In Markets "In a Nutshell"

Markets “In a Nutshell” for March 12, 2019

Investment Week at a Glance

Stocks finished down for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down -2.21%, the S&P 500 fell -2.16%, the New York Stock Exchange Composite (2,000 stocks) fell -2.25% and the average investors index (Value Line Index) was down -3.60%.  Foreign stocks (DJ Global ex U.S.) was down -1.99%.  Bond prices were lower for the week, pushing the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury down 13 basis points to finish the week at 2.63%. (Data sources: Wall Street Journal)

U.S. Hiring Slows in February

U.S. hiring slowed in February to a gain of 20,000 jobs and the slowest job growth since September 2017. This increase fell way below economist estimates of 180,000 job gains and caused some slight worry in the market last Friday. One bad month doesn’t make a trend though and the three-month average still remains at 186,000 job gains a month following exceedingly strong months in December and January and remaining right at the expansion average. The unemployment rate also fell to 3.8% from 4% as the labor participation rate fell due to seasonal factors. One bright spot in the report was the rise in wages to 3.4% from a year ago and continues climbing well above the inflation rate, which is just above 2%. While this report should be categorized as slightly discouraging for the economy, the near term outlook remains stable and will take much more bad news to bring another wave of pessimism back into the market. (Wall Street Journal)

The Market 10 years later

Saturday, March 9th marked the 10 year anniversary of the day the S&P 500 hit its lowest level during the recession at 676.53. For the past 3,653 days, the stock market has been relentlessly climbing higher and continues to show strength even this late in the current economic expansion. While there are various criticisms of how the economy has been handled since that dark period in history, the U.S. has continued to be the bellwether for innovation in the world and has been one of the last signs of hope for surging economic growth amongst developed economies in recent years. While other countries will undoubtedly take share of the world’s economy away from the U.S., the last 10 years have shown that the U.S. remains one of the great investment opportunities in the world and a country where innovation will always remain paramount to our economy. (Wall Street Journal)

Quiz:

Since the S&P 500 bottomed on March 9, 2009 10 years ago, what has been the percentage gain as of March 8, 2019?

a. 253%

b. 265%

c. 284%

d. 305%

Answer is below…

 

Have a good week!

 

Answer to quiz:

d. The S&P 500 Index has risen 305% in the last 10 years

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