High Marks for Model S; Google Glass Buzz Begins

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Market Digest – Week Ending 5/10

US Stocks again rose in a slow news week. On Thursday, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser said he favors beginning to scale back the pace of stimulus as soon as June, causing Treasury yields to rise and prices to fall. Gold resumed its downward trend due to a higher dollar and weaker than expected physical demand in India.

Weekly Returns:
S&P 500: 1,634 (+1.2%)
MSCI ACWI ex-US: (+0.4%)
US 10 Year Treasury Yield: 1.89% (+0.15%)
Gold: $1,448 (-1.4%)
USD/EUR: $1.299 (-1.0%)

Major Events:

  • Monday – A group of private equity firms agreed to take BMC Software private for $6.9 billion.
  • Monday – Bank of America pays MBIA $1.7 billion to settle dispute over mortgage securities issued during housing boom.
  • Thursday – Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser said he favors scaling back the central bank’s pace of stimulus.
  • Thursday – The Yen fell to 100 against the dollar for the first time in four years.
  • Friday – Russia and the UK announced they are planning joint steps to bring peace to Syria, including a transitional government to take over for Bashar al-Assad.

Our Take: 

Tesla Motors this week posted its first quarterly profit in its ten year history. Meanwhile, Consumer Reports called the Model S the best car it has ever tested. The stock was rewarded with a 40% price jump and is now worth more than Fiat. So great was the excitement that founder Elon Musk felt compelled to Tweet that a self-driving Tesla (perhaps in conjunction with Google) is still a long ways off.

Speaking of Google, the Google Glass is starting to make noise. About a thousand of the devices were recently sent out to tech influencers and the initial feedback is it has the potential to meaningfully impact society.

These are just two examples proving innovation is alive and well, perhaps more so than ever. It is easy to get caught up in the day to day minutia. But the real reasons to be thankful for living in a free market society and for owning stocks for the long term are as solid as ever.

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Craig Birk, CFP®

Craig Birk, CFP®

Craig Birk leads the Personal Capital Advisors Investment Committee and serves as the Chief Investment Officer. His focus is translating improvements in technology into better financial lives. Craig has been widely quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, CNN Money, the Washington Post and elsewhere. Prior to Personal Capital Advisors, he was a leader within the portfolio management team at Fisher Investments, helping assets under management grow from $1.5 billion to over $40 billion. Craig graduated from the University of California at San Diego and has earned the Certified Financial Planner® designation.

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