December 2017 Monthly Outlook – ‘Most of the Surprises’

‘ In a bull market most of the surprises happen on the upside’.  This is an old stock market axiom that seems to be coming true this year.

Coming into November 2017, I was positive but cautious based on my read of the markets and investor sentiment.  My cautious stanch looked right until 2 of the last 3 trading days of the month (11/28 & 11/30) when the stock market had an upside surprise of 1.77% in the last week of the month.   The global synchronized economic expansion appears to be accelerating as can be seen in the charts below showing the Citi Economic Surprise Index. This fueled the upside move in stocks.

12.5.2017_MONTHLY_OUTLOOK_CHART1

Source: Bespoke Investment Group

The US economy continues to show strength, with the second estimate of 3rd quarter 2017 GDP above 3%.

12.5.2017_MONTHLY_OUTLOOK_CHART2

December has traditionally been a positive month for stocks, with the S&P 500 only having 2 down  years of the last 100 years with an average gain of 1.55%

12.5.2017_MONTHLY_OUTLOOK_CHART3

Source: Bespoke Investment Group

While all of the above is quite positive, I am concerned about a near-term political risk – that being that the US Government will run out of money on December 8th, unless Congress raises the federal debt ceiling and funds the government going forward. It was originally due back on September 8th but was extended for 3 months due to the natural disasters in Texas and Florida.  Another short-term extension is a possibility, but so is a government shutdown if the parties (Republicans and Democrats) can’t reach an agreement.

The other change I am seeing is a rotation out of growth oriented industries like technology, and into more value oriented industries like financials.  I am adjusting portfolios accordingly.

As always, please call me if you have any questions or concerns. lease pass this note on to anyone you feel will benefit from the information.

Special thanks: the best compliment I can receive is a referral from a client or colleague.

I want to extend a special thanks to clients & colleagues who have recently referred me to family and friends:

Marianne H.      Eloise B.

 

December Calendar of Events   (comments and additions for future months are always welcome)

  • December is Universal Human Rights Day.  Let’s pray that all people, regardless of race, religion, gender, or nationality  can learn to treat others as we all wish to be treated.

 

December 10th            Human Rights Day   –  I have cherished the ideal  of a democratic and free society… it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die. – Nelson Mandela

December 12 – 20th    Happy Hanukkah  –    May it also be a festival of love, happiness, success, and health in your world now and always.

December 15th            Healthcare open enrollment – for coverage starting Jan 1, 2017 – ENDS!   

December 19th            Christian’s birthday

December 21st                  Winter Solstice    –       The shortest day of the year and the start of winter

December 25th            Merry Christmas – have a wonderful holiday.  Let’s all remember the true significance of this day – the birth of Christ. 

 

Sources: Bespoke Investment Group, Raymond James & Associates, CNBC.com

 

Although information herein has been obtained from sources deemed reliable, its accuracy and completeness are not asserted. All opinions and estimates included in this report constitute the judgment of the financial advisor as of the dates indicated and are subject to change without notice. This report is for informational purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation with respect to the purchase or sale of any security.

Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or a loss. Diversification does not ensure a profit or ensure against a loss. There is no assurance that any investment strategy will be successful.  Past performance is no assurance of future results.

Please consider the charges, risks, expenses and investment objectives carefully before investing. Please see a prospectus containing this and other information. Read it carefully before you invest or send money.

Information provided should not be construed as legal or tax advice.  You should discuss any tax or legal matter with the appropriate professional.

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