Weekly Market Digest: A Decade in Review | Personal Capital
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Weekly Market Digest: A Decade in Review

It was a strong week for U.S. equities that shrugged off impeachment proceedings to notch broad gains and new all-time highs. The biggest news of the week was that President Donald Trump is now only the third U.S. president to be impeached. Consistent with party lines, the House passed articles of impeachment for charges against Trump of abuse-of-power and obstruction of Congress. House speaker Nancy Pelosi chose to delay sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate until there was more clarity on the rules for the trial. This move likely pushes proceeding well into the new year. It is largely expected that President Trump will remain in office despite impeachment because of the Republican controlled Senate who will ultimately decide his fate. A fitting end to a remarkable decade.

Weekly Returns:

S&P 500: 3221 (+1.65%)
FTSE All-World ex-US (VEU): (+1.03%)
US 10 Year Treasury Yield: 1.92 (+0.10)
Gold: $1,477.86 (+0.16%)
EUR/USD: 1.1078 (-0.39%)

Major Events

  • Monday – The three major U.S. indices rallied to new highs on the back of news that the U.S. and China reached a Phase 1 deal Friday.
  • Tuesday – Boeing neared its 52-week low following more bad news that it will suspend production of the 737 Max jet.
  • Wednesday – House Democrats voted to impeach President Donald Trump.
  • Thursday – Sweden’s central bank, who was the first pioneer to take interest rates negative, raised their key rate to zero.
  • Friday – Consumer spending and income beat expectations boosting optimism over the holiday season.

Highlights From the Past Decade

Despite plenty of global political turmoil, it has been a decade of low market volatility, strong market returns, and slow but steady growth. Rising from the depths of the prior “lost decade”, the last ten years will be remembered as a period of massive central bank intervention and experimental (negative) interest rate policies, unicorns, big tech, the power of social media, and political unrest.

Here is a timeline of some of the major defining moments for global markets. A tribute to the only decade in history without an economic recession, yet plenty of noise to think one was coming!

Chart Source: © 2018 The Evidence-Based Investor

For me personally, some of the most memorable moments in the industry over the past decade were:

  • Flash Crash
  • Taper Tantrum
  • A remarkable 77% drop in crude oil
  • The two-day Brexit market meltdown and rebound for that matter
  • The two global stock market sells-offs in 2016 and 2018

And of course, passively witnessing the cryptocurrency bubble form and burst. When I say memorable, that does not mean enjoyable! Much of my time was spent witnessing these events from behind a Bloomberg terminal and if I have learned anything over the past ten years, it is this… The trick to investing successfully is keeping your focus on the long-term. The noise is there to test you and is what makes investing challenging. Be humble, no one knows the future, and those that think they do are the ones redistributing to the rest of us!

The content contained in this blog post is intended for general informational purposes only and is not meant to constitute legal, tax, accounting or investment advice. You should consult a qualified legal or tax professional regarding your specific situation. Keep in mind that investing involves risk. The value of your investment will fluctuate over time and you may gain or lose money.

Any reference to the advisory services refers to Personal Capital Advisors Corporation, a subsidiary of Personal Capital. Personal Capital Advisors Corporation is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training nor does it imply endorsement by the SEC.

Lacey Cobb serves as the Director of Advice Solutions at Personal Capital. She has 10 years of financial industry experience, with a background in portfolio management, trading, research, investment analysis, and financial planning. Prior to Personal Capital, she was the Head of Trading and Research at Polaris Greystone Financial Group, where she managed the portfolio management team and served on the investment committee. She started there as a financial planner and helped grow AUM from $250 million to $1.5 billion. Before that, she worked for State Street as a fund accountant. Lacey graduated from the University of California, Davis, and holds both the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation and Certified Financial Planner™ designation.
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This year, my top financial priority is:

Building my emergency fund
Paying off high-interest debt
Budgeting better
Saving for a short-term goal, like a vacation or new car
Increasing my investment contributions
Maintaining status quo - I’ve got this under control

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