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.
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.