Market insights and analysis

How dynamic, risk-managed investment solutions are performing in the current market environment

2nd Quarter | 2021

Market insights and analysis

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Updates on how dynamic, risk-managed investment solutions are performing in the current market environment.

Is your portfolio ready for takeoff?

Before the pandemic, we used to invite financial advisers to visit our home office. These visits let us get to know advisers better and allowed advisers to meet the people who make good things happen behind the scenes when they engage us as a third-party money manager for their investor clients.

U.S. equity markets posted gains in all three indexes last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 4.07%, the NASDAQ Composite gained 3.09%, and the S&P 500 gained 2.64%.

Last week, the gold spot price was up 1.56% and the U.S. Dollar Index was down 0.32%.

Gold prices bounced off the support level at $1,675.00 per ounce, closing the week at $1,719.80 per ounce.

ETF Deathwatch

February ETF Deathwatch contains 320 zombie ETFs and ETNs.

The equity markets were mixed last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.82% and the S&P 500 was up 0.81%. The Russell 2000 small-cap index was down 0.40% for the week, and the tech-dominated NASDAQ Composite fell 2.06%. The 10-year Treasury bond yield rose 16 basis points to 1.57%, as Treasury bonds fell significantly for the week. Spot gold closed at $1,700.64, down 1.93%.

U.S. equity markets posted gains in two of three indexes last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.82%, the S&P 500 gained 0.81%, and the NASDAQ Composite lost 2.06%.

Last week, the gold spot price was down 1.93% and the U.S. Dollar Index was up 1.21%.

In investing, as in life, it’s all relative

A couple of years ago, I was at physical therapy for a back ailment. They had me begin on the treadmill. Trudging along, time seemed to drag. Reaching the end of the exercise interval seemed like a distant goal. As I looked around the room in abject boredom, I noticed a group of therapists chatting away with another client. They were animated. The level of chatter increased. They were so engaged!

Gold prices continued to fall last week, approaching a support level at $1,675.00 per ounce.

The major stock market indexes tumbled last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.8%, the S&P 500 Index declined 2.5%, the NASDAQ Composite fell 4.9%, and the Russell 2000 small-capitalization index dipped 2.9%. The 10-year Treasury bond yield rose 6 basis points to 1.405%, as its price weakened. Spot gold closed the week at $1,734.04, down $50.21 per ounce, or 2.8%.

Visualizing the benefits of risk management

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a financial adviser’s analogy between the strategy in a Kansas City Chiefs 2021 playoff game and investor behavior. In that example, the point was how financial advisers could help their clients with the concept of “behavioral adherence,” or sticking with a well-constructed and risk-managed investment plan even when times get tough.

Last week, the gold spot price was down 2.81% and the U.S. Dollar Index was up 0.57%.

U.S. equity markets posted losses in all three indexes last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.78%, the S&P 500 lost 2.45%, and the NASDAQ Composite lost 4.92%. Energy, up 4.33%, was the only one of the 11 sectors to post a gain for the week.

Gold prices broke down below their 50-day moving average, closing the week at $1,728.80 per ounce.

Why it pays to have a flexible portfolio

When I get the opportunity to share my thoughts in this column, I generally pull from my recent conversations with financial advisers and their clients.

Market Update 2/22/21

Major U.S. indexes ended mostly lower last week, as inflation worries returned and longer-term yields saw their highest levels in almost a year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up by 0.1%, the S&P 500 decreased by 0.7%, the Russell 2000 small-capitalization index fell 1.0%, and the NASDAQ Composite was down 1.6%. The 10-year Treasury bond yield rose 13 basis points to 1.33%, as Treasury bonds fell for the week. Last week, spot gold closed at $1,784.25, down 2.19%.

ETF Deathwatch for January 2021

January ETF Deathwatch contains 339 zombie ETFs and ETNs.

U.S. equity markets posted gains in only one of three indexes last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.11%, the S&P 500 lost 0.71%, and the NASDAQ Composite lost 1.57%.

Last week, the gold spot price was down 2.19% and the U.S. Dollar Index was down 0.13%.

Gold prices continued to consolidate around the center of a large pennant formation on the weekly chart, closing the week at $1,777.40 per ounce.

Market Update 2/16/21

Equity markets were up last week. The Russell 2000 Index posted the best performance with a 2.51% gain, followed by the NASDAQ composite (+1.73%), the S&P 500 Index (+1.23%), and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+1.00%). The 10-year Treasury bond yield rose 4.5 basis points to 1.21%, as Treasury bonds fell slightly for the week. Last week, spot gold closed at $1,824.23, up 0.56%.

Staying relevant over the long run

I was listening to one of my favorite early morning radio shows last week. While it offers hard national and local news, it also features some lighter lifestyle stories. That can be a welcome change of pace these days.

U.S. equity markets posted gains in all three indexes last week. The NASDAQ Composite gained 1.73%, the S&P 500 gained 1.23%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1%. Eight of the 11 sectors were up last week; Energy, which posted the largest gain, was up 4.33%. Seven of the eight Quantified Funds were up last week: The Quantified Common Ground Fund (QCGDX) gained 3.75%, the Quantified Market Leaders Fund (QMLFX) was up 3.74%, the Quantified Evolution Plus Fund (QEVOX) was up 3.33%, the Quantified STF Fund (QSTFX) was up 2.82%, the Quantified Alternative Investment Fund (QALTX) was up 2.34%, the Quantified Pattern Recognition Fund (QSPMX) gained 0.63%, the Quantified Managed Income Fund (QBDSX) was up 0.11%, and the Quantified Tactical Fixed Income Fund (QFITX) was down 0.66%.

Last week, the gold spot price was up 0.56% and the U.S. Dollar Index was down 0.62%.

Gold prices continued to consolidate around $1,800 per ounce, closing last week at $1,823.20 per ounce.

U.S. equity markets posted gains in all three indexes last week. The NASDAQ Composite gained 6.01%, the S&P 500 gained 4.65%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 3.89%.

Last week, the gold spot price was down 1.82% and the U.S. Dollar Index was up 0.51%.

Market Update 2/8/21

The major stock market indexes soared higher last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 3.9%, the S&P 500 Index rose 4.6%, the NASDAQ Composite climbed 6.0%, and the Russell 2000 small-capitalization index increased 7.7%. The 10-year Treasury bond yield rose 10 basis points to 1.168%, as its price weakened. Spot gold closed the week at $1,814.11, down $3.54 per ounce, or 1.82%.

Don’t let market volatility become your volatility

I’m sure most of you noticed the recent spike in market volatility during the last week of January, related in part to the highly unusual trading in heavily shorted stocks such as GameStop and AMC. The VIX volatility index, known as the market’s “fear gauge,” jumped to 37 on Wednesday, January 27. According to Bloomberg, this was “the biggest one-day move since the pandemic-spurred market crash” in March 2020. CNBC reported that the VIX closed on January 29 “with its biggest weekly gain since June [2020].”

Inflation warning

Gold broke down last week, testing January’s low at $1,800 per ounce before rallying back to close at $1,800.30 per ounce.

Market Update 2/1/21

Major U.S. indexes pulled back last week, experiencing record trading volumes and high volatility. The Russell 2000 small-capitalization index fell 4.4%, the NASDAQ Composite was down 3.5%, the S&P 500 decreased by 3.3%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 3.3%. The 10-year Treasury bond yield fell 2 basis points to 1.07%, as Treasury bonds rose for the week. Last week, spot gold closed at $1,847.65, down 0.43%.

Sticking with your investment game plan

Jerry Wagner, Flexible Plan Investments’ (FPI’s) founder and president, offered this piece of advice to financial advisers and investors in a recent article: “Have a plan and stick to it. As I’ve written many times, whether it is trying to invest by following headlines, financial talking heads, so-called market experts, or political predictions, none of these sources are likely to lead investors to long-term profits.

Last week, the gold spot price was down 0.43% and the U.S. Dollar Index was up 0.38%.

U.S. equity markets posted losses in all three indexes last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 3.27%, the S&P 500 lost 3.31%, and the NASDAQ Composite lost 3.49%. All 11 sectors were down last week; Real Estate, which posted the smallest loss, was down 0.15%.

Gold prices continued to consolidate last week, as the 50-day and 200-day averages converged.

The major stock market indexes finished higher last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.6%, the S&P 500 Index rose 1.9%, the NASDAQ Composite climbed 4.2%, and the Russell 2000 small-capitalization index increased 2.2%. The 10-year Treasury bond yield and its price ended the week essentially flat. Last week, spot gold closed at $1,855.61, up $27.16 per ounce, or 1.5%.

No one thing leads to success

Watching the NFL playoff games this past weekend, I noticed the winning teams’ quarterbacks got much of the credit and much of the press. But there are 53 players on each team’s roster and many more behind them contributing to each team’s success.

U.S. equity markets posted gains in all three indexes last week. The NASDAQ Composite gained 4.19%, the S&P 500 gained 1.94%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.59%.

Last week, the gold spot price was up 1.49% and the U.S. Dollar Index was down 0.59%.

Gold prices ended last week at $1,856.20 per ounce and remained above the 200-day moving average on the daily chart.

Last week, the gold spot price was down 1.11% and the U.S. Dollar Index was up 0.75%. The Gold Bullion Strategy Fund (QGLDX) lost 1.22% for the week. The value of the COMEX gold futures, which closes early at 1:30 p.m., was down 0.30% for the week. The short-duration fixed-income ETF holdings within QGLDX were up for the week, averaging about a 0.03% gain.

U.S. equity markets posted losses in all three indexes last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.91%, the S&P 500 lost 1.48%, and the NASDAQ Composite lost 1.54%. Four of 11 sectors were up last week; Energy, which posted the largest gain, was up 3.13%. Two of the eight Quantified Funds were up last week: The Quantified Market Leaders Fund (QMLFX) was up 2.42%, the Quantified Common Ground Fund (QCGDX) gained 0.67%, the Quantified Managed Income Fund (QBDSX) remained neutral, the Quantified Tactical Fixed Income Fund (QFITX) was down 0.19%, the Quantified Pattern Recognition Fund (QSPMX) lost 0.27%, the Quantified Alternative Investment Fund (QALTX) was down 1.24%, the Quantified Evolution Plus Fund (QEVOX) was down 2.05%, and the Quantified STF Fund (QSTFX) was down 4.49%.

Equities were up significantly in the fourth quarter despite a dip in October. Domestic large-cap stocks were the worst performers, but the S&P 500 Index still gained more than 11%. The Russell 2000 small-capitalization index led the pack, gaining more than 30% for the quarter. Value stocks outperformed Growth for the quarter. Emerging markets gained over 18% for the quarter, and international developed stocks rose 15.7%.

Remember what the Dormouse said

One of my favorite gifts for Christmas was Haley Reinhart’s album “What’s That Sound?” Reinhart was a finalist on “American Idol” in 2011. I was repeatedly surprised while watching the show by the range and emotive power of her singing voice, and I have followed her career ever since. In recent years, she has been one of the stars of Scott Bradlee’s popular Postmodern Jukebox shows.

Gold prices consolidated last week, remaining above the 50-day moving average on the weekly chart and closing the week at $1,829.90 per ounce.

Understanding the ever-changing world around us

It has been an unprecedented and news-packed start to the new year. Developments last week in Washington, new COVID-related challenges, the complex and ongoing vaccine rollout, Georgia’s Senate races, the realities of implementing the Brexit deal, and the state of the U.S. jobs market and manufacturing sector are just some of the major headlines since January 1.

The new year brought new highs, with all major U.S. indexes trading at record levels last week. The Russell 2000 small-capitalization index rose 5.92%, the NASDAQ Composite was up 2.43%, the S&P 500 increased by 1.83%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.61%. The 10-year Treasury bond yield rose 20 basis points to 1.12%, as Treasury bonds fell for the week. Last week, spot gold closed at $1,849.01, down 2.60%.

ETF Deathwatch

December ETF Deathwatch contains 348 zombie ETFs and ETNs.

U.S. equity markets posted gains in all three indexes last week. The NASDAQ Composite gained 2.43%, the S&P 500 gained 1.83%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.61%.