For the week ending Dec.19, 2015
•Interest rates up but not where it matters most: Saving
Sorry folks, while the Fed raised interest rates by 25 basis points, or 1/4 of 1 percent, don’t expect to see any bump up of returns on the deposits you make into things such as your checking, savings or money market funds. You can, however, expect to feel the pain of paying more when borrowing money. Gone now are cheapo rates on mortgages, car loans, credit card rates, etc.
•Market Quick Glance
Year-to-date returns based on Friday’s close, December 18, 2015:
DJIA -1.49 percent
S&P 500 -0.57 percent
NASDAQ +5.27 percent
Read Lipper’s performance figures on literally millions of various types of mutual funds every week. Published on Thursday’s, between 12-31-14 and 12-17-15, the year-to-date average return of the 6,067,922 U.S. Diversified Equity Funds it keeps track of was –2.37 percent.
Find all of Lipper’s weekly performance figures on both stock and fixed-income funds at http://www.allaboutfunds.com. Look for it in the left column of the home page.
-Stocks for Star Wars fans
Who can say what kind of impact The Force will have over the long run, but if it’s movie investing you’ve a penchant for, here are four companies, in no particular order, that have ties of one sort or another to the Star Wars movie:
-Disney (DIS). It closed Friday at $107.72, has had a 52-week trading range of $90 to $122.08 this year and pays a divided of 1.25 percent ($1.42 per share).
-Mattel (MAT) closed Friday at $26.19 per share and has traded between $19.45 and $31.25 this year. Its current dividend is a juicy 5.6 percent ($1.52 per share).
-Electronic Arts (EA) share price closed last week at $68.98. This year’s shares have ranged from $45.21 to $76.92. The company pays no dividend.
-Hasbro’s )HAS) last trade on Friday was at $65.83 per shares. The stock has traded between $51.42 and $84.42 this year. HAS pays its shareholders a dividend of 2.77 percent ($1.84 per share).
Or you could forget all that and simply buy Target or Wal-Mart.
I was in my local store over the past few days and shoppers carts were filled to their brim with not just Star Wars toys but with toys galore along with clothes, coffee makers and groceries thrown in just because.
Target (TGT) closed last week at $71.37. Its 52-week trading range: 68.15 to 85.81. The company pays a dividend of 3.10 percent ($2.24).
Wal-Mart’s (WMT) share price is cheaper closing at $58.85 on Friday and its dividend is a tad higher at 3.32 percent ($1.96 per share).
(Prices according to Yahoo! Finance)
-On the other end of the shopping spectrum, if you’ve been waiting for shares of luxury retailer Neiman Marcus to hit the street, you’ll have to wait as its once planned IPO has been shelved.
According to Reuters.com, the Dallas-based retailer’s same store sales have fallen for the first time in six years.
Thursday, on CNBC’s “Futures Now“, Peter Schiff said that he still expects gold to reach $5000 an ounce. While he didn’t give a date, that’s gotta be some time way away. On Friday, gold was trading around $1067 an ounce, according to KITCO.
That said, Schiff doesn’t expect to see much more downside to gold’s current price. In that interview he added: “I don’t think there’s that much downside [in gold] because I think most of this is already built into the price.”
According to Drug Store News (DSN): “Since 2005 generics have saved patients $1.68 trillion, a report released by the Generic Pharmaceutical Association showed.”
•Government monkeying around with spending
According to Watchdog.com, government agencies have “spent $8 million to put 12 primates on treadmills in Texas and paid $30,000 in fines for a host of federal violations, including performing a necropsy on a baboon that was still alive.” Oh my.
•As for a Santa Claus Rally…
Looks like investors might have to forget all of that good little boy and good little girl crap.
According to Jeff Hirsh’s recent Tumbir post comes this: “2015 is on pace to be the first losing pre-election year for the DJIA since war-torn 1939 when Germany invaded Poland…” The S&P 500 was down 5% in 1939 and as WWII broke out in Europe the stock market was down double digits the next two years.”