Northern Star Newsletter 11/28/2016
Periodically, I take time to share with you what our indicators are showing us with regard to the general market conditions. Here is the latest and greatest...
- This graphic is demonstrating a positive trend at the top of the range. This demonstrates that for the current period of time, the sentiment is good.
- This graphic shows that Domestic Equities are the leading asset class followed by commodities, bonds, international cash and currency. The strength currently lies with Large-Cap Growth, Technology, Energy, Industrial Metals, Latin America and the US dollar.
- "An apparent shift in emphasis from defensive to cyclical stocks has yet to affect key measures of supply and demand, which continue to offer a virtually unanimous verdict of a healthy primary uptrend. This verdict suggests the current bull-market, though aging, still likely has more months to run."
All of this information suggests that investing in the markets is, once again, a risk-on bet and that being defensive as we were previously is no longer a valid approach. With that, we are still selective in what we own, but we have been steadily rebalancing accounts for interest rate risk and putting the offense back on the field.
Till we speak again, I hope that each of you enjoyed your thanksgiving with loved ones.
Many Reasons to Give Thanks
WEEKLY UPDATE - NOVEMBER 28, 2016
During a week while many were thankful, the markets gave us much to be thankful for. Through the four-day trading week, the S&P 500 was up 1.44%, the Dow gained 1.51%, the NASDAQ added 1.45%, and the MSCI EAFE increased 1.26%.
What Happened This Week?
The S&P 500, Dow, and NASDAQ hit all-time highs: For the third straight week, the three major domestic indexes increased - and they all reached record highs. By market close on Friday, November 25, the S&P 500 was at 2,213.33, the Dow reached 19,152.14, and the NASDAQ was up to 5,398.92. Each of the indexes is now up over 7% for the year.
U.S. Dollar/Euro move closer together: A combination of positive news in the United States and ongoing economic challenges in Europe have moved the dollar and euro increasingly closer together for the past three weeks. In fact, Deutsche Bank now predicts parity between the two currencies by the second quarter of 2017- and the dollar to be worth more than the euro by the third quarter. The two currencies have not had equal value since November 2002. At the euro's highest in July 2008, it was worth more than 1.6 times as much as the dollar.
A rising dollar signals our economic strength but can also negatively affect exports. While we wait to see whether EUR/USD parity is ahead, we will say: If you have European travels planned, the favorable exchange rate is certain to be welcome news.
Oil continues to falter: Of course, not everything can be perfect in the markets. Oil continued its patchy performance to close at $47.24 on Friday. OPEC meets this week, and no one knows whether they will be able to reach a deal for oil producers to curb production. As of now, the markets are still over-saturated with oil, but we're significantly above the 10-year low of below $30 per barrel that we reached earlier this year. If production stabilizes and prices rise to a more sustainable level, then oil companies will be better able to invest in new long-term projects. For the meantime, as we all wait to see how OPEC and the major oil producers decide to move forward, enjoy the low gas prices while they last.
As we've mentioned in recent market updates, the Federal Reserve's December meeting remains the next big event on the economic calendar. The odds of an interest rate increase are now nearly 100%. But if 2016 has shown us anything, it's that even highly predicted outcomes don't always occur. In the meantime, we remain thankful for the recent market growth and continue to focus on your long-term interests. As always, we appreciate you trusting us to care for your family and financial future.
Wednesday:ADP Employment Report, Personal Income and Outlays
Thursday:Motor Vehicle Sales, Jobless Claims, PMI Manufacturing Report
Notes: All index returns exclude reinvested dividends, and the 5-year and 10-year returns are annualized. Sources: Yahoo! Finance, S&P Dow Jones Indices and Treasury.gov. International performance is represented by the MSCI EAFE Index. Corporate bond performance is represented by the SPUSCIG. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.
Deducting Medical and Dental Expenses
If you're planning to deduct any healthcare expenses on your federal taxes, you should know about the following rules:
- The amount of allowable medical expenses you must exceed before you can claim a deduction is 10% of your adjusted gross income (AGI), unless you or your spouse are age 65 or older. In this case, the AGI threshold is 7.5%. This exception will be valid through December 31, 2016. Beginning January 1, 2017, the threshold will be 10% for all taxpayers.
- You should also keep in mind that only expenses paid in 2016 are eligible for deductions on 2016 taxes. If you paid by check, you can consider the day you mailed or delivered the check to be the date of payment.
- You can only claim medical or dental expenses if you itemize deductions on your federal tax return.
Tip courtesy of Mike Patton | Forbes.com
Reach For the Driver
Drivers have exploded in size in recent years, making them bigger, longer, and much more forgiving. The next time you're faced with a choice between your driver and a fairway wood on a tight hole, consider reaching for the driver. You could choke down on the grip, tee the ball lower, or even make a 3/4 swing to mimic a fairway wood while still taking advantage of the driver's forgiving nature.
Tip courtesy of A.J. Bonar & Ryan Noll | Golf Tips Mag
Home Remedies That Work
Honey for a cough. A Pennsylvania study found that honey can help reduce coughing in children and adults.
Liquid dish soap for poison ivy. If you run into poison ivy, washing the affected area with dish soap within two hours may help prevent the itchy rash.
Ginger for upset stomach and motion sickness. Some studies have shown that small doses of fresh or powdered ginger can help relieve symptoms of nausea.
Tip courtesy of Candy Sagon | AARP Bulletin
Cut Your Energy Bill in Cold Weather
If cold weather is pushing your heating bills sky high, you can do a few things to lower the expenses.
Cut back the heat. Dialing back the thermostat even two degrees can save you hundreds of dollars a year - enough to buy sweaters and slippers for the whole family.
Insulate your water tank. By doing so, you'll keep heat from escaping.
Clean your furnace filter. If you've been running the furnace more than usual, it's probably time to clean the filter. Change your air conditioner and furnace filters every month for maximum efficiency.
Tip courtesy of Memphis Light, Gas and Water
Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.
Diversification does not guarantee profit nor is it guaranteed to protect assets.
International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors.
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 Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. The DJIA was invented by Charles Dow back in 1896.
The Nasdaq Composite is an index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market and is considered a broad indicator of the performance of stocks of technology companies and growth companies.
The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) that serves as a benchmark of the performance in major international equity markets as represented by 21 major MSCI indices from Europe, Australia and Southeast Asia.
The S&P U.S. Investment Grade Corporate Bond Index contains U.S.- and foreign-issued investment-grade corporate bonds denominated in U.S. dollars.
The SPUSCIG launched on April 09, 2013. All information for an index prior to its Launch Date is back-tested, based on the methodology that was in effect on the Launch Date. Back-tested performance, which is hypothetical and not actual performance, is subject to inherent limitations because it reflects application of an Index methodology and selection of index constituents in hindsight. No theoretical approach can take into account all of the factors in the markets in general and the impact of decisions that might have been made during the actual operation of an index. Actual returns may differ from, and be lower than, back-tested returns.
The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are the leading measures of U.S. residential real estate prices, tracking changes in the value of residential real estate. The index is made up of measures of real estate prices in 20 cities and weighted to produce the index.
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.
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.
Fixed income investments are subject to various risks including changes in interest rates, credit quality, inflation risk, market valuations, prepayments, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.
These are the views of Platinum Advisor Marketing Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named representative, Broker dealer or Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named representative nor the named Broker dealer or Investment Advisor gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your financial advisor for further information.
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