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Why the Market is up 5 Weeks in a Row

Cat Economy

I always find it very interesting to observe the difference in behavior as markets move up and down – especially in the press. I get it, markets tend to go down much more quickly than they go up. It’s much easier for people to get on TV and try to look smart by saying things like, “the reason the market is down over 10% in the past few weeks is ‘XYZ’” and then market that to the benefit of their own business. Unfortunately, there is very little accountability for when they are either dead wrong OR the market has five back-to-back weeks of positive returns, as we have just seen.

In case you have missed it, both the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 are now positive year-to-date at 1.02% and 0.28% respectively.

If you subscribe to the same philosophy that I do, which is have a plan for liquidity so you don’t panic in downswings, then this latest swoon in the markets have resulted in…well…not much.

I started out in this industry in 1999 after grad school and while I can’t say I’ve seen it all, man I’m tellin’ ya, I have seen a lot.

The common theme I have come not only to observe but totally embrace is that unless you need the money for something, the best thing for an INVESTOR to do is NOTHING.  If you have a good plan, you will have already forecasted the need for money and have it all ready to deploy before something happens like the past few months. Portfolio managers should be taking some action inside portfolios (to also possibly include doing nothing) to try to mitigate losses, but an INVESTOR should not be doing anything.

So What’s Going On?

Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE who is reading this sentence needs to go back and read this (admittedly long) blog post from January 20th of this year.  Whether you just skim it or read all the way through word for word, go to it.  At least look at the snapshots of the market graphs and what we were saying.

I’m not asking you to re-read it because I’m looking for pats on the back, I’m simply trying to point out that one thing we are good at is looking at the market and NOT FLIPPING OUT.

Flipping out is NOT A STRATEGY.

So back to what’s going on… One reason that is very quickly cited for the five-week improvement is the rise in oil prices.  I’ve pointed out in previous blogs that oil and stocks have traded together since late last year.

But the reality is that while oil is still affecting stocks, some better economic data have also eased concerns that the economy was set to stall.  We have been maintaining that while the economy is certainly tepid at best, we were not heading into a recession at this time.

Last week, the Federal Reserve met and added some fuel to the five-week equity market rally by changing their outlook on interest rate increases.  This caused the U.S. dollar (USD) to weaken, which also aided bullish sentiment. More on that below, but first, I believe there was one key takeaway from the Fed meeting.

The Fed reduced their forecasts from four projected rate hikes this year to two rate hikes.

As we watch the tepid economy continuing to chug along creating jobs and inflation, policymakers are focused on the weakness overseas…and that brings us to the USD.

Given that the Fed now appears less willing implement rate hikes, foreign investors have been less willing to trade their respective currencies for USD.  By looking at the USD quarter-over-quarter (meaning we compare the USD in Q1 2015 to Q1 2016) we see that it is stable.  Email me if you are interested in the data or the chart on this.

While it may seem patriotic to cheer for a stronger USD, a more stable (and weakening) dollar is a nice benefit to large corporations that do a significant amount of business overseas because they no longer have to convert their foreign sales into more expensive USD.

Basically, a strong USD hurts revenues. This was pretty apparent in Q1 earnings reports.

While the start to the next earnings season is still weeks away, investors are discounting such an event, and I think it has contributed to the recent rally.

To put a nice bow on all you’ve read above, I think there is more at play than just the gains in oil prices.  Oil prices have clearly helped, but the change in the Fed’s outlook, better economic data, and the ‘less stronger’ USD have all played a role in the turnaround in stocks.

Give us a call with any questions.

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Important Disclosure Information for “Why the Market is up 5 Weeks in a Row”

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Monument Wealth Management), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. All indexes referenced are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. The economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Monument Wealth Management. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. Monument Wealth Management is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of Monument Wealth Management’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request.

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David B. Armstrong, CFA

President & Co-Founder

Dave got into the industry when he discovered his passion for finance in his mid-20’s. He’s a combat veteran and served as an officer in the United States Marines Corps on both active duty and in the reserves, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. While serving on active duty, Dave was unable to spend money on deployments, so he became a self-taught investor. Along with a few bucks cash as a bouncer, his investing performance grew to be good....

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IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results.  Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Monument Capital Management, LLC [“MCM”]), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful.   

Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions.  Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from MCM. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. MCM is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice.  

A copy of MCM’s current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request or at www.monumentwealthmanagement.com/disclosures.  

Please Note: MCM does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to MCM’s web site or blog or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility for any such content. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.  

Please Remember: If you are a MCM client, please contact MCM, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services.  Unless, and until, you notify us, in writing, to the contrary, we shall continue to provide services as we do currently. Please Also Remember to advise us if you have not been receiving account statements (at least quarterly) from the account custodian.  

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