Once upon a time, five blind men discovered an elephant. Each man examined a different part of the elephant and formed a unique impression about the animal. One believed an elephant was like a pillar, while another decided an elephant was like a snake.

In recent weeks, stock and bond markets have been telling different stories, too.

Following a rally on Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished at a record high for the 11th time last week. Reuters reported major U.S. benchmark indices have been driven higher by optimism about tax reform, eased regulation, and increased infrastructure spending.

Both Reuters and Financial Times wrote some investors have become more cautious amidst growing doubts about the pace at which the new administration’s economic policies may be achieved, as well as concerns about the outcome of European elections. These concerns are reflected in the bond market. Barron’s reported:

“The market’s recent advance has taken place on expectations of the reflationary impact of the Trump administration’s policies…the action in global bond markets suggests something else. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield ended the week at 2.317 percent, the lowest since late November, despite the reflation trade in stocks and expectations of a Fed hike by June, if not May. Even more startling was the slide in the German two-year yield, to minus 0.95 percent, by week’s end, close to a record low, amid growing concern about France’s coming presidential election. While stock investors are smiling at daily Dow records, the bond crowd seems to be hunkering down.”

Who is correct? As with the folk tale about the elephant, both stock and bond markets may be right. Fiscal stimulus could boost economic growth, supporting higher stock values. However, the positive effects of a potential stimulus package are unlikely to be felt before 2018, according to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin. In the meantime, uncertainty about governments and policies at home and abroad may have investors opting for investments they perceive to be lower risk, such as U.S. Treasuries, and that could keep bond yields lower than some had expected.
* 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 Peak Advisor Alliance. Jonathan DeYoe is a member of Peak Advisor Alliance 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.

* “Once upon a time, five blind men discovered an elephant…”

Sources:
https://betterlifecoachingblog.com/2010/07/23/five-blind-men-and-an-elephant-a-story-about-perspective/
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-stocks-idUSKBN1631DO
https://www.ft.com/content/adde67ba-fa37-11e6-bd4e-68d53499ed71 (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/02-27-17_FinancialTimes-Late_Rally_Sends_Dow_to_11th_Straight_Record_Close-Footnote_3.pdf)
http://www.barrons.com/articles/an-active-voice-for-bonds-1488000330?mod=BOL_hp_we_columns (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/02-27-17_Barrons-An_Active_Voice_for_Bonds-Footnote_4.pdf)
http://www.barrons.com/articles/the-case-for-u-s-treasury-bonds-1488000294?mod=BOL_hp_we_columns (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/02-27-17_Barrons-The_Case_for_US_Treasury_Bonds-Footnote_5.pdf)
http://time.com/4572079/best-inventions-2016/
http://time.com/4115398/best-inventions-2015/
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/flyte/story-the-levitating-timepiece
https://www.eatwellset.com/inspiration-cqyc
http://www.morganstanley.com/ideas/gender-diversity-investor-guide (Pages 3-4)

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