The bull market in U.S. stocks is getting really old!
In fact, this bull has been charging, standing, or sitting for more than eight years. In April, it became the second longest bull market in American history, according to CNN Money.
There are some good reasons the stock market in the United States has continued to trend higher. For one, companies have become more profitable. During the first quarter of 2017, companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index reported earnings increased by 14 percent, year-over-year. That was the highest earnings growth rate since 2011, according to FactSet.
In addition, the economy in the United States has been chugging along at a steady pace. CIO Charles Lieberman wrote in Bloomberg View:
“…U.S. economic growth is continuing at a moderate pace, an economic recovery is finally underway in Europe, inflation is under control, corporate profits are rising, and there is some prospect for tax reform and deregulation, even if whatever gets implemented is less than what is really needed. These conditions imply continued growth in corporate profits.”
Last week’s employment report boosted both stock and bond markets. Financial Times opined the report was weak enough to ease pressure on bond rates and strong enough to boost share prices higher.
No one can say with certainty how long a bull market will last. Typically, bull markets are interrupted by corrections – declines in value of 10 percent or more. Historically, bulls have turned into bears, eventually. That’s why it’s important to employ investment strategies that manage risk and preserve capital even when markets are moving higher.
|Data as of 6/2/17||1-Week||Y-T-D||1-Year||3-Year||5-Year||10-Year|
|Standard & Poor’s 500 (Domestic Stocks)||1.0%||8.9%||15.9%||8.2%||13.8%||4.7%|
|Dow Jones Global ex-U.S.||1.2||13.9||17.3||-0.2||7.0||-1.1|
|10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only)||2.2||NA||1.8||2.6||1.5||4.9|
|Gold (per ounce)||0.8||10.0||5.2||0.7||-4.9||6.6|
|Bloomberg Commodity Index||-2.0||-5.9||-5.1||-14.8||-8.4||-7.3|
|DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index||1.1||4.5||6.1||9.1||11.8||5.1|
S&P 500, Dow Jones Global ex-US, Gold, Bloomberg Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; the DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index does include reinvested dividends and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods.
Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Barron’s, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.
fresh from the annals of improbable research. Anyone who enjoys the Ig Nobel Prizes – which spur people’s interest in science, medicine, and technology by making them laugh and then making them think – may like The Annals of Improbable Research (AIR). An enthusiastically nerdy science humor magazine, the publication offers readers the opportunity to read about new and improbable things every other month.
During its 21-year history, AIR has covered a variety of topics, including:
- The Taxonomy of Barney. “In February 1994, we observed on television an animal which was there identified as a dinosaur, Barney. Its behavioral characteristics suggested that it was dissimilar to the diverse dinosaurian faunas that are so well documented…To test the hypothesis that Barney is a reptile descended from the true dinosaurs, we went into the field in order to capture and study a living specimen. This we accomplished with remarkable ease, as Barney was advertised to be appearing at a local shopping mall.”
- Horse Calculus. “The idea is that a heart is like a little battery, pushing weak electric currents in a three-dimensional pattern round the body…During each heartbeat, the vector (tip of the arrow) draws a loop – the heart loop – whose shape is a powerful diagnostic of health. Therefore it is useful to measure this loop…His specific question was: does the theory apply to a real horse or only to an ideal cylindrical horse…The moral of this is that applications of mathematical knowledge can be unexpected; you may find yourself taking a surface integral over a horse.”
- Which Feels Heavier – A Pound of Lead or a Pound of Feathers? “Which weighs more – a pound of lead or a pound of feathers?” The seemingly naive answer to the familiar riddle is the pound of lead. The correct answer, of course, is that they weigh the same amount. We investigated whether the naive answer to the riddle might have a basis in perception. When blindfolded participants hefted a pound of lead and a pound of feathers each contained in boxes of identical size, shape, and mass, they reported that the box containing the pound of lead felt heavier at a level above chance.”
Lurking beneath the unusual is some potentially useful scientific research.
Weekly Focus – Think About It
“Being a scientist is like being an explorer. You have this immense curiosity, this stubbornness, this resolute will that you will go forward no matter what other people say.”
–Sara Seager, Professor of Planetary Science and Physics
at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Value vs. Growth Investing (6/2/17)
|US Large Cap||1.04||10.47||2.46||3.25||18.86||10.60||16.10|
|US Large Core||1.61||12.39||3.41||4.44||23.56||12.01||17.91|
|US Large Growth||1.33||18.05||3.72||8.65||19.84||12.22||16.63|
|US Large Val||0.15||1.78||0.23||-3.00||13.47||7.56||13.83|
|US Mid Cap||1.15||8.66||1.80||2.34||17.21||9.42||16.65|
|US Mid Core||1.19||9.11||1.77||2.09||15.60||9.55||16.40|
|US Mid Growth||1.40||13.83||3.06||6.05||16.90||9.06||15.06|
|US Mid Val||0.83||3.23||0.59||-0.97||19.23||9.59||18.54|
|US Small Cap||1.49||4.46||0.52||0.47||18.08||8.41||15.28|
|US Small Core||1.45||3.48||-0.11||0.39||18.81||8.64||15.56|
|US Small Growth||1.84||11.50||3.69||5.44||19.21||9.43||15.20|
|US Small Val||1.09||-1.33||-2.05||-4.31||15.89||7.12||15.03|
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A Recent Conversation
I was having a conversation last week with a senior partner at one of the cities larger law firms. He had been receiving my “commentary” for some part of the 13 years my office has been forwarding every Monday. Any way he was confused as to the ways my firm was able help him. So, in order to avoid any further confusion as to how my firm is able to help our clients I put together this chart:
Michael L. Schwartz, RFC®, CWS®, CFS
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Michael L. Schwartz, RFC, CWS, CFS, a registered principal offering securities and advisory services through Independent Financial Group, LLC., a registered broker-dealer and investment advisor. Member FINRA-SIPC. Schwartz Financial and Independent Financial Group are unaffiliated entities.
This information is provided for informational purposes only and is not a solicitation or recommendation that any particular investor should purchase or sell any security. The information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to be reliable but its accuracy or completeness is not guaranteed. Any opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice. An Index is a composite of securities that provides a performance benchmark. Returns are presented for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to project the performance of any specific investment. Indexes are unmanaged, do not incur management fees, costs and expenses and cannot be invested in directly. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.
* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.
* The DJ Global ex US is an unmanaged group of non-U.S. securities designed to reflect the performance of the global equity securities that have readily available prices.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the London afternoon gold price fix as reported by the London Bullion Market Association.
* The DJ Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT TR Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
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