Market insights and analysis

How dynamic, risk-managed investment solutions are performing in the current market environment

2nd Quarter | 2021

Market insights and analysis

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Updates on how dynamic, risk-managed investment solutions are performing in the current market environment.

Gold prices started the new year by hitting $1,900 per ounce and closed the week at $1,889.10 per ounce.

The markets saw some selling pressure last week as traders looked to lighten their exposure over the long holiday weekend. That combined with the doubt surrounding the passage of a COVID relief bill resulted in mixed equity markets last week: The S&P 500 fell 0.17%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.07%, the NASDAQ Composite gained 0.38%, and the Russell 2000 led performance with a 1.72% gain. The 10-year Treasury bond yield fell 2 basis points to 0.93%, as Treasury bonds rose slightly for the week. Spot gold closed at $1,883.43, up 0.11%.

U.S. equity markets posted gains in two of the three indexes last week. The NASDAQ Composite gained 0.38%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.07%, and the S&P 500 lost 0.17%.

Last week, the gold spot price was up 0.11% and the U.S. Dollar Index was up 0.34%.

4 unconventional ways to manage risk in your portfolios

Over the years I have written about “Plan B Investing” and “Just-In-Case Investing.” Both of these are similar but different.

Gold prices remained above the 50-day moving average, closing the week at $1,883.90 per ounce.

Stocks traveled north last week, with all major U.S. indexes trading at all-time highs. The NASDAQ Composite was up 3.05%, the Russell 2000 small-capitalization index also rose 3.05%, the S&P 500 increased by 1.25%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.44%. The 10-year Treasury bond yield rose 5 basis points to 0.95%, as Treasury bonds fell for the week. Last week, spot gold closed at $1,881.31, up 2.26%.

Expectations that can lead to bad investing

This week I was listening to an expert on investor psychology who stated, “Investors feel comfortable investing when markets are behaving as they expect.” That made me think about the piece I recently wrote about the emotions of fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) and their often negative influence on investors’ decisions.

Last week, the gold spot price was up 2.26% and the U.S. Dollar Index was down 1.06%.

U.S. equity markets posted gains in all three indexes last week. The NASDAQ Composite gained 3.05%, the S&P 500 gained 1.25%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.44%.

Gold prices resumed their upward trend last week, breaking above the 50-day moving average.

The major stock market indexes finished mostly lower last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.6%, the S&P 500 Index fell 1.0%, and the NASDAQ Composite declined 0.7%. In contrast, the Russell 2000 small-capitalization index advanced 1.0%. The 10-year Treasury bond yield fell 7 basis points, and bond prices were up slightly. Last week, spot gold closed at $1,862.73, up $23.87 per ounce, or 1.3%.

Kudos to financial advisers—and their clients

I wrote an article before Thanksgiving that, in part, praised the efforts of frontline medical workers, first responders, teachers, and others for their efforts during the 2020 pandemic. We all remain thankful for their outstanding efforts this year. Additionally, our thoughts go out to all who have had medical, employment, or financial issues during this crisis, especially as we come up to the holiday season.

U.S. equity markets posted losses in all three indexes last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.57%, the NASDAQ Composite lost 0.69%, and the S&P 500 lost 0.96%.

Last week, the gold spot price was up 0.05% and the U.S. Dollar Index was up 0.30%.

Gold continued to trend above the 200-day moving average, closing the week at $1,840.00 per ounce.

And yet the virus caught me

I guess it is becoming increasingly common to have someone say, “I caught the virus.” Well, I tested positive on November 28. But I don’t feel like I caught the virus. I feel like it caught me. After all, I didn’t run after the virus—I tried to evade it.

The major stock market indexes were up last week, with the Dow and S&P hitting all-time highs. The NASDAQ composite led with a gain of 2.1%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.0%, the S&P 500 Index rose 1.7%, and the Russell 2000 gained 2.0%. The 10-year Treasury bond yield rose about 13 basis points, as Treasury bonds fell for the week. Spot gold gained 2.7%. International developed rose 1.2% and emerging markets rose 1.6%, showing a bit more strength.

Last week, the gold spot price was up 2.86% and the U.S. Dollar Index was down 1.19%.

U.S. equity markets posted gains in all three indexes last week. The NASDAQ Composite gained 2.12%, the S&P 500 gained 1.67%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.03%.

Gold prices bounced back last week after finding support at the 200-day moving average.

ETF Deathwatch

November ETF Deathwatch contains 351 zombie ETFs and ETNs.

As pointed out in last week’s Market Update, Thanksgiving week is normally very bullish for the markets. The shortened holiday week followed history in a big way. Each index was up over 2%, and for the first time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed above 30,000!

The invitation to our holiday party a few years read “Dress: Cocktail.” One of our guests, John Zilli, wondered, “What exactly does that mean?” He Googled it.

Last week, the gold spot price was down 4.45% and the U.S. Dollar Index was down 0.65%.

U.S. equity markets posted gains in all three indexes last week. The NASDAQ Composite gained 2.96%, the S&P 500 gained 2.27%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 2.21%. Ten of 11 sectors were up last week; Energy, which posted the largest gain, was up by 8.51%.

Last week, positive news about the COVID-19 vaccines provided a temporary boost for the equities market. Gold prices responded by moving down to the 200-day moving average.

The major stock market indexes finished mixed last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.7%, the S&P 500 Index fell 0.8%, the NASDAQ Composite rose 0.2%, and the Russell 2000 small-capitalization index rose 2.4%. The 10-year Treasury bond yield fell 7 basis points, and bond prices were up slightly. Last week, spot gold closed at $1,870.99, down $18.21 per ounce, or 0.96%.

Things to be thankful for

For a variety of reasons, 2020 has engendered a wide range of strong emotions for many people: fear, uncertainty, anger, depression, resignation, loneliness, and (unfortunately) sadness and grief. But for many, there have been more positive and constructive responses: determination, commitment, hope, and a sense of community.

Last week, the gold spot price was down 0.96% and the U.S. Dollar Index was down 0.39%.

U.S. equity markets posted losses in two of three indexes last week. The NASDAQ Composite gained 0.22%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.73%, and the S&P 500 lost 0.77%. Four of 11 sectors were up last week; Energy, which posted the largest gain, was up by 4.99%.

Gold moved sideways last week, closing at $1,872.40 per ounce.

Special 2020 Election Update: Part 2

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the different scenarios that history teaches are possible based on the party in control of the presidency and Congress. This was done through the lens of our Political Seasonality Index (PSI) that I developed for a series of columns back in the nineties for Barron’s magazine.

The major stock market indexes were mostly up this week, responding to positive news about the development of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Last week, the gold spot price was down 3.18% and the U.S. Dollar Index was up 0.57%.

U.S. equity markets posted gains in two of three indexes last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 4.08%, the S&P 500 gained 2.16%, and the NASDAQ Composite lost 0.55%. Nine of 11 sectors were up last week; Energy, which posted the largest gain, was up by 16.46%.

Gold climbed back from the steep decline it experienced on Monday (11/9) after U.S. drugmaker Pfizer said its COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective based on initial trial results.

Market Update 11/9/20

As Election Day turned into election week, the major indexes rallied, experiencing weekly gains not seen since April. The NASDAQ Composite surged 9.0%, the S&P 500 gained 7.3%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 6.9%, and the Russell 2000 small-capitalization index increased 6.9%. The 10-year Treasury bond yield fell 5 basis points to 0.82%, as Treasury bonds rose for the week. Last week, spot gold closed at $1,951.35, up 3.86%.

ETF deathwatch

October ETF Deathwatch contains 351 zombie ETFs and ETNs.

Conquering FUD in investing

Recently I was listening to an interview with a marketing expert who was explaining how marketing campaigns are crafted to change the way people think, shop, and vote. The discussion really got my attention when the guest said that such campaigns are designed to escalate fear, uncertainty, and doubt among the audience. He referred to this approach as a “FUD campaign.”

Last week, the gold spot price was up 3.86% and the U.S. Dollar Index was down 1.92%.

U.S. equity markets posted gains in all three indexes last week. The NASDAQ Composite gained 9.01%, the S&P 500 gained 7.32%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 6.87%. All 11 sectors were up last week; Information Technology, which posted the largest gain, was up by 9.70%.

Gold broke back above both the $1,900-per-ounce support level and the 50-day moving average, closing the week at $1,951.70 per ounce.

The major stock market indexes finished to the downside last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 6.5%, the S&P 500 Index fell 5.6%, the NASDAQ Composite slipped 5.5%, and the Russell 2000 small-capitalization index lost ground at a 6.2% rate. The 10-year Treasury bond yield rose 3 basis points, causing Treasury bonds generally to fall. Last week, spot gold closed lower at $1,878.81, down $23.24 per ounce, or 1.2%.

In 1999, I began working with writer Susan Ward at the weekly financial news magazine Barron’s to produce a series of columns on Flexible Plan Investments’ (FPI’s) Political Seasonality Index (PSI).

Last week, the gold spot price was down 1.22% and the U.S. Dollar Index was up 1.37%.

U.S. equity markets posted losses in all three indexes last week. The NASDAQ Composite lost 5.51%, the S&P 500 lost 5.64%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 6.47%. All 11 sectors were down last week; Utilities, which posted the smallest loss, was down by 3.70%.

When surprises occur in everyday investing

When we think of our lives or just talk about what we have been doing lately with a friend, we tend to focus on big events. If we have just started a new job or a baby was born, the event dominates our conversations. Similarly, in the news, election and pandemic news can consume the headlines and color what we think is occurring around us.

Election uncertainty

Gold prices broke below the $1,900-per-ounce level, testing the previous lows that were reached in late September.

Today I’d like to discuss the concept of strategic diversification (investing in multiple investment strategies to diversify among asset classes, methodologies, and time frames) in the context of the current market environment.