uncertaintyRecently, stocks have delivered a wild ride. During Thanksgiving week, U.S. stock markets took investor uncertainty on the chin, suffering a 3.8 percent drop, which was the worst performance in eight months. Then, last week, stocks reversed course. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and the Nasdaq Composite delivered their strongest weekly gains in seven years, reported Ben Levisohn of Barron’s.

So, what changed?

Two things appear to have influenced investors last week:

  1. The Federal Reserve may be becoming more dovish on interest rates. Comments made by Fed Chair Jerome Powell were interpreted to mean the Fed could stop raising the fed funds rate after December. Thomas Franck of CNBC reported:

“Powell on Wednesday said that rates were ‘just below’ the level that would be neutral for the economy – meaning they would neither speed up nor slow down economic growth. The comment diverged from a previous remark from Powell that rates were a ‘long way’ from the bank’s aimed neutral level.”

Some analysts have pondered whether recent rate hikes have been a mistake that will lead to recession.

  1. Trade tensions between the United States and China could be resolved. President Trump and President Xi Jinping will have a confab following the Group of 20 (G-20) meeting in Buenos Aires. Randall Forsyth of Barron’s offered this insight:

 “The best case that can be reasonably expected is for a truce to be declared between the United States and China, to allow talks to continue over the thorny issues of trade barriers and intellectual property. And, equally important, to avoid the consequences of the imposition of even more draconian tariffs on the world economy.”

There is little doubt volatility feels a lot better when share prices move higher than when they move lower. While uncertainty remains elevated, we may see additional jolts up and down. It may be a good idea to ensure your portfolio is well allocated and diversified. Holding diverse assets and investments won’t prevent losses during downturns but it can help minimize losses as investors pursue of long-term financial goals.

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* These are the general views of Jonathan DeYoe and they should not be construed as investment advice for any individual.

* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.

* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.

* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.

* All indices referenced are unmanaged. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.

* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in 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.

* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.

* The Bloomberg 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 Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.

* The original “Weekly Commentary” was prepared by Carson Group Coaching. Jonathan DeYoe is a member of Carson Group Coaching and adds, subtracts and edits before publishing.

* 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.

* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.

* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.

* You cannot invest directly in an index.

* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.

* “Hold On to Your Hats!”

Sources:

https://www.barrons.com/articles/s-p-500-notches-its-best-week-in-seven-years-1543625065 (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/12-03-18_Barrons-S_and_P_500_Up_4.8_Percent-Notches_Its_Best_Week_in_7_Years.pdf)
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/30/bond-market-fed-minutes-g-20-summit-and-us-china-trade-in-focus.html
https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2018/10/12/wessels-economic-update-are-the-feds-interest-rate-hikes-a-mistake/
https://www.barrons.com/articles/what-this-market-really-needs-from-the-g20-1543593590 (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/12-03-18_Barrons-What_this_Market_Really_Needs_from_the_G-20-Footnote_4.pdf)