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.

Differences matter

Differences matter

My involvement in politics as a volunteer, employee, and consultant stretches back more than 60 years. During that time, I have always been an advocate on behalf of specific candidates.

The major stock market indexes were mixed last week. The NASDAQ was down 1.1%, the S&P 500 Index fell 0.5%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.0%, and the Russell 2000 gained 0.4%. The 10-year Treasury bond yield rose about 10 basis points, as Treasury bonds fell slightly for the week. Last week, spot gold rose slightly, gaining 0.2%.

U.S. equity markets posted losses in all three indexes last week.

Last week, the gold spot price was up 0.15% and the U.S. Dollar Index was down 0.98%.

Last week, gold prices continued to find support around $1,900 per ounce.

The Halloween season has always been one of my favorite times of the year.

After a rally on Monday, the major indexes pulled back and finished last week relatively flat.

Last week, the gold spot price was down 1.61% and the U.S. Dollar Index was up 0.67%.

U.S. equity markets posted gains in all three indexes last week.

Uncertainty ahead

Gold prices continued to stay around the $1,900-per-ounce support level, closing the week at $1,906.40 per ounce.

Does every day seem the same as the last? That’s the complaint I hear most often as the pandemic wears on.

Equities were up significantly in the third quarter despite a sell-off in September.

U.S. equity markets posted gains in all three indexes last week.

Last week, the gold spot price was up 1.61% and the U.S. Dollar Index was down 0.84%

The price of gold climbed back above the $1,900-per-ounce support level, closing the week at $1,926.20 per ounce.

ETF deathwatch

September ETF Deathwatch contains 364 zombie ETFs and ETNs.

Taking personal bias out of the investing equation

I have spoken with many financial advisers lately, and, of course, one of the topics at the top of their minds was the recent presidential debate. Some of the advisers I spoke to are committed Democrats and some are committed Republicans. One would never have known that we all watched and heard the same event based on what we each thought we saw, heard, and understood—all of which was reflected through the lens of our personal bias.

The major indexes gained last week. The NASDAQ Composite finished the week up 1.48%, the S&P 500 gained 1.52%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.87%, and the Russell 2000 small-capitalization index gained 4.37%. The 10-year Treasury bond yield rose 5 basis points to 0.70%, as Treasury bonds fell for the week. Last week, spot gold closed at $1,899.84, up 2.06%.

Early this morning it dawned on me that I have not looked at the global stock market in some time. As investors, we understandably tend to focus on domestic markets—even though there is a world of opportunity available to us. Those opportunities, including those outside of stocks, are why Flexible Plan builds strategically diversified portfolios.

U.S. equity markets posted gains in all three indexes last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.87%, the S&P 500 gained 1.52%, and the NASDAQ Composite gained 1.48%. Ten of the 11 sectors were up last week; Real Estate, which posted the largest gain, was up 4.87%. Four of the eight Quantified Funds were up last week: The Quantified Evolution Plus Fund (QEVOX) gained 2.76%, the Quantified Market Leaders Fund (QMLFX) was up 2.16%, the Quantified Common Ground Fund (QCGDX) gained 2.07%, the Quantified Alternative Investment Fund (QALTX) was up 1.46%, the Quantified Pattern Recognition Fund (QSPMX) was down 0.10%, the Quantified Managed Income Fund (QBDSX) was down 0.33%, the Quantified Tactical Fixed Income Fund (QFITX) was down 1.34%, and the Quantified STF Fund (QSTFX) was down 2.24%.

Last week, the gold spot price was up 2.06% and the U.S. Dollar Index was down 0.84%.

2020 strikes again

Last week, gold bounced back after testing previous lows.

Personal benchmarks

I can still feel the doorjamb pressed hard against the back of my head, each move causing a painful tug against an errant strand of hair. But I wanted to be there, and I strained to stretch my body upward, fighting the urge to resort to tiptoes. Dad took the ruler and balanced it evenly on the top of my head. He then quickly penciled in a line at its intersection with the molding behind me.

Market Update 9/28/20

The major stock market indexes finished mixed last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.75%, the S&P 500 Index fell 0.6%, the NASDAQ Composite rose 1.11%, and the Russell 2000 small-capitalization index lost 4.0%. The 10-year Treasury bond yield fell 3 basis points, and bond prices were flat. Last week, spot gold closed at $1,861.58, down $89.28 per ounce, or 4.6%.

Gold broke out of its price consolidation pattern last week. However, instead of continuing the previous uptrend, it closed down for the week at $1,866.30 per ounce, testing the previous low of the formation set back in August.

Last week, the gold spot price was down 4.58% and the U.S. Dollar Index was up 1.85%.

U.S. equity markets posted losses in two of the three indexes last week. The NASDAQ Composite gained 1.11%, the S&P 500 lost 0.63%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.75%.

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Over 2,500 years ago, in what may have been one of the earliest examples of behavioral finance theory, ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle is reported to have said the following regarding the achievement of success.

Market Update 9/21/20

The major stock market indexes were mixed last week, with some further consolidating gains seen this year. The NASDAQ 100 Index (the laggard for the week) was down 1.4%, the S&P 500 Index fell 0.6%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.03%, and the Russell 2000 gained 2.6%. The 10-year Treasury bond yield rose about 3 basis points, as Treasury bonds fell slightly for the week. Last week, spot gold rose slightly, gaining 0.4%.

Gold and politics

Last week, we noted that gold’s price consolidation had completed a “pennant” formation.

Some of you may be surprised at how the Dow is performing compared to the other major stock market indexes—not only this year, but also over the past one year and three years.

Market Update 9/14/20

The major indexes posted losses last week. The NASDAQ finished the week down 4.60%, the S&P 500 lost 2.51%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.66%, and the Russell 2000 small-capitalization index lost 2.48%. The 10-year Treasury bond yield fell 5 basis point to 0.67%, as Treasury bonds rose for the week. Last week, spot gold closed at $1,940.55, up 0.34%.

“Fiddler on the Roof” is one of the most enduring musicals written. It first previewed here in Detroit in 1964, and I’m sure regional or touring companies will continue performing it in the future for many years to come. And, of course, the movie version is always available!

Dollar woes

Gold closed last week at $1,947.90 per ounce.

August ETF Deathwatch contains 377 zombie ETFs and ETNs.

Market Update 9/8/20

The major stock market indexes posted strong losses this week, consolidating some of the gains seen this year. The NASDAQ 100 (the laggard for the week) was down 3.1%, the S&P 500 Index fell 2.3%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.8%, and the Russell 2000 fell 2.7%. The 10-year Treasury bond yield rose about ½ of a basis point, as Treasury bonds rose for the week. Last week, spot gold also fell somewhat as investors locked in returns, losing 1.6%. Year-to-date, the NASDAQ 100 is still up over 33% and gold is up over 27%, highlighting how well these asset classes have done.

It was over 30 years ago. I sat in a pew in a little church on the village green of Franklin, Michigan. It was the usual Sunday service, but I was stirred by the sermon from a minister who was still relatively new to me.

Gold continued to consolidate around $1,950.00 per ounce last week, closing at $1,934.30 per ounce on Friday. This extended consolidation pattern provides a buying opportunity in the current gold bull market.

Why is the stock market so disconnected from what is happening in the economy? And why does it seem like all stocks—no matter what their quality—are going up?Just like you, we grapple with these complex market questions every day in our quest to bring investors better risk-managed investment solutions. These two are the ones I’ve been asked most frequently recently—which makes sense. It does seem like the market is acting illogically … but is it? Let’s take a closer look to see what’s behind it all.

Market Update 8/31/20

The major stock market indexes posted strong gains last week. The NASDAQ 100 (the leader for the week) was up 3.8%, the S&P 500 Index rose 3.2%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 2.6%, and the Russell 2000 (the worst performer for the week) gained 1.7%. The 10-year Treasury bond yield rose about 9 basis points, as Treasury bonds fell slightly for the week. Last week, spot gold continued its move upward, rising 1.3%. Lately, the metal has performed more as an inflation hedge than a safe-haven asset. It is up nearly 30% year to date.

Gold continued to consolidate around $1,950.00 per ounce last week, closing at $1,974.90 per ounce on Friday.

It’s been 51 years since we have brought a new puppy into our household. Don’t get me wrong. We love dogs and have had quite a number over the years. But it took five decades—during which we rescued many young adult dogs—before we decided we would try adopting a six-month-old puppy again.

The major indexes posted mixed performance last week. The NASDAQ finished the week up 2.65%, the S&P 500 gained 0.72%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat, and the Russell 2000 small-capitalization index lost 1.61%. The 10-year Treasury bond yield fell 8 basis point to 0.63%, as Treasury bonds rose for the week. Last week, spot gold closed at $1,940, down 0.24%. Most notably, the S&P 500 traded above pre-pandemic highs set in February. This was the fastest bear market and second-fastest bear market recovery in U.S. history.

Last week, gold bounced back after a down week, reaching $2,000 per ounce before closing at $1,947 per ounce.

Since I began investing in the late 1960s, I have always been in the active investing camp. When I started Flexible Plan Investments, Ltd., in 1981, the only investment services we offered were active management (and that is still true today). I thought an investment manager should be “flexible” rather than locked into a rigid buy-and-hold approach.

The major stock market indexes finished up last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 2%, the S&P 500 Index rose 0.7%, the NASDAQ Composite gained 0.08%, and the Russell 2000 small-capitalization index gained 0.55 %. The 10-year Treasury bond yield rose 17 basis points, as Treasury bonds lost nearly 0.9% for the week. Last week, spot gold closed at $1,945.12, down $90.43 per ounce, or 4.4%.

After setting new highs by breaking $2,000 per ounce the previous week, gold prices retraced, closing at $1,949.80 per ounce last week.

Along with jigsaw puzzle purchases, the number of new people engaging in gardening has increased this year, as we spend more time at home due to the pandemic. As Rutgers University professor, Joel Flagler explains it, “There are certain, very stabilizing forces in gardening that can ground us when we are feeling shaky, uncertain, terrified really. It’s these predictable outcomes, predictable rhythms of the garden that are very comforting right now.”

ETF Deathwatch

July ETF Deathwatch contains 391 zombie ETFs and ETNs.

The price of gold climbed well past $2,000 per ounce last week, closing at $2,028 per ounce. Gold’s year-to-date gain as of August 7 was over 28%.