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Market Minute 5/18/2018 — The Big Picture

Yes, we do sometimes get lost in the details that don’t mean much to most of you. Today we’d like to zoom out and just look generally at where stocks (and bonds) have gone this year. 

Please have a look at the graph below.

Stocks are represented by the red line which actually represents a weighted average of the stocks that compose about 80% of the United States stock market.  You will note that since January 1 the US market has zoomed up then back, then up then back, (you get the picture) and as of last night’s numbers, the US market is up 2.3% so far for the year. The good news here is that (1) it IS up, and (2) there appear to be more buyers than sellers in this market, which also tends to make markets drift up. I’ll add in – that for you technicians who watch moving averages, the major indexes in the US have all had their 20-day moving average move above their 50-day moving average – which means that all major US indexes are on ‘buy’ signals – yet another good sign.

And on the other hand, please note the blue line which is a general representation of the US bond or fixed income market. There is little question about the direction or trend of our bond markets. They are down so far this year about 2.7% and the trend is clearly down. We have lightened up on our bond holdings and believe this is not a time to be heavily invested in bonds.

So, there you have a general picture. Stocks are improving, and bonds are weakening. We continue to be optimistic about the likely returns for US stocks this year.

– Read more …