After a very scary October, November was relatively calm. Our portfolios mostly saw small gains. Economic data continues to improve overall, with GDP, jobs reports, and recent housing data improving. When reviewing the current value of different stock market indexes, we continue to see a large divergence. The S&P 500 (500 stocks) and DOW (30 stocks) continue a slow but steady uptrend, while the Russell 2000 (2,000 stocks) continues to lag. While it’s encouraging to see the largest companies in America doing well, it is concerning to see smaller companies struggling.
After reviewing a chart of the stock and bond markets in October, the image that comes to mind is a trampoline. Plenty of ups and downs to keep many investors on the edge of their seats. The S&P 500 closed close to the all-time high after swings over 5% both ways. Most bond funds have actually lost this month. It’s times like these that we want to remind clients to not think too short term, as trends can move slowly and then move very quickly. We believe there’s potential for big moves, which we’re prepared for. We are focusing on the fact that overall, the world economy is slowing, especially Europe, Japan, China, Canada, Russia, and Brazil.