Economic and Investment News Bits
  • Stocks in expensive territory. Despite valuations not seen since the recession, most stocks continue to surge ahead. “And the rally is broadening, with small stocks, value stocks, and cyclical sectors such as materials, technology and financials out-performing the broader market. At the end of the day, the market trades on earnings, and the news there is improving,” (Source: Federated Investors).
  • Is there an inflation scare building? July import prices, not including oil, posted their sharpest gains in more than five years. June prices were also revised upward.  And with both presidential candidates pushing fiscal stimulus, markets could get spooked if inflation and interest rates move up faster than expected.
  • 44% of households in the U.S. headed by an employed individual do not have any money invested on a pre-tax basis in a retirement plan, such as a 401k. (Source: Government Accountability Office)
  • We have all heard the warnings about chasing momentum. In 2015, the FANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google) almost single-handedly kept the S&P 500 in positive territory. This year, however, the FANGs collectively have barely treaded water, while the index has gained about 7%. This year, dividend-paying stocks have led the way, with a new acronym of RUST (real estate, utilities, consumer staples, and telecom) taking the index to higher highs.
  • “Unless we get some very threatening inflation numbers in coming weeks, the Fed will not increase rates in September, however December is very much in play.”
  • The U.S. stock market is moving sideways and slowly upward. World markets vary. Our favorites – Brazil and India – are doing well, while some other countries stumble,” (Source: Guild Investment Management).
  • The 100-Year Life says it’s time to re-think retirement. The majority of children born today can expect to live to 104. The book suggests three steps for successfully living a long life: Keep learning, invest in your health, and spend time with family, friends, and coworkers. 
Thought for the week

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”

Mark Twain, American writer (1835-1910)

Chart For August 

E-commerce is transforming the global shopping experience.  This chart from Internet Retailer, based on projected 2015 data, illustrates how much online shopping is growing around the world.  In the U.S., about 10% of purchases are online, but that number grew by 14% in 2015.  In China, the growth rate is more than 40%.  Someday, young people will ask, “Mommy, what is a shopping center?”


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