Will This Win Streak be SNAPped?

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Or is it simply a question of when?

The equity markets are behaving rather enthusiastically of late and it begs the question of how long can this go. Since the question is on all of our minds, we dug up some statistics that tell just how unusual the last few months in the market really have been. Of course, the fact that we have data that tells us where we are compared to where we’ve been offers nothing about where we’re going. In other words, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results.

With the above in mind, we fully expect volatility to resurface sooner than later. Here are just a few points that lend toward that expectation:

  • Corporate executives buying own company stock is at its slowest pace in 29 years. Insider corporate executive selling in companies that trade on the NYSE, NASDAQ and American Stock Exchange have triggered bearish signals for 11 straight weeks, the longest stretch since 2014. While, at the same time, short selling (a bet against the market) is at a 10 year low.1
  • At a current P/E ratio of 26.64 (based on trailing twelve months earnings as reported), the S&P 500 is 70% higher than the historical average of 15.64%. Forward looking P/E based on forecasted earnings is 18.27, still over 16% higher than the historical average.2
  • Equity strategists at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. have downgraded their three-month outlook for stocks worldwide to neutral. “With growing momentum nearing its peak and rates increasing further with a hawkish Fed, the asymmetry for equities is turning increasingly negative.” Goldman sees a growing number of downside risks, including to equities stemming from so called risk parity, Bloomberg reported.3
  • In the past 30 years, the average intra-year decline in the DOW has been 14.3%. At today’s DOW level of 20,900, that’s a 3,020 point decline.4
  • The S&P 500 has failed to close lower by 1% or more since October 11, the longest such string of no-down-1-percent-plus days since the one ended in December 1995.5

So… what to do in anticipation of volatility? Our philosophy in today’s environment is not to get too defensive, but to mix-up the offense. We’re not advocating selling and sitting on the sidelines, rather we are rebalancing portfolios to include more alternative asset classes. Alternative strategies may help reduce volatility by exposing part of a portfolio to investments that have low correlation to the broad equity markets.

In summary, we continue to be optimistic about the mid and long-term prospects of the equity markets. Short term volatility shouldn’t dissuade us from staying our course, but should encourage us to analyze our current allocation and introduce strategies that may help minimize volatility. That’s what we’re doing behind the scenes, and we encourage you to give us a shout if you want to talk it through.

1(WSJ, 3/10/17)
4(CNBC, March 15, 2017)
5(www.CNBC.com Tuesday, March 14, 2017)

Advisory services offered through Beacon Financial Advisory, LLC or Lincoln Investment, Registered Investment Advisers.  Securities offered through Lincoln Investment, Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. www.lincolninvestment.com.

FNA Wealth Management, Ltd. and the above firms are independent and non-affiliated.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s) noted and may or may not represent the views of Beacon Financial Advisory or Lincoln Investment.  The material presented is provided for informational purposes only. Nothing contained herein should be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any securities. As with all investments, past performance is no guarantee of future results. No person or system can predict the market. All investments are subject to risk, including the risk of principal loss.

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The S&P 500 Index is a capitalization weighted index of 500 of the largest exchange-traded stocks in the U.S. from a broad range of Industries whose collective performance mirrors the overall stock market. Capitalization weighting results in the larger components (stocks) carrying a larger percentage weighting. The Equal Weighted S&P 500 consists of the same stocks but equally weighted and consequently may provide insight into the breadth/disparity of market performance.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a widely watched index of 30 American stocks thought to represent the pulse of the American economy and markets.

It is not possible to invest directly in an index.

There are some risks associated with investing in the stock markets: 1) Systematic risk - also known as market risk, this is the potential for the entire market to decline; 2) Unsystematic risk - the risk that any one stock may go down in value, independent of the stock market as a whole. This also incorporates business risk and event risk; and 3) Opportunity risk and liquidity risk.

The Federal Reserve System (also known as the Federal Reserve, and informally as the Fed) is the central banking system of the United States. The Federal Reserve System is composed of 12 regional Reserve banks which supervise state member banks. The Federal Reserve System controls the Federal Funds Rate (aka Fed Rate), an important benchmark in financial markets used to influence the supply of money in the U.S. economy.

Price/Earnings (P/E) ratio is the price of a stock divided by its earnings per share that gives investors an idea of how much they are paying for a company’s earning power. High P/E stocks are typically young, fast-growing companies and are far riskier to trade than low P/E stocks.

Joseph C. Randazzo, JD, CFP®
FNA Wealth Management, Ltd.
2214 Enterprise Pkwy. East
Twinsburg, OH   44087

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Advisory services offered through Beacon Financial Advisory, LLC or Lincoln Investment, Registered Investment Advisers.  Securities offered through Lincoln Investment, Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. www.lincolninvestment.com.

FNA Wealth Management, Ltd and the above firms are independent and non-affiliated.