Tag Archives: CNBC

POCKETBOOK Week Ending April 5, 2019

IMG_7008

  • Oh so true

I’m forever looking for the simplest, the best and the most accurate way to help investors understand what’s going on in the world of making money on Wall Street.

To that end, CNBCs Josh Brown wrote a piece last week that’s worth reading titled, “Josh Brown: How I explain the stock market vs the economy”.

In a nutshell he writes: “One of the hardest things to do as an investsor is to entertain two opposing thought in our minds at once, and find a way to keep them despite the cognitive dissonance this can produce…..

“One of the most ironic aspects of investing is that the greatest gains lie ahead at time when things are bad, but not quite as bad as everyone suspects, and slowly, almost imperceptibly getting better. This is the moment when assets are selling at discounted values and the opportunities are laying at our feet, there for the taking…

“Conversely, the worst time to invest is once everyone agrees that the environment is teriffic and that the gains will continue as far as the eye can see. It is at this moment we find ourselves paying up for assets and competing with lots of other buyers…

“But most of the time, neither the economy nor the stock market is as good as it could get, or as bad as it could get.”

That pretty much says it all.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Holy moly….another up week for all three indices followed here with the biggest winner the NASDAQ index: It was up nearly 20% year-to-date as of Friday, April 5. That’s incredible and for some investors enough to sell their y-t-d short-term position on that index, go home and not play for the rest of the year. Then again, most folks aren’t day, week, or short-term investors.

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, April 5, 2019.

DJIA 13.28% YTD up again from the previous week’s 11.15%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn 7.83% up a bit from the previous week 7.57%

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   15.39% YTD up again from the previous week’s 13.07%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 8.63% up from the previous week’s 7.33%.

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 19.64% YTD up lots from last week’s 16.49%%

  • 1yr Rtn 12.18% up plenty from last week’s 9.43%

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

And what a quarter it was with the total return of the average U.S. Diversified Equity Fund ending the first quarter of 2019 at 13.27%. But wait, there’s more as time has passed.

And one week later the trend continued. At the close of business on Thursday, April 4, 2017, the year-to-date cumulative total reinvested performance of U.S. Diversified Equity Fund was 15.05%, according to Lipper.

The great big fat total return y-t-d winner under this huge umbrella category was Equity Leverage Funds, up on average over 30%. If I were a shareholder in an Equity Leverage Fund with a y-t-d return over 30%, I’d be tempted to take some money off the table. After all, we know the downside–performance of the high flyers could fall. Oh but then again,  how high can returns go after moving up 30%? As always, nobody knows.

Mid-Cap Growth Funds continue to outperform the overall average—they were up 20.68% with Small-Cap Growth Funds nipping at their heels at 19.45%.

Under the Sector Equity Funds heading, it’s a science and tech performance world. Of the 70 Global Science/Technology Funds that Lipper tracks, the average was up 23.32%. Behind it the performance of the 185 Science & Technology Funds, the average y-t-d return was 22.02%.

Commodities Energy Funds, there are 21 of the, were up 22.01% while Commodities Agriculture Funds, 26 around, were off at -1.31%.

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.

 

-30-

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

POCKETBOOK Week Ending March 29, 2019

IMG_6991

  • What a quarter

When 2018 came to a close, generally speaking, there wasn’t much enthusiasm for robust returns coming round by the end of  Q1 in 2019. But that was months ago thinking. Today, the proof in the pudding has been revealed and 2019’s first quarter was a whopper with all indices scoring big.

According to a recent piece at CNBC.com by Bob Pisani, the quarter’s gains were shared across the board with technology stocks leading the most, up 17 percent, oil rallying from $43 at year’s end to almost $60 at the end of March 2019, industrial stocks up 15 percent with 90 percent of  S&Ps stocks  up.

And that’s all happened with the worries about what an inverted yield curve could mean to equities going forward and investor thinking.

From where I sit, the only investor thinking that matters is how you—the individual investor—are thinking. Did you rethink your personal and retirement portfolio after seeing your 2018 returns? If you did, are you glad you did, sorry you fiddled with things and/or wished you had let things go on as they were.

Whatever. The only right answer with respect to assessing quarterly–or annual– market returns is how your investments are holding up and serving you.

As in life, everyone’s portfolio holdings are as different as is the size of each of our noses, ears, waistlines and our income, savings and retirement accounts.

May each grow respectfully over time.

 

  • Dividend paying stock ideas from Louie

 I’ve always been a big fan of dividend paying stocks. Once upon a time, and when I first became a stockbroker in the early 1980’s, word was stocks paying dividends were considered a good conservative play for widows and orphans. Forget the images that thought conjures up, dividend paying stocks have pretty much always been a good play for most types of investors—the married, widowed, young, old, single, divorced, the rich and underfunded.

In Louis Navellier’s Marketmail newsletter dated March 26, 2019, he suggested investors research and consider these big blue-chip dividend paying stock ideas:

  • PepsiCo Inc. (PEP). It pays a dividend yield of 3.07% and owns brands like Diet Pepsi, Aquafina, Doritos, Lays, Lipton, Gatorade, Fritos, and Mountain Dew.
  • Kimberley Clark (KMB) pays 3.38%
  • Dominion Energy (D) paying 4.86%
  • PPL Corp. (PPL) paying 5.13%
  • Verizon (VZ) paying 4.06%

 

  • Market Quick Glance

And what a week it was with all three of the indices bringing home the bacon deliciously in their year-to-date 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, March 29, 2019.

DJIA 11.15% YTD up a jump from the previous week’s 9.32%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn 7.57% up from the previous week 6.45%

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   13.07% YTD a jump up from the previous week’s 11.72%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 7.33% up from the previous week’s 5.94%.

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 16.49% YTD up from last week’s 15.18%%

  • 1yr Rtn 9.43% a jump up from last week’s 6.64%

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 previous week ending March 21, 2019:

The year-to-date cumulative total reinvested performance of U.S. Diversified Equity Fund 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.

-30-

 

 

 

POCKETBOOK Week Ending Jan. 25, 2019

DSC04796

  • 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.

 

-30-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POCKETBOOK Week Ending Oct. 27, 2018

IMG_6072

 

  • Another look

Trump’s tax break, that helped the very very wealthy in America and corporate America, is heading in the direction of something other than the very great things it was supposed to do for the country and all of its citizens.

A couple of examples: The U.S. economy slowed in the third quarter. Additionally, revenues aren’t going to come anywhere close to covering the huge cost of Trump’s had-to-have tax plan as the federal budget deficit has exploded to $779 billion, roughly $300 billion more than estimated, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

And then there’s the stock market.

With the bears in charge, here are a few bear number tidbits worth keeping in mind from CNBC.com:

– Since World War II, the average correction for the S&P500 lasts 4 months and sees equities slide 13% before bottoming.

-Bear markets average a loss of 30.4% and last 13 months and takes stocks nearly 22 months, on average, to recover.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Well, what a week it was. The only investors I can think of who may have been happy and rewarded for last week’s performance of the DJIA and S&P500 were those who shorted their positions in them.

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, Oct. 26, 2018.

DJIA -0.13% YTD underwater from the previous week’s return of 2.93%.

  • 1 yr Rtn 5.50% way down from the previous week 9.85 %

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 -0.56% YTD way underwater from last week’s 3.52%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 3.84% way down more than half from last week’s 8.03%

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 3.82% YTD down a lot from last week’s 7.90%

  • 1yr Rtn 9.31% down from last week’s 12.78%

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 -3.37% YTD big way down from last week’s 0.42%

  • 1yr Rtn -0.91% big down from last week’s 2.65%

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

A repeat from last week:

At the close of business on Thursday, Oct. 18,2018, the average total return for funds that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading was 2.36%, according to Lipper. That’s higher than the 1.13% average return posted one week prior.

While the average performance of the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds was above water, that’s not been the case for the other types of equity funds that Lipper tracks.

So even though y-t-d numbers have improved slightly, the following broad categories of funds have y-t-d average performances that are still underwater.

Below is a comparison of the 10/18 total returns from the previous week’s numbers:

-Sector Equity Funds, on 10/18 enjoyed an average return of -1.59, an improved from the previous week of -2.51%

-World Equity Funds, an average return of -9.30, a bit of an improvement from the prior week’s return of -9.73%

-Mixed Asset Funds, -1.61% is an improvement from the prior week’s return of -2.11%

-Domestic L-T Fixed Income Funds, now- 0.67% is an improvement from prior week’s average return of -0.80%

-World Income Funds, -4.41% is an improvement from the prior week’s average return of-4.86%.

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.

 

  • Up In Smoke

If you bought into the rush of last week’s move by Canada to legalize pot, hopefully you didn’t bet the farm expecting to make a quick bundle.

Here’s what I mean; Below are the 52-week highs and lows of a few popular pot stocks along with where they closed on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018.

-Tilray ( TLRY), although it had gained 745% since its IPO in July, its 52-wk price range has gone from $20.10 to $300 per share. On Friday, the stock closed at $108.08.

-MedMen Enterprises, (MMNFF) has moved between a low of $2.61 a share to a high of $7.67 over the past 52 weeks. It closed on Friday at $4.67.

-Canopy Growth Corp (CGC) has a 52-week per share range of $16.74 to $59.25. On Friday it closed at $38.70 per share.

No new highs here.

 

-30-

 

 

POCKETBOOK: Week ending July 21, 2018

IMG_5155
We all know that President Trump sees things differently than most. The same is true when it comes to his math.
  • Trump Math

 By now we’ve all learned that President Trump isn’t well-versed in a number of things including American history, manners, telling the truth and yes, even math.

Last week he said that the stock market has gone up 40% since he was elected president. Better not take that to the bank never mind believe it.

According to CNBC.com, the S&P 500 is up 31% since Trump was elected president on Nov. 8, 2016. That’s a far distance from 40%. Additionally, the lion’s share of those gains were made last year in 2017. So far this year, the S&P has gained around 4%.

Math matters to every investor sophisticated or not,  Democrat, Republican, Independent or the Un-politically interested.

Bottom line: Betting on Trump’s math could be detrimental to one’s portfolio expectations.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

A few ups and a few downs but what counts the most is how your portfolio is doing.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for four major indices— including the dates each reached new highs—according to CNBC.com based on prices at the close of business on Friday, July 20, 2018.

DJIA 1.37% YTD up a tiny bit previous week’s return of 1.21%.

  • 1 yr Rtn 15.95% down from the previous week’s 16.08 %

Most recent DJIA all-time high was reached on January 26, 2018 of 26,616.71. The previous high was reached January 18, 2018 was 26,153.42.

 

-S&P 500 4.80% YTD up a hair from last week’s 4.78%

  • 1 yr Rtn 13.28% down from last week’s 14.44%

The S&P 500 reached its most recent all-time high on January 26, 2018 of 2,872.87. The previous high was reached on January 19, 2018 of 2810.33.

 

-NASDAQ 13.28% YTD down a bit from last week’s 13.36%

  • 1yr Rtn 22.38% down from last week’s 24.73%

Nasdaq reached a new 52-week high on July 17, 2018 of 7,867.15. The previous high was reached on July 13, 2018 of 7,843.53.

 

-Russell 2000 10.50% YTD up from last week’s 9.87%

  • 1yr Rtn 17.64% down from last week’s 18.34%

The Russell 2000 reached a new 52-week high on July 10, 2018 of 1,708.56. The previous high was reached on June 20, 2018 of 1,708.1.

 

-Mutual funds

A y-t-d total return for the average equity fund has handsomely outperformed the year-to-date returns of the DJIA and S&P500 by a couple of percentage points.

And, at the close of business on Thursday, July 19, 2018, the total return performance of the funds under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading had an average return was 6.49%, according to Lipper.

To compare, th DJIA on Friday had a y-t-d return of about 1.4% and the S&P 500, 4.8%.

Nonetheless, it’s first still a small cap world as the average cumulative total return for Small-Cap Growth Funds continue to be the out performers averaging 17.41% returns, followed by Mid-Cap Growth funds, 12.34% then Multi-Cap Growth, 12.32%.

The only other category of funds coming close to the Small-Cap performance was Science & Tech Funds with a y-t-d average return of 15.57%.

On the other hand, the average y-t-d Commodities Base Metals Funds performance stinks— it was -17.85%.

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.

 

  • Golden Cross

The price of gold can’t seem to get out of its own way.

Gold analysts are now saying that the price of this precious metal has entered into a death cross. My, that’s ugly. And, that  they don’t see anything but more bad news ahead.

A death cross is a bearish technical signal that happens when the 50-day moving average crosses below the 200-day average. And that’s not happy news for those betting on the price of gold moving out of the woods anytime soon.

On the other hand, gold could be a buy for bottom buyers and those who consider themselves long-term optimistic  investors.

-30-

 

POCKETBOOK: Week ending June 23, 2018

IMG_5016
Passed on a money-related photo this week for something far more important than money.
  • 1% Wealth Money Lessons

 If you’ve got wealth envy, forgetaboutit. No matter where one falls on the how-much-money-do-you-have chart, everybody  has money worries/concerns to some degree or another.

The ultra rich have the “rice-paddy-to-rice-paddy” thing going on—that’s the same as the “from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” concern. Both sayings point out that the delicacy and trickiness of a family keeping and maintaining its wealth through the generations ain’t easy. The paycheck to paycheck folks worry about where the bucks to keep a roof over their heads is going to come from before their next pay-day. And all the folks in the middle have money worries, too.

That said, teaching your kids about money is as important as teaching them to brush their teeth and wash their face every day.

CNBC recently published a piece titled, “What the 1 percent are teaching their children about money”. The story included four money lessons. I modified it to three. All of them are simple and worth talking with and to kids about whether you are a parent, teacher, friend, relative or someone who just likes helping kids. And, rich or just getting by.

They include:

-Have a money message and communicate those money values.

“We’re more than what’s in our bank account,” said Judy Spalthoff, executive director and head of family and philanthropy advisory at UBS. ”If what defines our family is just what’s in our bank account. It’s not productive. We’re sending the wrong message of who we are.”

In other words, I say don’t make a big deal out of teaching your kids how much money/wealth your family has or how little it has. Each of us is a unique individual with talents all our own that count and have value no matter how much money our family has or doesn’t have.

-Put your children to work.

-Give back. Teaching your kids to donate their time and talents to others might just be the most rewarding lesson you’ll ever teach them.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

It’s back to bumpy.

We are almost half way through this year and there isn’t much to crow about when comparing your year-to-date returns to that of the various indices—unless, of course, you’re a NASDAQ or Russell 2000 fan. They’re both up double digits while the  DJIA is underwater.

 

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for four major indices— including the dates each reached new highs—according to CNBC.com based on prices at the close of business on Friday, June 22, 2018.

DJIA -0.56% YTD underwater and down from the previous week’s return

  • 1 yr Rtn 14.88% up from the previous week’s 14.27%

Most recent DJIA all-time high was reached on January 26, 2018 of 26,616.71. The previous high was reached January 18, 2018 was 26,153.42.

 

-S&P 500 3.047% YTD down from last week’s 3.97%

  • 1 yr Rtn 13.16% down from last week’s 14.27%

The S&P 500 reached its most recent all-time high on January 26, 2018 of 2,872.87. The previous high was reached on January 19, 2018 of 2810.33.

 

-NASDAQ 11.44% YTD down from last week’s 12.21%

  • 1yr Rtn 23.35% down from last week’s 25.63%

Nasdaq reached a BRAND NEW ALL-TIME HIGH on June 20, 2018 of 7,806.6. The previous highs was reached on June 14,2018 of 7,768.6.

 

-Russell 2000 9.77% YTD up from last week’s 9.66%

  • 1yr Rtn 20.01% up from last week’s 19.42%

The Russell 2000 reached a BRAND NEW ALL-TIME HIGH on June 20, 2018 of 1,708.1. The previous high was reached June 12, 2018 of 1,686.37.

 

-Mutual funds

The total return performance of the funds under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading had an average return of 5.04% at the close of business on Thursday, June 21, 2018, according to Lipper. That’s up from the June 7, 2018 average total return of 5.11%.

Yes, it’s still a small cap world and will likely continue to be for the near future with Small-Cap Growth Funds up on average 15.66% followed by Mid-Cap Growth (10.56%) and Multi-Cap Growth Funds (10.55%).

Of the 25 largest funds, based on asset size, the two big winners were the Fidelity Contra Fund, 11.77%, and the American Funds Growth A Fund, 10.52%. Both are large-cap growth funds.

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.

 

  • Banks got money and they’ll spent it on you if….

Seems as though banks are so flush with cash they’re dolling it out for free. Well, kinda sorta.

If you’ve got a few hundred or many hundreds of dollars that you don’t know what to do with, consider investigating the banks that offer cash bonuses for people willing to open a new account with their bank.

But, as with  all money-related things in life, there are a few catches. Which means, ya gotta read the small print and understand the deal before you fall for it.

For instance, there are always terms—such as the amount of money required to open a checking or savings account, the length of time required to qualify for the bonus, etc.

Like I said, you’ve got to research and read the deal before committing to it.

If you don’t, all could be for naught and could wind up costing you.

Oh, and remember:  any bonus money is TAXABLE.

-30-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POCKETBOOK: Week ending June 17, 2018

  • IMG_4870
  • Not so subtle signs

The great divide between our two America’s — one in which the wealthy enjoy the fruits of their fortunes and the much larger group that finds making it harder and more challenging than ever—is not-so subtly showing signs of widening.

On the one hand, the Fed says the economy is roaring along just fine even guestimating GDP growth could hit something like 4% this year. On the other, the second rise in key short-term rates this year from 1.75 to 2% may add pennies to one’s saving accounts and money market fund accounts. But, it is also making a bigger dent  for those  who will see increases on the interest rates charged by credit card accounts,  rates on mortgages, variable line-of-credit accounts,  car loans. etc.

And everybody is noticing. Two examples: CNBC reported that half of Americans aren’t taking summer vacations this year and  real estate developers are offering super deals for new home buyers.

In my local paper on Friday (6/15/18), I saw  new home developers offering  mighty attractive discounts to entice  new home buyers to buy.

At On Top of the World, a 55+ community in Ocala, Florida where new homes are priced from the $160s to over $400s, ran a full-page read, “GET MORE FOR LESS” offering a 25% on all options.

Divosta, a developer with a huge and long-standing presence in Palm Beach County, was —get this— giving a free pool with screen enclosure—to new home buyers at their Sonoma Isles development in Jupiter through June 18th.

That said, my adult life’s experience in South Florida has shown me that whenever  real estate developers start discounting their prices and/or offering what’s typically costly upgrades, it’s been a sign that they’re concerned about sales.

The good news here is  anybody who can qualify and afford a new home at either of these developments has got to love getting any kind of discount or a new pool.

The bad news is  not everyone can either qualify for or afford to buy a new home these days. And even small interest rate hikes upward only exasperate that problem.

Now imagine what a number of interest rate hikes upward will do.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

LISTEN UP!!!! Two, yes, not one but two of the indices followed here scored big last week: Both the NASDAQ and the Russell 2000 hit new all-time record numbers last week. Yahoo for  them.

That’s something to crow about particularly since the rest of the investing arena is in a little bit of quandary with interest rates on the rise. As we all know, any move in any direction of interest impacts all sorts of things including equities.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for four major indices— including the dates each reached new highs—according to CNBC.com based on prices at the close of business on Friday, June 15, 2018.

DJIA 1.50% YTD ouch as that index is down again from the previous week’s return of 2.42%

  • 1 yr Rtn 14.27% big downward move from the previous week’s 19.52%

Most recent DJIA all-time high was reached on January 26, 2018 of 26,616.71. The previous high was reached January 18, 2018 was 26,153.42.

 

-S&P 500 3.97% YTD up a hair from last week’s 3.94%.

•1 yr Rtn 14.27% up a bit from last week’s 14.19%

The S&P 500 reached its most recent all-time high on January 26, 2018 of 2,872.87. The previous high was reached on January 19, 2018 of 2810.33.

 

-NASDAQ 12.21% YTD a whopping big move up from last week’s 10.75%

  • 1yr Rtn 25.64% also a big up from last week’s 20.94%

Nasdaq reached a BRAND NEW ALL-TIME HIGH on June 14,2018 of 7,768.6. The previous highs was reached on March 13, 2018 of 7,637.27

 

-Russell 2000 9.66% YTD up from last week’s 8.92%

  • 1yr Rtn 19.42% up from last week’s 18.15%

The Russell 2000 reached a BRAND NEW ALL-TIME HIGH on June 12, 2018 of 1,686.37. The previous high was reached on January 24, of 1,615.52.

 

-Mutual funds

Last week’s data not available yet. Data below is from previous week:

The total return performance of the funds under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading enjoyed an average return of 5.11% at the close of business on Thursday, June 7, 2018, according to Lipper. That’s up a lot from the previous week’s average total return of 2.84%.

In the big time skids this year are Latin American Funds. Of the 33 that Lipper tracks, the y-t-d average total return was underwater at -12.00%.

Other World Equity Funds that haven’t fared well so far this year was India Funds, -7.50%. And in third underwater place Emerging Markets Funds, -1.38%.

Overall, World Equity Funds are up 0.90%.

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.

 

  • Golden opportunities?

If you’re a believer in Morningstar data and research, the pros over at that Chicago-based firm aren’t expecting much in returns from that precious metal we call gold.

In a recent column by Kristoffer Inton, “Gold Steady in Face of Rate Hikes”, had this to write about the recent the impact of interest rates on gold: “This rate doesn’t change our view…. We continue to expect the gold price to fall to $1,225 per ounce by then end of 2018…. “

He continued:  “Additionally, although the recent rise in inflation bodes well for gold, we think that higher inflation will only spur a more rapid pace of rate hikes.”

And then there is this from a recent ETFTrends.com story: “China is the world’s largest consumer of many commodities, including precious metals.

“Tariffs on China could be a game changer for metals markets, ” George Gero, managing director at RBC Capital Markets, told the WSJ.”

The ETFTrends.com story points out that one area precious metals are making positive strides is in inverse or bearish ETFs.

If you’re a fan of gold, that’s an area worth investigating.

Sometimes down pays up.

 

-30-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POCKETBOOK: Week ending April 14, 2018

3E5AC7C8-1190-4E03-8BE5-CB15A902098C

  • Golden

Good news this week for gold investors. On Wednesday, gold futures traded at an intraday high of $1,369.30 an ounce, according to Gary Wagner’s Kitco Commentary on Friday, April 13, 2018.

The June Comex contract wasn’t quite that high at the close of business on Friday ($1,348.60), but even so, for the week gold had enjoyed an $11 an ounce  gain.

That’s a big deal because this precious metal has had a hard time making any kind of sustainable gains over the past few years. And, in a jumpy market like we’ve all been a part of, one might consider that a bit of an oddity.

That said, the big takeaway here is that you’ve got to go back to August 2016 to find gold trading at that high a level. “More importantly,” writes Wagner, “ the highs achieved during that rally were the first occurrence of a higher high since the multiyear correction (that) began in the middle of 2011.”

Perhaps it’s time to reconsider the value of this precious metal for ones investment portfolio other than see its worth only in golden bangles, earrings or as a cap to top off one of your back molars.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

A better performance week for stock index results than the week before with the downs not as down and the ups more up.

Look at the 1-year returns and one might even begin to wonder what all the bears on Wall Street are concerned about. Then again, the only time that 1-year returns that seem to matter to the average investor is when the end of the year 52-week results are in.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for four major indices— including the dates each reached new highs—according to CNBC.com based on prices at the close of business on Friday, April 13, 2018.

 

DJIA -1.45% YTD down but less than the previous week’s -3.18%

  • 1 yr Rtn 19.10% up from the previous week’s 15.82%

Most recent DJIA all-time high was reached on January 26, 2018 of 26,616.71. The previous high was reached January 18, 2018 was 26,153.42.

 

-S&P 500 -0.65% YTD down much less than last week’s -2.59%

  • 1 yr Rtn 14.06% up from last week’s 10.48%

The S&P 500 reached its most recent all-time high on January 26, 2018 of 2,872.87. The previous high was reached on January 19, 2018 of 2810.33.

 

-NASDAQ 2.94% YTD way up from last week’s 0.17%

  • 1yr Rtn 22.42% way up from last week’s 17.62%

Nasdaq reached a brand new all-time high on March 13, 2018 of 7,637.27. The previous high was reached on March 9, 2018 of 7,560.81.

 

-Russell 2000 0.91% YTD up from than last week’s -1.45%

  • 1yr Rtn 15.18% way up from last week’s 10.91%

The Russell 2000 reached an all-time high on January 24, of 1,615.52. The previous high was reached on January 16, 2018 of 1,604.02.

 

-Mutual funds

Lipper’s weekly mutual fund performance figures not available yet. Will post them when received.

Till then, here’s a repeat look at last week’s report: At the close of business on Thursday, April 4, 2018 the average fund that falls under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading had a year-to-date return of +0.32%. That’s up—yes up—from the previous week’s average of -0.37%.

Large-Cap and Small-Cap Growth funds were up on average well over 3% last week. Science & Technology Funds and Global Science & Technology Funds both up at 4.92 and 5.08% respectively.

Latin American Funds, too, were up–averaging almost 6% y-t-d.

The biggest loser fund type of all were Energy MLP, down on average -10.02%.

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.

 

  •   Credit Risks

The ability to raise, borrow and repay money is great deal. And one individuals as well as businesses count on. But like everything else within the world of money, risks exist and timing is everything.

Last week, Jack Ablin,CFA and Chief Financial Officer at Cresset Wealth Advisors published a piece titled “Credit Conditions and Risk Taking”.

From the piece: “The easiest way to gauge real time credit conditions is by observing the yield differential between 10-year, BBB bonds and 10-year Treasury notes. Since the bond market is roughly seven times the size of the stock market, the yield premium lenders require to extend credit to lower-quality borrowers is a useful barometer.”

While currently credit conditions are “favorable”, Ablin thinks that rising credit spreads can be an early warning sign of troubles ahead.

The chart below  provides additional insight on the subject.

img_46191.jpg

 

-30-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POCKETBOOK: Week ending March 30, 2018

  • file000242429675•April Fools

A new month. A new quarter. New Spring hopes. Maybe.

Take out any behind the scene guffaws from  White House policy makers, or economic and international surprises and the fourth month of the year could be a rewarding one for investors, if history is any guide.

Based on historical returns, ever since 1950 the S&P 500 has posted an average gain of 1.5% in April.

“From a purely seasonality point of view, April is a pretty good month…” says Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial.

And guess what? There’s a 50/50 chance he’s right.

We shall see.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Remember when the indices below were reaching new all-time highs all the time? Well, believer it or not, that was happening only three months ago in January —but for some reason it seems like oh-so long ago. That’s the funny thing about keeping too close an eye on watching year-to-date returns—they’re clearly fickle. And, unless you’re a day trader, can make you crazy and doubt your overall reason for investing.

Investing for most of us, is a long-term obligation. One that comes with bouts of the unexpected on both the up- and downsides. All of which brings us to the end of the first quarter of 2018. For  many it was in a word: lousy. The S&P 500, for instance, lost 1 percent, according to CNBC.com. It was the first time that quarter has “ended in the red  since 2009”.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for four major indices— including the dates each reached new highs—according to CNBC.com based on prices at the close of business on Thursday, March 29, 2018.

 

DJIA: -2.49% YTD improved but still down from the previous week’s -4.9%

•1 yr Rtn 16.28% up from the previous week’s 13.93%

Most recent DJIA all-time high was reached on January 26, 2018 of 26,616.71. The previous high was reached January 18, 2018 was 26,153.42.

 

-S&P 500:  -1.22% YTD improved but still down from last week’s -3.95%

  • 1 yr Rtn 11.52% up from last week’s 10.33%

The S&P 500 reached its most recent all-time high on January 26, 2018 of 2,872.87. The previous high was reached on January 19, 2018 of 2810.33.

 

-NASDAQ:  2.32% YTD up from last week’s 1.29%

  • 1yr Rtn 19.43% down from last week’s 20.20%

NASDAQ reached a brand new all-time high on March 13, 2018 of 7,637.27. The previous high was reached on March 9, 2018 of 7,560.81.

 

-Russell:  2000 -0.40% YTD improved from last week’s -1.66%

  • 1yr Rtn 10.64% down from last week’s 11.57%

The Russell 2000 reached an all-time high on January 24, of 1,615.52. The previous high was reached on January 16, 2018 of 1,604.02.

 

-Mutual funds

Not such a hot week. But there’s always tomorrow.

At the close of business on Thursday, March 29, 2018 the average fund that falls under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading had a year-to-date return of -0.37%. That’s down more than the previous week’s average of -0.11%.

Stepping back and taking a look at the big picture, while the average diversified fund was -0.37%, the average Sector Fund’s y-t-d return was -2.70 and the average World Equity Fund, kinda sorta almost flat at +0.11%.

Throw some fixed-income into the fold and the average Mixed Asset Fund’s y-t-d return was -0.90%; Domestic L-T Fixed Income Funds, -0.85%; and World Income Fund +0.97%.

Bottom line: Q1 of 2018 has turned out to be a stingy one for many investors. So, even though money market funds continue their puny returns, they nonetheless have provided people with positive returns. And as such, stand as a reminder that one keep some money in cash, short-term fixed-income investments and some in equities. How much and where is always your call.

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.

  • Gas up

Spring is here and along with it typically comes higher prices at the pump.

On a trip to Hutchinson Island over the weekend, the range for a gallon of regular gas that I saw ranged from about $2.69 to $2.72. That’s above the national March average of $2.56, according to AAA.

And it’s considerably higher than prices last year were when the national average price in March was $2.30. That, however, was way higher than in 2016 when it was $1.93.

But that 2.30 isn’t nearly as expensive as petrol was four years ago when, in 2014, the average price for one gallon of regular gas was—hold on to your hat—$3.51.

-30-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POCKETBOOK: Week ending Jan. 5, 2018

  • img_4112.jpg
  • Dogs of the Dow 2018

I’m a big fan of dogs. And dividends. Both are rewarding in oh-so many ways. And, can provide us with some of life’s finest simple pleasures—- faithful companionship and income.

With that in mind, below are this year’s Dogs of the Dow. Lest you think this investment strategy  (basically purchasing the shares of the 10 stocks of the DJIA 30 that pay the highest dividends ), isn’t worth your time, think again.

Yes, it’s true that in 2017, the Dogs’ return of 19% didn’t match or beat that of the 25% return of the DJIA,  but 19% is nothing to turn your nose up at no matter what market conditions are.

That said, below are the 2018 Dogs of the Dow, according to DogsoftheDow.com:

Verizon 4.5%
IBM 3.9%
Pfizer 3.8%
ExxonMobil 3.7%
Chevron 3.5%
Merck 3.4%
Coca-Cola 3.2%
Cisco Systems 3%
Procter & Gamble  3%
General Electric  2.8%

FYI: New to the pack of 10 this year are Procter & Gamble and General Electric.

  • Market Quick Glance

After a year in which the equity market indices continued to make new highs and new highs and new highs, many investors were smiling all the way to the bank. That said, during the last week of 2017, all four indices followed below lost ground. Not a lot of ground—but all wound up lower than they had at the end of the previous week.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for four major indices— including the dates each reached new highs—according to CNBC.com based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018.

DJIA +2.33% YTD

  • 1 yr Rtn +27.12% up from last week’s 24.72%

A new high for the DJIA was reached on January 5, 2018 of 25,299.79. Its previous high was reached on December 18, 2017 of 24,876.07.

-S&P 500 +2.60% YTD

  • 1 yr Rtn +20.92% up from last week’s 18.87%

A new high for the S&P 500 Index was reached on January 5, 2018 of 2,743.45. The S&P 500 reached its previous new high on December 18, 2017 of 2,694.97.

-NASDAQ +3.38% YTD

  • 1yr Rtn +30.04% up from last week’s 27.09%

Nasdaq reached a new high on January 5, 2018 of 7,137.04. Its previous new high of 7,003.89 was reached on December 18, 2017.

-Russell 2000 +1.60%YTD

•1yr Rtn +13.71% up from last week’s +12.64%

The Russell 2000 reached a new all-time high of 1,560.84 on January 4, 2018. Its previous new all-time high was reached on December 4, 2017 of 1,559.61.

-Mutual funds

After a financially rewarding year for many mutual fund shareholders, on Thursday, January 4, 2018, the year-to-date average cumulative total reinvested returns for equity funds that fall under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading was 1.64%.

As a point of reference, on the day before the 2017 trading year ended, Thursday, December 28, 2017, the average return was for this fund category was 18.91%. All data figures according to Lipper.

Below are fund types with a weekly performance that screeched out of the box in this new year:

  • Equity Leverage Funds, up on average +4.20.

FYI: This group had the BEST average return for fund types that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds in 2017 of +42.86%.

  • Energy MPL Funds, up on average +4.16%.

FYI: This group was the WORST average return for fund types that fall under the Sector Equity Funds heading in 2017 of -5.95%.

  • China Region Funds, up on average +3.74%.

FYI: This fund group had the BEST average return for funds that fall under the World Equity Funds heading in 2017 of +43.34%.

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.

 

  • Investing round the world.

I’m a keeper of lots of paper stuff. Lots. The other day one of the items I ran across was a chart from Thornburg Investment Management. It was a Country Indices chart showing the annual return of 20 different countries from 1995 through 2004.

Given that country investing was rewarding for many investors in 2017—world equity funds, for example, were up over 22% on average—here’s a 20-year look back at what the top three performing countries were in 1997. And then in 1998.

In 1997, the top country performers were: Switzerland, +44.84%; Italy, +36.38%; and US, +34.09.

And in 1998, the top country performers were: Korea, +141.15%, Belgium, +68.73%; and Italy, +53.20%. (The US came in in sixth place that year, up +30.72%.)

Since it’s always been and will continue to be a changing world, and, that history has a way of repeating itself in that ever-changing environment, figured the above might be an interesting read.

Wishing you much investing luck in 2018 wherever you decide to place your bets.

-30-