The Markets

Robert Burns, father of fourteen and writer of Auld Lang Syne, once said, “There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing.” Was he ever right!

Here are a few sure things:

  • The Federal Reserve intends to reduce economic stimulus by tapering quantitative easing (QE).
  • Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke plans to retire.
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth was positive in Europe during the second quarter.

Here are some of the uncertainties which may arise from them:

  • When will QE begin to end? How will changes in the program affect world economies and markets?
  • Who will be the new Fed chairman? What policies will be pursued?
  • Was the second quarter a turning point for the Euro area economy? Is Europe moving out of recession?

How has uncertainty affected things? Well, it has left U.S. Treasuries a whole lot less popular than they once were. China and Japan reduced their holdings of U.S. Treasuries by about $40 billion recently. According to Reuters, a Chinese economist said the sale of Treasuries could be attributed to expectations that bond yields will rise and prices will fall as QE ends. In the same article, a Japanese policymaker said expectations about changing Fed policies created market volatility that forced some Asian central banks to defend their currencies and that led to the sale of Treasuries. In total, about $67 billion of foreign investment money was pulled out of Treasuries in June.

Uncertainty didn’t do much for American stocks, either. At the end of last week, most major U.S. stock markets had moved lower.

Data as of 8/16/13

1-Week

Y-T-D

1-Year

3-Year

5-Year

10-Year

Standard & Poor’s 500 (Domestic Stocks)

-2.1%

16.1%

17.0%

15.3%

5.3%

5.2%

10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only)

2.8

NA

1.8

2.6

3.8

4.5

Gold (per ounce)

4.6

-19.2

-14.7

3.8

11.5

14.3

DJ-UBS Commodity Index

3.2

-6.8

-9.2

-0.6

-7.2

0.9

DJ Equity All REIT TR Index

-6.4

-1.1

1.4

13.0

5.2

9.7

Notes: S&P 500, Gold, DJ-UBS Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; the DJ Equity All REIT TR Index does include reinvested dividends and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods. Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Barron’s, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.

Best regards,

Jonathan K. DeYoe

P.S.  Please feel free to forward this commentary to family, friends, or colleagues. If you would like us to add them to the list, please reply to this e-mail with their e-mail address and we will ask for their permission to be added. This newsletter was prepared by Peak Advisor Alliance.  Peak Advisor Alliance is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. The DJ Global ex US is an unmanaged group of non-U.S. securities designed to reflect the performance of the global equity securities that have readily available prices.  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 London afternoon gold price fix as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The DJ 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 TR 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. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. You cannot invest directly in an index. Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:

http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/75831.Robert_Burns

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STAT-13-122_en.htm

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/16/us-usa-economy-capital-idUSBRE97F02T20130816

http://online.barrons.com/mdc/public/page/9_3063-economicCalendar.html (Click on U.S. & Intl Recaps; Simply Economics article ‘A Muddling Economy’; refer to Equities by the Day chart)

http://www.wikinvest.com/wiki/GDP_Flash

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324139404579012200360382222.html

http://www.cnbc.com/id/100961027

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/14/us-europe-economy-idUSBRE97D08O20130814

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/rehn/about/mandate/index_en.htm

http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/rehn/

http://www.cepr.org/content/business-cycle-dating-committee-faqs#overlay-context=content/business-cycle-dating-committee-cepr-and-nber-approaches

http://www.cepr.org/content/euro-area-recession-third-quarter-2011-2

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/g/george_washington.html

[gravityform id="5" title="false" description="false" ajax="true"]
[gravityform id="5" title="false" description="false" ajax="true"]