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Stock markets in the United States retreated a bit last week.
U.S. stocks have been trending higher for months. Last week, they gave back some gains. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 3.3 percent, while the S&P 500 Index fell 2.3 percent, and the Dow lost 1.8 percent, reported Ben Levisohn of Barron’s.
It was difficult to pinpoint a specific reason for the market’s retreat. Levisohn offered a litany of possibilities that included:
The downturn could also have something to do with the Congressional Budget Office report on U.S. debt levels. Next year, our country is expected to owe more (government debt) than it produces (gross domestic product or GDP). By 2023, the U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio is estimated to be 107 percent, which would be the highest in our nation’s history.
A high debt-to-GDP level, typically, is bad news for economic growth. The World Bank has found countries with debt-to-GDP ratios that exceed 77 percent for extended periods of time, see significant slowdowns in economic growth, reported Will Kenton and Julius Mansa in Investopedia. U.S. debt-to-GDP has been above 77 percent since 2009, according to data from the St. Louis Federal Reserve.
Michael Mackenzie of Financial Times cautioned ultra-loose central bank monetary policy and enormous government spending can have unwelcome side effects. He cited an emerging markets strategist who argued, “…excessive stimulus and easy money policies led either to asset bubbles or a burst of inflation. Both outcomes ‘bode ill for share prices in the long run.’”
On the other hand, Mackenzie says, “Given the current U.S. policy mix that penalizes investors sitting on the sidelines and holding cash – given they are earning next to nothing in interest – any cooling of a red-hot market is easily framed as an opportunity. For many, it is another chance to ‘buy the dip.’”
We’ll see what happens next week.
Data as of 9/4/20
Standard & Poor's 500 (Domestic Stocks)
Dow Jones Global ex-U.S.
10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only)
Gold (per ounce)
Bloomberg Commodity Index
S&P 500, Dow Jones Global ex-US, Gold, Bloomberg Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) 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, MarketWatch, 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.
what will A ‘new’ normal look like? COVID-19 has reshaped our world. Some of the ways we have adapted will be temporary, others may become permanent. Here are just a few ways our lives and the world around us have changed:
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Michael W. Gray, Kerry L. Dyer, C. Travis Gray, CFP®, Jay E. Schaake, Nathan P. Graff
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* 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.
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* 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.
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https://www.barrons.com/articles/the-stock-markets-august-gains-turned-to-september-pain-what-happens-next-51599266176?mod=hp_LEAD_2 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/09-08-20_Barrons-Tech_Stocks_Finally_Got_Crushed-Why_the_Stock_Market_is_on_Shaky_Ground-Footnote_1.pdf)
https://www.ft.com/content/ec16193f-8728-445e-a456-530f2ca9d791 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/09-08-20_FinancialTimes-Beware_What_Comes_After_the_Easy_Money_Binge-Footnote_5.pdf)
https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/09/05/air-pollution-is-returning-to-pre-covid-levels?utm_campaign=coronavirus-special-edition&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_source=salesforce-marketing-cloud&utm_term=2020-09-05&utm_content=article-link-2&etear=nl_special_2 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/09-08-20_TheEconomist-Air_Pollution_is_Returning_to_Pre-COVID_Levels-Footnote_7.pdf)