Market insights and analysis

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

1st 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.

Gold stayed inside the trading range it has been in for the last eight weeks, closing last week at the lower end of the range at $1,688.00 per ounce. This consolidation can now provide support for another run-up in the current gold bull market.

The major stock market indexes finished up this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 3.7%, the S&P 500 Index rose 3.0%, the NASDAQ Composite climbed 1.8%, and the Russell 2000 small-capitalization index rocketed 2.8%. The 10-year Treasury bond yield fell 1 basis point, as Treasury bonds were mixed. Last week, spot gold closed at $1,731.71, down $2.97 per ounce, or 0.17%.

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Last fall I wrote a couple of articles about how the financial industry and press may have been premature in reporting on the death of so many industry strategy favorites (you can read them here and here). The 60/40 balanced portfolio, value investing, hedge fund, and momentum strategies were all discussed.

After breaking through the resistance line established over the previous weeks, gold prices held at the same line extension, which had now become a support line. Gold resumed its uptrend, finishing last week at $1,751.70 per ounce.

The major stock market indexes finished up last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 3.3%, the S&P 500 Index rose 3.2%, the NASDAQ Composite climbed 3.4%, and the Russell 2000 small-capitalization index rocketed 7.8%. The 10-year Treasury bond yield rose 1 basis point, as Treasury bonds were down in general. Last week, spot gold closed lower at $1,754.40, down $13.60 per ounce, or 0.7%.

After breaking through the resistance line established over the previous four weeks, gold prices retraced to the same line extension, which has now become a support line (see the following chart). Gold finished the week at $1,735.59, still in an uptrend on the daily chart.

The major stock market indexes finished to the downside last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 2.6%, the S&P 500 Index fell 2.4%, the NASDAQ Composite slipped 1.2%, and the Russell 2000 small-capitalization index lost ground at a 5.6 % rate. The 10-year Treasury bond yield fell 4 basis points, advancing Treasury bonds higher. Last week, spot gold closed higher at $1,743.67, up $40.97 per ounce, or 2.4%.

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I don’t know whether you are in a state that is beginning to get out from under a stay-at-home order or if you are, like us here in Michigan, still very much in the shelter-in-place mode. But one thing I am certain of—you want to get out of the house and do something. Anything!

Gold prices had been building a base of support around $1,700 per ounce for several weeks. Last week, prices began to break out from that base of support (see the following chart). Prices moved up steadily, closing at their weekly high of $1,756.30 per ounce.

The major stock market indexes finished the week with strong gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average grew 2.6%, the S&P 500 Index rose 3.5%, the NASDAQ Composite rallied 6.0%, and the Russell 2000 small-capitalization index gained ground with a 5.5 % advance. The 10-year Treasury bond yield rose 6 basis points, sending Treasury Bonds generally lower. Last week, spot gold closed higher at $1,702.70, up $2.28 per ounce, or 0.13%.

Last week, gold prices continued to solidify support around $1,700 per ounce, closing the week at $1,713.90 per ounce.

April ETF Deathwatch contains 385 zombie ETFs and ETNs.

The Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting last year drew over 30,000 people to Nebraska to hear the “Oracle of Omaha,” Warren Buffett. With the pandemic, this year the whole meeting was presented on the internet. Visit Omaha, the city’s tourism bureau, figures that will cost the citizens of that city about $21.3 million in lost compensation and revenues, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Gold prices found support around the $1,700-per-ounce level, closing the week at $1,700.90 per ounce.

Despite a rally on Friday (4/24), the string of back-to-back weeks of gains for the major stock market indexes ended last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.9%, the S&P 500 Index slipped 1.3%, and the NASDAQ Composite gave back just 0.2%. The Russell 2000 small-capitalization index did manage a gain, rising 0.3%. The 10-year Treasury bond yield fell 4 basis points, sending Treasury bonds generally higher. Last week, spot gold was the big winner, closing at $1,729.60, up $46.78 per ounce, or 2.78%.

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Last week, gold prices found support at around $1,670 per ounce, and then rallied back toward the recent high at $1,788.00 per ounce before closing at $1,735 per ounce.

Most of the major stock market indexes finished the week with what has been rare of late—back-to-back weeks of gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average grew 2.2%, the S&P 500 Index rose 2.9%, and the NASDAQ Composite rallied 6.1%. The Russell 2000 small-capitalization index, the best performer the previous week, lost ground last week, falling 1.4%. The 10-year Treasury bond yield fell 7 basis points, sending Treasury bonds generally higher. Last week, spot gold closed lower at $1,682.80, down just $0.91 per ounce, or 0.05%.

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“She broke what?!” I exclaimed. It was two summers ago, and I was trying to find out what had happened to my mother, who was 96 at the time, from a harried health-care aide who was phoning me while trying to assist a 911 crew moving Mom to the ambulance.

Last week, gold prices challenged the $1,800-per-ounce level, hitting $1,788.00 per ounce before retracing to the $1,700-per-ounce support level.

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March ETF Deathwatch contains 399 zombie ETFs and ETNs.

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The major stock market indexes finished substantially higher last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 12.7%, the S&P 500 Index rose 12.1%, the NASDAQ Composite rallied 10.6%, and the Russell 2000 small-capitalization index bested all of the other indexes with an 18.5% gain. The 10-year Treasury bond yield rose 12 basis points, sending Treasury bonds generally lower. Last week, spot gold closed higher at $1,683.63, up $62.92 per ounce, or 3.9%.

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When I was a kid, it seemed that Good Friday afternoon was always the same. The spring sunshine of the morning would be transformed into a cloudy afternoon. This Good Friday was no exception. Yet, as I sat looking out from my backyard deck on Friday afternoon, a small patch of blue sky stood out, like a turquoise broach pinned to a cable-knit sweater of multiple shades of gray.

Last week, gold prices hit a seven-year high, breaking through the $1,700-per-ounce level and closing at $1,752.80 per ounce—a gain of more than $100 per ounce (see the following chart).

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​​​​​​​One of my favorite novels is Joseph Heller’s 1961 best seller, “Catch-22.” As a teenager, I found the novel hilarious and surprisingly relevant given my father’s experiences in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He, like the chief protagonist in the novel, flew bomber missions in World War II. He spent three years dealing with the Air Corps’ regulations and bureaucracy, and he loved, as Heller did in the novel, to recount their absurdity.

After falling below the 100-day and 200-day moving average the previous week, gold prices climbed above both averages and continued up through the 20-day moving average last week.

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Seems like I have been mostly writing about the crazy, non-normal world we have been living in lately. And, since I just did so last Thursday, today I’m going to provide a market update that is probably a little heavy on charts and analysis.

Last week, gold prices finished the week at $1,654 per ounce, up more than 10%. This was after a volatile week that saw gold prices shoot back up to $1,700 per ounce at one point.

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“These are not normal times!” I keep hearing and reading comments to this effect, and I have to ask myself, “What’s normal in a pandemic?”

After testing lows hit during the end of last year, gold prices rebounded last week to trade around the 200-day moving average, which is currently around $1,500 per ounce. Prices closed the week at $1,484.60 per ounce.

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Isn't it crazy?

Are you hearing this line over and over again as friends and associates get together and have the chance to talk? I sure am.

Gold sold off dramatically late last week, breaking through the 50-day moving average on Thursday (3/12) and testing support at the 200-day moving average on Friday (3/13). Gold prices closed the week at $1,516.70 per ounce (see the following chart).

While the stock market has tumbled since making a new high on February 20, giving back all of its 2020 gains, I want to provide you with some good news. Accounts here at Flexible Plan Investments, Ltd. (FPI), are weathering the storm very well.

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I was listening to one of my favorite radio broadcasts last Friday morning (March 6), about 45 minutes before the market open. Tom Keene, of Bloomberg Surveillance, was reviewing various pre-market levels. Dow futures were down at the time around 700 to 800 points, and other indexes were similarly heading south in a big way. He made the curious comment, “It just does not feel like a 49-level VIX for equities at the moment”—even though that is where the VIX stood. (The VIX, also known as the “fear index,” is a measure of stock market volatility. On Friday, it went on to make a 52-week high over 50 before closing at 41.9.)

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Gold prices rebounded last week after an end-of-the-month sell-off the previous Friday (2/28). The sell-off may have been related to margin calls for investors dealing with the previous week’s precipitous decline in the equity markets.

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In one week, major indexes fell into “correction” territory, logging a drop greater than 10% from their recent peaks. Last week, the S&P 500 fell 11.49%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 12.36%, and the NASDAQ 100 was down 10.54%. The main factor in the worldwide selling in the equity markets, according to most financial news stories, was the coronavirus. COVID-19 fears resulted in the fastest market correction in history.

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Two weeks ago, I wrote about behavioral finance and how investors are often their own biggest barriers to investing success. The market action since February 19 has presented us with the perfect stage to see these common investing behaviors play out.

The following criteria is used (since January 2011) to objectively determine the members of ETF Deathwatch each month based on the most recent month-end data