Monthly Archives: April 2013

Market Commentary, April 15th

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The Markets

Last week, the term ‘Easy Money’ conjured both comedian Rodney Dangerfield and the U.S. Federal Reserve, and no one was certain how much respect either one should get.

The Fed accidentally e-mailed its market-moving Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes to congressional staffers and trade lobbyists on Tuesday at 2 p.m. The minutes weren’t supposed to be released to anyone until Wednesday at two. Once the mistake was realized, the Fed released the minutes early on Wednesday morning.

Markets enthusiastically embraced the minutes which appeared to focus on the idea quantitative easing will continue. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a record high more than once last week, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is already nearing analyst’s targets for the full year.

The minutes indicated committee members were less clear on the issue, according to the Washington Post, which reported:

“A few Fed officials think QE (Quantitative Easing) should be stopped immediately; a few think it should be shrunk fairly soon; many think it should be slowed if we see a rebounding job market; a few think it should continue at its current size until the end of the year; and a couple think it may need to be increased. The minutes also make clear Fed officials are not all on the same page in determining the economic climate that would trigger that tapering.”

Committee members are not the only ones who don’t know what to think about the economy. Consumer sentiment has been volatile. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Thomson-Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index showed consumer sentiment improved significantly from mid- to late-March only to decline again from late-March to mid-April. Bloomberg.com speculated weaker consumer sentiment may have been the result of the payroll tax roll and weaker U.S. economic data.

Data as of 4/12/13

1-Week

Y-T-D

1-Year

3-Year

5-Year

10-Year

Standard & Poor’s 500 (Domestic Stocks)

2.3%

11.4%

14.5%

9.9%

3.7%

6.0%

10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only)

1.7

N/A

2.0

3.9

3.5

4.0

Gold (per ounce)

-2.1

-9.3

-8.0

9.8

10.6

16.8

DJ-UBS Commodity Index

-0.2

-3.8

-5.3

-0.2

-8.7

1.8

DJ Equity All REIT TR Index

2.6

12.8

24.1

17.6

7.7

12.7

Notes: S&P 500, Gold, DJ-UBS 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 TR 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.

It has been said stock market returns revert to the mean, but what does that mean? Reversion to the mean is a statistical phenomenon. It’s the idea the further something is from the mean – or average – the more likely it is the next thing that comes along will be closer to the mean. For example, if a baseball player has a batting average of .330 and hits .180 in a game, it’s likely that player will hit better in the next game (unless, the player’s in a slump, but that is a different topic).

Reversion to the mean is the theory behind a variety of investment strategies. Analysts who employ the theory may look at an average price, an average return, or another financial statistic they find relevant. For example, they may consider whether a company’s recent performance varies significantly from its historical average performance. If its performance is worse than average, some analysts may decide the company’s price is likely to revert to the mean. In that case, they may choose to invest in the company. If the company’s performance is better than average, analysts may decide to sell shares. Similarly, if a market or index – such as the U.S. Treasury market or the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index – performs significantly worse than its mean, investors may decide better performance is ahead, and vice versa.

In 2009, an article in Forbes stated, “Mean reversion is an odd concept because it’s clearly not causal. The market’s historic return of 9 percent a year is based on over 100 years of data (what’s typically considered the modern stock market), and, of course, the ride to 9 percent is a bumpy one with major double-digit up years and big double-digit down years all averaging to that 9 percent number.” The point is any average is a moving target. After all, a significant downward movement pushes the historical mean lower and a significant upward shift pushes it higher.

Regardless of the investment theories employed by analysts and money managers, investors may want to set financial goals, carefully choose asset allocation strategies, hold well-diversified portfolios, and maintain their long-term perspective.

Weekly Focus – Think About It

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

                                                                                                            —Buddha

 

Best regards,

 

John Raudat

Canoga Wealth Management LLC

 

P.S.  Please feel free to forward this commentary to family, friends, or colleagues.

 

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC.

 

* This newsletter was prepared by Peak Advisor Alliance. Peak Advisor Alliance is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.

* 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 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.

* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.

* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

* Past performance does not guarantee future results.

* You cannot invest directly in an index.

* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/04/10/oops-fed-minutes-inadvertently-released-early-show-a-divided-fomc/

http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2013/04/10/fed-inadvertently-releases-fomc-minutes-to-banks-others-prematurely/

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-10/u-s-stock-futures-advance-before-budget-fed-minutes.html

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fearless-investors-buy-rally-as-earnings-ramp-up-2013-04-13?siteid=yhoof2

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2013/04/12/consumer-sentiment-at-lowest-level-since-july-2012/

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-12/michigan-consumer-sentiment-declined-in-april-to-nine-month-low.html

http://mathworld.wolfram.com/ReversiontotheMean.html

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/meanreversion.asp

http://www.forbes.com/2009/01/08/intelligent-investing-mean-reversion-indexing-panelJan9.html

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/b/buddha.html#bZoCEd41fpvTO4rQ.99

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Market Commentary, April 8th

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Weekly Market Commentary

April 8, 2013

 

The Markets

U.S. investors puzzled over disparate pieces of economic and world news last week. By the end of the week, major U.S. markets had tumbled indicating investors didn’t like what they’d seen.

Under new leadership, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) announced an aggressive stimulus program that will inject $1.4 trillion into its economy over the next two years. The effort is intended to end decades of stagflation. Stagflation is a period of economic stagnation characterized by rising inflation, higher unemployment, lackluster consumer demand, and lack of growth in business activity. Shares in the Japanese market, which closed before U.S. jobs numbers were announced, rose to almost a five-year high.

Elsewhere in Asia, escalating rhetoric from North Korea kept tensions high on the Korean Peninsula and negatively affected investor sentiment.

In the U.S., economic news was largely disappointing and suggested a slowdown in the U.S. economy may be ahead. Manufacturing and service numbers came in below expectations, and a U.S. Department of Labor report showed far fewer jobs were added last month than expected. On the positive side, a different report showed unemployment had ticked lower, moving to 7.6 percent from 7.7 percent.

After hitting an all-time high on Tuesday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index finished the week down 1 percent. The Dow Jones Industrials and NASDAQ Indices also tumbled, finishing the week down 0.1 percent and down 1.9 percent, respectively.

U.S. Treasury markets benefitted from uncertainty about the strength of U.S. economic growth, the outcome of the Japanese stimulus program, and the potential for violence in Korea. The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes fell to 1.7 percent.

Data as of 4/5/13

1-Week

Y-T-D

1-Year

3-Year

5-Year

10-Year

Standard & Poor’s 500 (Domestic Stocks)

-1.0%

8.9%

11.1%

9.4%

2.5%

5.9%

10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only)

1.7

N/A

2.2

4.0

3.6

4.0

Gold (per ounce)

-1.9

-7.4

-3.9

11.5

11.1

17.2

DJ-UBS Commodity Index

-2.5

-3.6

-5.3

-0.3

-8.4

1.9

DJ Equity All REIT TR Index

2.0

10.0

20.4

16.9

6.2

12.4

Notes: S&P 500, Gold, DJ-UBS 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 TR 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.

There’s a new bric in town.  You’ve probably heard of the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India, and China. The nickname was created in 2001when Jim O’Neill, an economist and the future Chairman of Goldman Sachs, used it to describe the countries of the world that would drive future economic growth. He was right about the fact they would drive economic growth. According to The Economist, “The BRICS alone have been responsible for 55 percent of global growth since the end of 2009. Dragged down by debt and austerity, the 23 countries that make up the developed world contributed just 20 percent to that growth.”

You may have noticed The Economist capitalized the ‘S’ in BRICS. That’s because South Africa recently joined the team. It’s the smallest BRICS country with a population of just 50 million compared to more than 1 billion for both China and India. South Africa’s GDP isn’t all that impressive either. It ranks 28th in the world, according to The Guardian, while China ranks 2nd, Brazil 6th, Russia 9th, and India 10th. The statistical comparison begs the question: Why was South Africa added to the list of the world’s powerful emerging countries?

According to The Economist, geographic inequity was the driving force behind the new addition. The original BRICs did not include any countries in Africa which currently is the world’s fastest growing continent. Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth is averaging about 6 percent a year, a pace that is expected to remain constant for another decade. Over the decade ending in December 2012 Africa has seen:

  • Foreign direct investment more than tripled to $46 billion
  • A 30 percent increase in real income per person
  • A 74 percent decline in HIV infections
  • A 30 percent decline in malaria deaths
  • Mobile communications grow: now there are three mobile phones for every four people
  • A 10 percent increase in life expectancy
  • Steeply falling infant mortality rates
  • An increase in secondary school enrollment

Source: The Economist

Africa is changing so rapidly many believe the continent deserves to have a voice as an emerging region of the world. How to give it that voice? The solution was to add South Africa, the continent’s largest economy, to the BRICS.

Weekly Focus – Think About It

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Supreme Court Justice

 

Best regards,

 

John Raudat

Canoga Wealth Management LLC

 

P.S.  Please feel free to forward this commentary to family, friends, or colleagues.

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC.

* This newsletter was prepared by Peak Advisor Alliance. Peak Advisor Alliance is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.

* 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 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.

* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.

* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

* Past performance does not guarantee future results.

* You cannot invest directly in an index.

* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/05/us-markets-global-idUSBRE88901C20130405

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/07/us-imf-boj-idUSBRE93604720130407

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/stagflation

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323646604578401303166664428.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/05/us-markets-forex-idUSBRE92E11120130405

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/wall-street-week-ahead-earnings-000954061.html

http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/03/economist-explains-why-south-africa-brics

http://www.economist.com/news/economic-and-financial-indicators/21574491-world-gdp

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/24/south-africa-bric-developing-economy

http://worldpopulationreview.com/population-of-india/

http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21572377-african-lives-have-already-greatly-improved-over-past-decade-says-oliver-august

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21572773-pride-africas-achievements-should-be-coupled-determination-make-even-faster

http://www.economist.com/blogs/baobab/2013/01/statistics-africa

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_experience.html#ZUhU6twlfK9oHM1G.99

 

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John Raudat

Canoga Wealth Management LLC

9 North Main Street

P.O. Box 375

Chester, CT  06412

860-526-5000

 

John Raudat is a Registered Representative with, and securities offered through, LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC.

 

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Market Commentary, April 1st

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The Markets

U.S. stock markets finished the week – and the quarter – on a positive note.

The Federal Reserve’s accommodative monetary policy and strong profit growth helped provide the lift needed to propel the S&P 500 Index to a record high. The Dow Jones Industrials Index also finished the week above its previous record close. For the quarter, the S&P 500 was up about 10 percent, the Dow was up about 11.3 percent, and the NASDAQ finished up about 8.2 percent.

Despite the strong performance overall, markets were somewhat choppy during the week. Concerns about Cyprus and the Eurozone debt crisis overshadowed markets early on. A positive report on durable goods from the Commerce Department helped push markets higher, as did a home-price index report from Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller that showed the biggest yearly increase in home prices since the summer of 2006. This report seemed to have held more sway with investors than either weaker-than-expected new home sales or lower-than-anticipated consumer confidence. Late in the week, the GDP growth rate for the fourth quarter of 2012 was revised upward, but remained sluggish at 0.4 percent annually.

The U.S. Treasury market generally has benefitted from worries inspired by the Eurozone debt crisis. The latest episodes in the crisis – the Cyprus bank bailout and Italy’s failure to form a government – helped nudge rates lower last week. The U.S. continues to be perceived as relatively safe.

Fears about Eurozone debt issues generally have had a positive effect on gold prices, too, helping the precious metal reach a record high price in September 2011. That has not been the case this year. Gold finished the quarter down by more than 5 percent.

Data as of 3/29/13

1-Week

Y-T-D

1-Year

3-Year

5-Year

10-Year

Standard & Poor’s 500 (Domestic Stocks)

0.8%

10.0%

11.6%

10.2%

3.6%

6.2%

10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only)

1.9

N/A

2.2

3.9

3.5

3.9

Gold (per ounce)

-0.6

-5.6

-4.6

13.0

11.3

17.1

DJ-UBS Commodity Index

-0.4

-1.1

-3.3

1.4

-7.8

2.0

DJ Equity All REIT TR Index

1.4

7.9

17.8

16.8

7.1

12.5

Notes: S&P 500, Gold, DJ-UBS 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 TR 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.

How fast should the united states’ economy be growing?  According to The Economist, “In the three years since the end of the recession in mid-2009, growth averaged 2.2 percent, barely half the 4.2 percent average of the seven previous recoveries.” This begs the question: How fast should the economy be growing?

Economists, academics, and policy makers have been trying to figure that out. Many have started with an economic theory put forward by noted economist Milton Friedman in 1964. His “Plucking Model” postulates the business cycle is like a string attached to a board. The board represents “the ceiling of maximum feasible output.” Once in a while, the string is plucked down by recession and then it springs back. The idea is the depth of a recession will be mirrored by the strength of the recovery that follows.

At first blush, the Plucking Model doesn’t appear to apply to this recovery. The Great Recession was the deepest downturn since World War II, and the country hasn’t snapped back. According to several recent reports, there may be a reason for this. Our ‘ceiling of optimal output’ – the fastest rate at which our economy is expected to grow – may be lower than it used to be.

  • Productivity and Potential Output Before, During, and After the Great Recession, a working paper from the San Francisco Federal Reserve, found growth in the U.S. was slowing in the mid-2000s although the slowdown was largely unrecognized before the Great Recession.
  • What Accounts for the Slow Growth of the Economy After the Recession, a Congressional Budget Office study, determined about two-thirds of the difference between America’s current growth rate and the average growth after previous recoveries is due to long-term trends including demographic changes. The other one-third is credited to low demand for goods and services.
  • Disentangling the Channels of the 2007-2009 Recessions, by James Stock of Harvard University and Mark Watson of Princeton University, also found slower growth in the U.S. is largely the result of demographic trends such as a limited labor supply as Baby Boomers have begun to retire and the number of women joining the workforce has leveled off.

Considered together, the reports seem to indicate U.S. economic growth began slowing before the recession and, unless demographic trends shift, our country may continue to experience slower growth.

Weekly Focus – Think About It

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Michael Jordan

Best regards,

John Raudat
Canoga Wealth Management LLC

P.S.  Please feel free to forward this commentary to family, friends, or colleagues.

Securities offered through  LPL Financial,  Member FINRA/SIPC.

* This newsletter was prepared by Peak Advisor Alliance. Peak Advisor Alliance is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.

* 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 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.

* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.

* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

* Past performance does not guarantee future results.

* You cannot invest directly in an index.

* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

* To unsubscribe from the Weekly Market Commentary please reply to this e-mail with    “Unsubscribe” in the subject line.

Sources:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/wall-street-week-ahead-pullback-023826452.html

http://www.foxbusiness.com/news/2013/03/28/market-snapshot-sp-500-dow-close-strong-quarter-at-record-highs/

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/hot-stock-minute/p-500-just-shy-record-blackberry-whiplash-penney-200335828.html

http://www.cnbc.com/id/100600047

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/26/markets-usa-bonds-idUSL2N0CI0ZP20130326

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/28/markets-precious-idUSL3N0CK7X020130328

http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21573969-demography-may-explain-weakness-americas-recovery-where-did-everyone-go

http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2006/01/new_support_for.html

http://www.asb.unsw.edu.au/research/centreforappliedeconomicresearch/Documents/J.%20Fernald%20-%20Productivity%20and%20Potential%20Output%20before,%20during,%20and%20after%20the%20Great%20Recession.pdf (Introduction)

http://www.cbo.gov/publication/43707 (Paragraphs 3 and 4)

http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Projects/BPEA/Spring%202012/2012a_Stock (Pages 126-129) (You may have to copy this URL into your web browser in order to view this document)

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_sports.html#OVs9di1k3zC2GzGi.99

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John Raudat

Canoga Wealth Management LLC

9 North Main Street

P.O. Box 375

Chester, CT  06412

860-526-5000

John Raudat is a Registered Representative with, and securities offered through, LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC.

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