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The Northern Star Newsletter 1/7/19 Markets Up - And Volatile

Message from Jon

Talk about a yo-yo!

The market conditions at year end were nothing short of severe, giving investors whiplash on top of sea-sickness on top of more whiplash. As previously indicated in our newsletter, we have achieved the lowest indications of a bearish condition in Stormguard since we have begun to deploy it, and Dorsey's Relative Strength indications declined precipitously as well, leaving all but 2 charts still remaining bullish but hanging on by their fingernails. 1,2 

 After last week's rally and rise, conditions have begun to lighten as I am sure (by reading some of the headlines)-so have the hearts of investors it would seem. However, when you look closer or closely enough, you can see some interesting data that would/should leave you skeptical of the recent break in the tide of sentiment.

 As we see that when the market declines, say, 500 points and then has a good day, rebounding up 350, although we are seeing "ups and downs," we do not quite see where the markets have reached or even surpassed the original points of interest. BUT...for the sake of clarification, let's assume we did for just a second. Keep in mind the following:

$100.00 investment that has declined by 10% = $90.00

A week/Month/Year later the market climbs up 10% = $99.00

Let's look at it in a more pronounced manner...

$100.00 investment that drops 50% = $50.00

A week/month/year later the market rebounds 50% = $75.00

Although the principal is the same, the results are much more significant. This is why when I speak with you, I am not worried about a 10 or even 15% decline in account values since under the right market condition, those losses can be recovered fairly easily. It's the hurricane losses of 25, 35, 50% that are more difficult to recover, and they certainly take longer to do so!

For now, while the data still demonstrates a volatile market condition, we sit tight and remain conservative. In our opinion, we may see times that the market rallies and climbs, and this is normal bear market behavior when there are lower highs followed by lower lows when the rally does not quite seem as high or maybe as powerful, and then it declines once again.

Till we speak again, enjoy the warmer temps while they last!



  1. http://alphadroid.com/InfoPages/Market-Sentiment2.aspx
  2. https://oxlive.dorseywright.com/dashboard/8934?

Markets Up - And Volatile


U.S. markets experienced more wild sessions last week before ending in positive territory as the recent turbulence continued. In fact, we are currently in the middle of some of the most volatile market performance in more than eight years.[1] For the week, the S&P 500 gained 1.86%, the Dow added 1.61%, and the NASDAQ increased 2.34%.[2] MSCI EAFE stocks also increased, posting a 1.42% weekly gain.[3]
While the results may not seem especially dramatic, the path to get there certainly was. On Thursday, January 3, domestic stocks plunged, as factory data and a tech warning spooked investors.[4] Then, the next day, the S&P 500, Dow, and NASDAQ each gained at least 3.3%.[5] Friday's performance marked one of the largest rallies since the beginning of this bull market.[6]  

What drove the market rally?

Two key events contributed to the huge jumps on Friday: 1) the latest labor report and 2) comments from the Federal Reserve Chairman.[7]  

1.December's labor report exceeded projections.

Many people expected that the economy would add around 176,000 jobs last month. Instead, the latest data revealed that the increase was actually 312,000 new jobs in December - drastically beating expectations.[8] Not only did last month's labor report show more jobs added than anticipated, but wage growth and labor market participation also increased.[9]  

Why does this data matter?

Investors have been very concerned that economic growth is slowing. This data helped quell worries that a recession is ahead.[10]   

2. The Fed shared new policy perspectives.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell told the American Economic Association that the Federal Reserve understands the market's worries and hasn't predetermined its future interest rate hikes.[11]  

Why does this update matter?

Some of the uneasiness the markets have shown recently are a result of concerns that the Fed is tightening monetary policy too quickly. Powell's comments indicate the Fed is sensitive to economic conditions, an update that many investors wanted to hear.[12]    

What is on the horizon?

A number of unresolved situations remain for the markets and economy. The government shutdown continues, and a solution doesn't appear imminent at the moment. Trade dynamics are also still an important consideration, especially since corporations are now issuing warnings that trade is affecting their profits. Meanwhile, U.S. officials will be meeting with China this week to talk once again.[13]  

For now, the volatility we are experiencing may continue.[14] Remember, we're closely tracking developments to see how they may affect your financial life. If you have questions about how to weather these ups and downs, we are here for you. 


Monday: Factory Orders, ISM Non-Mfg Index

Tuesday: JOLTS

Wednesday: FOMC Minutes

Thursday: Jobless Claims

Friday: CPI

Notes: All index returns (except S&P 500) exclude reinvested dividends, and the 5-year and 10-year returns are annualized. The total returns for the S&P 500 assume reinvestment of dividends on the last day of the month. This may account for differences between the index returns published on Morningstar.com and the index returns published elsewhere. International performance is represented by the MSCI EAFE Index. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.

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