year-to-date through May 9, 2019 and compared to their 1st quarter returns:

-U.S. Diversified Equity Funds, 15.11% (still above 1st quarter return of 13.27%).

-Sector Equity Funds, 12.44 (still above 1st quarter average return of12.98%.)

-World Equity Funds, 10.77% (below their 1st quarter average return of 11.29%.)

-Mixed Asset Funds, 8.86% (lower than 1st quarter average return of 8.21%).

-Domestic L-T Fixed Income Funds, 4.14% ( higher than 1st quarter average return of 3.56%.

-World Income Funds, 4.03% (higher than 1st quarter average return of 3.77%.)

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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  • Sell in May?

For fans of a six-month investment strategy there is none better than the Sell in May and Go Away one. This technique, according to CNBC.com, involves investing in the DJIA between Nov. 1 and April 30 then switching to fixed income for the other six months of the year has proved profitable over the long haul for some.

One example, also from that same source, pointed out the following: Put $10,000 into the S&P500 between May 1 and Oct. 31, 1950 to the present, (I’m assuming that means April 30 as the story was published on May 1), and you’d have been a loser: Your 10g’s would have dwindled to $4,138. That’s a loss of $5,862. PU.

On the other hand, had you followed the Sell in May and go away formula and put $10,000 into the S&P500 from Nov.1 through April 20, you’d have enjoyed a gain of—-hold on to your hat— $2,836,350.

Another example from that same source: Plunk $10,000 on May 1 in 1950 into the DJIA, keep it there until October 31, and the years would have rewarded you with about $1,000.

But do the buy Nov. 1 and sell on April 30 beginning in 1950 and ending in April of this year and you’d have a return of over $1 million smackeroos.

Sounds tempting, doesn’t it.

But like all tempting things, this strategy comes with no guarantees of making any money over the long term. And, with our current Trump economy– that even the wisest of talking heads can’t figure out– the risk-reward ratio of putting that Sell in May play into motion is greater than ever.

Player beware.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Both the S&P and NASDAQ moved ahead last week—not so for the Dow.

But can these highs keep on going? That’s not likely if President Trump’s tariff threats re China are imposed. Tariff wars are not good for any country or their respective stock markets.

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, May 3, 2019.

DJIA 13.62% YTD down a hair from the previous week’s 13.79%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn 9.13% up from the previous week 9.13%

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   17.50% YTD up a bit from the previous week’s 17.27%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 12.01% up from the previous week’s 10.23%.

*****The S&P 500 reached a BRAND NEW CLOSING ALL-TIME HIGH on Friday April 26, 2019 of 2,939.88. The previous all-time closing high was on Sept. 21, 2018 of 2,940.91. Prior to that, the high of 2,916.50 was reached on August 29, 2018.

 

-NASDAQ 23.04% YTD up from last week’s 22.77%.

  • 1yr Rtn 15.18% up from last week’s 14.44%.

*********Nasdaq reached a BRAND NEW All-Time CLOSING HIGH on Friday, April 26, 2019 of 8,146.40. Prior to that, the previous high of 8,1333.30 was reached on August 30, 2018. Before that, on August 24, 2018 reached it’s then all-time high of 7,949.71.

 

-Mutual funds

Keeping investors smiling.

And it was another week when year-to-date returns for equity funds proved positive for fund shareholders. At the close of business on Thursday, May 2, 2019, the year-to-date cumulative total reinvested performance of U.S. Diversified Equity Fund was 16.50%, according to Lipper. That’s down a hair from the previous week’s close of 16.54%.

Looking at how equity funds performed during the first quarter of 2019 shows the following:

-U.S. Diversified Equity Funds 1st quarter average return: 13.27%.

-Sector Equity Funds 1st quarter average return: 12.98%.

-World Equity Funds 1st quarter average return: 11.29%.

-Mixed Asset Funds 1st quarter average return: 8,21%.

-Domestic L-T Fixed Income Funds 1st quarter average return: 3.56%.

-World Income Funds 1st quarter average return: 3.77%.

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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TrumpBits#33: Trump gets his Wall

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Over the past few years, candidate and now President Trump has been talking about building a wall to protect us. Now, two years into his presidency, a wall has appeared. It’s a wall created by Trump and paid for by the American public.  How long it will stand is anybody’s guess.

POCKETBOOK Week Ending May 3, 2019

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  • Sell in May?

For fans of a six-month investment strategy there is none quite like the Sell in May and Go Away one. This technique, according to CNBC.com, involves investing in the DJIA between Nov. 1 and April 30 and then switching to fixed income for the other six months of the year. For some it has has proved profitable over the long haul.

One example, also from that same source, pointed out the following: Put $10,000 into the S&P500 between May 1 and Oct. 31, 1950 to the present, (I’m assuming that means April 30 as the story was published on May 1),  you’d have been a loser: Your 10g’s would have dwindled to $4,138. That’s a loss of $5,862. PU.

On the other hand, had you followed the Sell in May and Go Away formula and put $10,000 into the S&P500 from Nov.1 through April 20, you’d have enjoyed a gain of—-hold on to your hat— of $2,836,350. (The “April 20” date is the one used in the CNBC.com story.)

Another example from that same source: Plunk $10,000 on May 1 in 1950 into the DJIA, keep it there until October 31, and the years would have rewarded you with about $1,000. Yikes. Buying on May 1 doesn’t look so smart.

But do the buy Nov. 1 and sell on April 30 beginning in 1950 and ending in April of this year and you’d have a return of over $1 million smackeroos.

Sounds tempting, doesn’t it.

But like all tempting things, this strategy comes with no guarantees of making any money over the long- or short-term. And, with our current Trump economy– that even the wisest of talking heads can’t figure out– the risk-reward ratio of putting that Sell in May play into motion is greater than ever.

Player beware.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Both the S&P and NASDAQ moved ahead last week—not so for the Dow.

But can these highs keep on going? That’s not likely if President Trump’s tariff threats re China are imposed. Tariff wars are not good for any country or their respective stock markets.

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, May 3, 2019.

DJIA 13.62% YTD down a hair from the previous week’s 13.79%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn 9.13% up from the previous week 9.13%

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   17.50% YTD up a bit from the previous week’s 17.27%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 12.01% up from the previous week’s 10.23%.

*****The S&P 500 reached a BRAND NEW CLOSING ALL-TIME HIGH on Friday April 26, 2019 of 2,939.88. The previous all-time closing high was on Sept. 21, 2018 of 2,940.91. Prior to that, the high of 2,916.50 was reached on August 29, 2018.

 

-NASDAQ 23.04% YTD up from last week’s 22.77%.

  • 1yr Rtn 15.18% up from last week’s 14.44%.

*********Nasdaq reached a BRAND NEW All-Time CLOSING HIGH on Friday, April 26, 2019 of 8,146.40. Prior to that, the previous high of 8,1333.30 was reached on August 30, 2018. Before that, on August 24, 2018 reached it’s then all-time high of 7,949.71.

 

-Mutual funds

Keeping investors smiling.

And it was another week when year-to-date returns for equity funds proved positive for fund shareholders. At the close of business on Thursday, May 2, 2019, the year-to-date cumulative total reinvested performance of U.S. Diversified Equity Fund was 16.50%, according to Lipper. That’s down a hair from the previous week’s close of 16.54%.

Looking at how equity funds performed during the first quarter of 2019 shows the following:

-U.S. Diversified Equity Funds 1st quarter average return: 13.27%.

-Sector Equity Funds 1st quarter average return: 12.98%.

-World Equity Funds 1st quarter average return: 11.29%.

-Mixed Asset Funds 1st quarter average return: 8,21%.

-Domestic L-T Fixed Income Funds 1st quarter average return: 3.56%.

-World Income Funds 1st quarter average return: 3.77%.

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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