December 17, 2010
Weekly Market Wrap: The markets were flat this week as positive economic news and the passing of the tax legislation were not enough to move the markets one-way or another. The S&P 500 Index was up on the week by less than 1% closing at 1,244. Gold, Oil and the Dollar all moved less than 1% as well. Gold was down slightly to $1,375 per oz, Oil was up a smidge to $88.01 per barrel and the dollar was up minimally against other major world currencies to $80.38.
Year-to-date 2010 the major indexes are now up: The S&P index +11.55%, The Dow Jones Index +10.2%, The NASDAQ + 16.47%, The Russell 2000 Small cap Index + 24.64%, EAFE International +2.64%.
On Monday the market was flat as the Chinese said they will not be raising their interest rates to slow their economy. Tuesday the market was up 1 as small business optimism increased and November retail sales beat expectations. Wednesday’s market dropped 6 despite an increase in industrial production and positive numbers from the NY Manufacturing index. On Thursday the market gained 8 points on a decline in weekly jobless claims, an increase in housing starts and more positive manufacturing data. Friday’s market added 1 more point as the index of leading economic indicators posted its 8th straight gain and President Obama signed the tax compromise.
More mostly positive economic news sent the market slightly higher. I am increasingly optimistic that the economy continues to heal itself at a slow pace and that another significant dip in the markets is unlikely at this time.
With two weeks left in 2010 the markets are at or near their 2010 highs and have made for a pretty decent investment year.
Mortgage rates rose slightly again last week. The Schwab Bank 15-year rate is now at 4.25% and the 30-year rate is at 4.97%. These rates are as of 12/17/2010 and assume no points, no origination fee and a $250,000 mortgage.
The Week at AAM (to highlight what I do for clients and how I am different than most advisors):
Some of the highlights of my last week include:
- Met with a CPA to plan and strategize how to get my clients tax returns completed for 2010.
- Worked on my 2011 Business Plan. I’ve got some work to do over the next few weeks to get my plan ready for my next planning session on January 5.
- Met with clients and strategized their goals for 2011 and beyond.
- Set up a new SIMPLE Retirement plan for a client of mine who owns his own business. Now he and his employees can save more to achieve their financial goals.
- Attended a Grandville/Jenison Chamber breakfast to thank our local legislators and welcome in our new public servants.
- Met with a couple more new prospects this week and signed up another new client!
I hope you had a great week as well. Please let me know if there is ever anything I can do for you or if something has changed in your financial situation to warrant a meeting or a change of investment policy.
Ronald J. VanSurksum, CFP®
Advanced Asset Management, LLC