Back to Reality – The Markets

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reality market crowdAfter months of eerie calm, stock market volatility has returned. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) – a measure of how turbulent investors expect stock markets to be during the next 30 days – appeared to fall asleep in November 2016. For more than a year, a level of serenity that is rarely associated with stock markets prevailed and U.S. share prices moved steadily higher.

It appears that time is behind us. Barron’s wrote:

“With February’s swift stock market correction, volatility has arrived and will probably stay awhile. The downturn last week ended a streak of 404 trading days without a 5 percent drop in stock prices from the previous high – the longest such streak in market history.

The last correction came in February 2016, when stocks dropped 15 percent. Investors then fretted that Chinese economic growth might be slowing, which turned out to be a false alarm. Long term, the latest nose dive might yet become just a bull speed bump, but there’s already been plenty of pain.”

So, is this a speed bump or is it the beginning of a bear market? A bear market, generally, is a decline of 20 percent or more, and it is normally accompanied by a recession, which is a significant decline in economic activity.

In general, financial firms and publications do not anticipate a recession in 2018, but forecasting recessions can be challenging.

No matter what happens, the key is keeping your head. At times like these, emotion grabs investors by the throat, and it can be difficult to recall markets and economies tend to move in cycles. Historically, bull markets lead to bear markets, which lead to bull markets. Likewise, economic expansions are followed by contractions (recessions), which are followed by expansions.

U.S. stock markets rallied on Friday, but the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, Dow Jones Industrial Index, and NASDAQ all finished the week more than 5 percent lower.

market comments February

Sources:

http://www.cboe.com/products/vix-index-volatility/vix-options-and-futures/vix-index/vix-faqs#1

https://www.barrons.com/articles/seat-belts-fastened-volatility-ahead-1518237935 (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/02-12-18_Barrons-Seat_Belts_Fastened-Volatility_Ahead-Footnote_2.pdf)

http://www.cboe.com/products/vix-index-volatility/vix-options-and-futures/vix-index/vix-historical-data (Click on “VIX data for 2004 to present (Updated Daily)”)

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/bullmarket.asp

http://country.eiu.com/article.aspx?articleid=1812501365&Country=United%20States&topic=Economy&subtopic=Forecast&subsubtopic=Economic+growth&u=1&pid=1173309701&oid=1173309701&uid=1http://country.eiu.com/article.aspx?articleid=1812501365&Country=United%20States&topic=Economy&subtopic=Forecast&subsubtopic=Economic+growth&u=1&pid=1173309701&oid=1173309701&uid=1

Disclaimer

*These views should not be construed as investment advice. * 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. * The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged index. 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. * Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods. * This newsletter was prepared in whole or in part by Peak Advisor Alliance. Peak Advisor Alliance is not affiliated with Skygate Financial Group. * 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.

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