Tag Archives: Russell 2000

POCKETBOOK: Week ending April 13, 2017

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• Pay me more

Sometimes I am totally baffled by the head-in-the-sand and sheer stupidity of many who make their  living on Wall Street, in Washington, the insurance industry, corporate America, etc.,  regarding wages.

Recently I read a headline in the financial section of an online source that hoped to draw readers in by listing the reasons why people don’t save enough money for their retirement.

The headline brought out a big Homer Simpson “D’oh” in me. Why? Because I see the answer as clear as the nose on my face.

If it isn’t clear to you, let me explain: The reason is because wages—for those with a job– still stink. And that translates into the simple reality that people aren’t bringing home a paycheck fat enough to cover monthly expenses never mind having enough to save for retirement. Many of whom, btw, live paycheck to paycheck, couldn’t handle a family emergency expense of 500 bucks and have no retirement account of any sort.

Thinking everybody has enough money to save for their retirement is just plain ignorant. About as ignorant as thinking that keeping healthy is a personal choice—no genetics involved there.

I’m not sure why the not-enough-money thing is so hard for those in corporate America, Congress, etc. to get. Unless, of course, keeping your company’s shareholders happy has become more important that paying a decent living wage to the individuals who keep your business in business. Or perhaps pure greed is behind it all. But we all know that greed has never made a country—or the citizens living in it— great.

It’s time for those who decide pay scales to wake up. Wages not keeping up with the cost of living isn’t a new story. It’s decades old. And unless serious changes are made, won’t be going away anytime soon.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Stock indices were all down at the close of this past 4-day week on Wall Street. Biggest hit was to the Russell 2000—its 1-year performance closed under water. We haven’t seen that kind of year-to-date return in more weeks than many would like to mention.

Re the markets, iIf you haven’t realized it by now, Americans don’t like wars. Or any worries or concerns about the likelihood of one anywhere in the world that the US might be involved or participate in.

And if you haven’t realized it by now, our current president has a bullying nature that some see as a positive while others find his  behavior as undermining our country’s security.

So, even though earnings reports may be strong in some sectors, nothing is stronger than fear. Realized. Unrealized. Made up. Or in-your-face.

These are delicate times. Invest carefully.

Below are the weekly and 52-week performance results— including the dates each has reached its high, according to data from CNBC.com. Data is based on prices at the close of business for the week ending  Thursday, April 13, 2017.

-Indices:

-Dow Jones +3.49% YTD, down from last week’s 4.52%

  • 1yr Rtn +14.10% down from last week’s 17.75%

The DJIA reached an all-time high of 21,169.11 on March 1, 2017.

 

-S&P 500 +4.03 YTD down from last week’s 5.21%

  • 1yr Rtn +11.82% down from last week’s +15.36%

The S&P 500 reached an all-time high of 2,400.98 on March 1, 2017.

 

-NASDAQ +7.84% YTD down from last week’s +9.19%

  • 1yr Rtn +17.37% down from last week’s 21.23%

The Nasdaq reached its all-time high of 5,936.39 on April 5, 2017.

 

–Russell 2000 YTD  -0.88% way down from last week’s +0.55%%

  • 1yr Rtn +19.20% down  from last week’s +24.87 %

The Russell 2000 reached its all time high of 1, 414.82 on March 1, 2017.

 

-Mutual funds

Ouch.

At the close of business on Thursday, April 13,2017, the average total return for U.S. Diversified Equity Funds closed at 2.98%, down from last week’s 4.17% return, according to Lipper.

Of the 20 different fund types that fall under the broad U.S. Diversified Fund heading, for the first time this year there wasn’t one group reporting a double-digit year-to-date average return. Top and bottom fund types include Equity Leveraged Funds, up on average 8.95% and Dedicated Short Bias, -6.75%.

Even World Equity Funds lost ground. The average fund under this heading was +8.21% down from last week’s 8.59%.

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.

  • The cat is out of the bag

There are no words to  excuse the violent behavior that grown adults imposed on United Airlines passenger Dr. David Dao last week. Dr. Dao’s injuries include a broken nose, teeth knocked out, a concussion and the impossible to gage long-term trauma he will suffer.

One of the results of that horrible encounter is that airlines will pay.

No, I’m not speaking of the lawsuit Dr. Dao will likely bring but the pretty much kept-to-a-secret amount of money airlines would pay to passengers willing to give up their seat on overbooked flights.

On the day of the incident, United offered passengers $400 and a free night in a hotel if they chose to take a later flight, according to Graffiotech.com.

Turns out, the cap on dollars offered within the industry is $1,350.

Who knew?

I’m guessing not many passengers.  If they had  been offered a four-figure amount to get off that plane, perhaps that incident would not have happened. Perhaps.

As a result of this better-not-ever-happen-again incident, Delta Air Lines has just upped the please-take-another-flight-offer  ante: According to The Associated Press, Delta gate agents can now offer up to $2000 to passengers choosing to take another flight—that’s up from $800. And better yet, Delta supervisors can now offer up to $9,950—up from 1350.

Perhaps, sums like that will be attractive enough to passengers and make a change of plans more palatable for all concerned.

We shall see.

 

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending Feb. 4, 2017

  • img_1539REPEAT: Markets hate uncertainty

This was the opening piece in last week’s POCKETBOOK but it’s worth rereading particularly given the decisions, actions and tweets of President Trump over the past week.

Funny thing about the stock market: On the one hand it looks ahead, on the other it doesn’t like uncertainty. Or social unrest and there is plenty of that going on.

So, with a new President in town, and one who takes bold actions and is hard to figure, investors would be wise to expect a fair amount of market volatility going forward. Also, that life is going to be more expensive on a number of fronts for individuals and the country.

Re the country, expect more debt..

Even though the GOP is no fan of debt, President Trump has been called the King of Debt. Which is okay when your kingdom is a privately held corporation. But not so okay when you are a public servant.

  • Market Quick Glance

Once again the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed over 20,000 and at 20,071.46 on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. Nonetheless, the Dow lost ground over the week from its previous week’s close —and— for the past year.

Looking at just the 1-year returns, the Russell 2000 appears to have been the place to be: Up over 36% for the past year. But numbers can be deceiving—the Russell 2000 hit its all time high in December 2016 unlike the other three indices followed here. Each of them reached their new highs in January.

Below are the weekly and 1-year performance results for four popular stock indices based on the close of business prices at the close of business on Friday, Feb. 3, according to CNBC.com. (I’ve changed sources here because Bloomberg.com has changed its format and, in my opinion, the new site, its look and the changes for the free user are horrible.)

-Indices:

-Dow Jones + 1.56% YTD, down a bit from last week’s 1.78%

  • 1yr Rtn +22.86% down from last week’s 25.32%

The DJIA reached its all time high of 20,125.58 on 1/26/17

 

-S&P 500 +2.62% YTD up a bit from last week’s 2.60% YTD

  • 1yr Rtn +20.86% down bit last week’s 20.86%

The S&P 500 reached its all time high of 2,300.99 on 1/26/17

 

-NASDAQ +5.27% YTD up a bit from last week’s 5.20%

  • 1yr Rtn +25.81% way up from last week’s 24.36%

The Nasdaq reached its all time high of 5,669.61 on 1/26/17

 

–Russell 2000 +1.53% up from last week’s +1.05%

  • 1yr Rtn +36.38% up from last week’s 34.36%

The Russell 2000 reached its all time high of1,392.71 on 12/9/16

 

-Mutual funds

A bit of a downer as far as the average goes for the 8,479 funds that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Fund umbrella. At the close of business on Thursday, Feb.2, 2017 the average year-to-date return for those funds was 1.81%, according to Lipper. That was down the previous week’s 2.61% average.

Under that broad U.S. Diversified Equity Fund heading, Equity Leverage Funds which were hotsy totsy the week before lost ground from their up 7.52% average with  YTD returns now at  5.59%. Next in performance were Large-Cap Growth Funds up 4.27% followed by Multi-Cap Growth Funds, up 4.14%.

Precious Metals Equity Funds scored the highest under the Sector Fund heading, up 17.38% on average. The average YTD return for the 2,307 funds under the Sector Fund heading was up 2.48%.

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.

 

  • Let’s talk unemployment and say “Thank You, Obama.”

When it comes to the unemployed, there are fewer of them now (on record) than there were seven years ago.

Jon Erlichman, a journalist for Fortune, the Business News Network and a number of other outlets, posted the U.S Unemployment Rates based on end of January figures.

In a nutshell, they reveal that at the end of Jan. 2010 the unemployment rate was 9.8%—at the end of Jan. 2017, that rate stood at 4.8%.

Thank you, President Obama.

The bar has now been set for President Trump, who took office officially on Jan. 20, 2017.

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POCKETBOOK:Week ending Dec.24, 2016

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  • Holiday peace and joy to all

To honor the true spirit of the holiday season, this week’s money-focused POCKETBOOK will be brief. My hope in doing so is to remind everyone that what’s most important in this life is the wealth that lives within your heart and not the material wealth you may have been fortunate enough to have accumulated.

  • Market Quick Glance

Below are the weekly and 1-year performance results for four popular stock indices based on the close of business prices on Friday, Dec. 23, 2016, according to Bloomberg.

-Indices:

-Dow Jones +17.51 YTD up from last week’s 16.96%

  • 1yr Rtn +16.65% down from last week’s 18.99%

 

-S&P 500 +13.17% YTD up from last week’s 12.84%

  • 1yr Rtn +12.27% down from last week’s 15.07%

 

-NASDAQ +10.55%YTD up from last week’s 10.02%

  • 1yr Rtn +9;68% down from last week’s 11.96%

 

-Russell 2000 +22.47%YTD up from last week’s 21.82%

  • 1yr Rtn +20.55% down from last week’s 23.55%

 

-Mutual funds

At the close of business on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016, the performance of the average U.S. Diversified Equity Fund was 11.53%, off a bit from the previous week’s close of 11.73%, according to Lipper.

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 Sept.24,2016

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October:Scary or not so much?

With September nearly over and the month that celebrates All Hallows Eve right around the corner, investors could be in for a treat.

As fate would have it, well really history, ever since 1987 the S&P500 Index has averaged a 1.8% gain during the month of October, according to Dan Wiener, editor of Fund Focus Weekly.

That’s not so bad considering there isn’t a financial commentator around who can’t help telling the investing public that the month of October has historically been fraught with market downturns. It is, after all, the month the DJIA fell 22.6% on a day now remembered as Black Monday.

But look back and  count and Wiener writes that over the past 28 October’s, 19 of them—68%–have rewarded investors with positive results.

Boo!

  • Market Quick Glance

Lookie here: At the close of business on Friday, Sept 23, 2016, all four indices had better performance records than the week before with the Russell 2000 and Nasdaq’s year-to-date weekly returns gaining the most. And, the 1-yr  year-to-date return for the Russell 2000 moved from a positive 6.9% up to 13.45%.

Below, according to Bloomberg, are last week’s closing YTD performance numbers of four popular US indices along with 1-year performance figures.

-Indices:

-Dow Jones +6.94% YTD

  • 1yr Rtn +14.96%

-S&P 500 +7.63% YTD

  • 1yr Rtn +14.57%

NASDAQ +7.01% YTD

  • 1yr Rtn +14.76%

Russell 2000 +11.64% YTD

  • 1yr Rtn +13.45%

 

-Mutual funds

Year-to-date average returns for U.S. Diversified Equity funds gained a bit over the past week as, at the close of business on Thursday, September 22, 2016, their average YTD return was 6.79%, according to Lipper. That’s a gain of more than 175 basis points from the previous week’s figures.

Under the heading of  U.S. Diversified Equity Funds, Equity Leverage Funds had a YTD performance average of +25.27%. Dedicated Short Bias Funds, on the other hand, had an average YTD average return of -23.26%.

Precious Metals Equity Funds, Lipper tracks 73 of them, were now up on average over 100% YTD at 107.93%.

World Equity Funds continued to gain strength providing their shareholders with an average return of 7.74%. Latin American Funds also continued their move upward with average YTD returns of 35.19%.

Make sure to take advantage of the wonderful world of mutual fund performance figures that Lipper publishes weekly. Use their YTD returns as a guideline for how your individual fund(s) are performing. For instance, Lipper reports the average stock fund is up about 6.79 percent so far this year. Are your stock funds doing better or worse than that?

Visit www.allaboutfunds.com for weekly updates to see 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.

Lipper’s weekly performance figures for stock and fixed-income funds are at www.allaboutfunds.com in the left column on the home page.

  • Listen up market worriers: Elections don’t matter much

According to Ric Edelman, former CEO of Edelman Financial Services, worrying about whether Clinton or Trump makes it into the White House isn’t likely to wreck your investment portfolio unless…..

“History is very clear on this point,” Edelman said in an interview with ETF.com. “Going back to 1948, the impact of every president on the financial markets is very clear. Presidents do not adversely affect the markets.”

The “unless” is if we are in a recession. Or, you won’t need your money for four to eight years. That’s the longest a president can remain in office.

Investors during the Nixon and Bush years, realized the pain that recessions can impose upon one’s investment portfolio.

Guess that means that going forward the big question all investors are faced with is: Is there a recession in our future? And if you think so, the next question is: Can you personally afford any market losses?

And so— without a clear cut answer in site—it goes…..

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