This December, investors should ask themselves three important questions:
The Markets – November 2018
In November the U.S. stock market was skittish and volatile but managed to finish in the plus column after a post-Thanksgiving rally. The numbers:
- S&P 500 Index: $2,760.17 + 1.79% in November, +3.24% year-to-date
- Dow Jones Industrial Average: $25,538.41 +1.68% in November, + 3.31% year-to-date
- NASDAQ: $7,330.54 +.34% in November, +6.19% year-to-date
Oil, Gold and More – November 2018
Light crude oil prices dropped 21% in November…which shook up oil companies but felt great at the pump. While oil prices plummeted, another fossil fuel soared: natural gas rose 41%.
Meanwhile Coffee (choose your own pun here) ground, pressed or dripped lower.
- Light Crude: $50.72 -21.80% in November
- Natural Gas: $4.64 +41.29% in November
- Gold: $1,227.80 +.70% in November
- Coffee: 107.55 cents pound -7.88% in November
During the Christmas season investors sometimes trade the season’s “hot toy” stocks, hoping for quick profits. This year that strategy may not work. Many of this year’s hot toys are made by private companies, meanwhile a few companies have been hurt by the recent bankruptcy of Toys-R-Us. Among this season’s hot Christmas toys:
We will spare you details of other hot Christmas toys including the Examine and Treat Pet Vet Play Set , (hide the family dog from the recipient of this gift?) or the Baby Alive Potty Dance Baby Doll.
One last hot 2018 Christmas toy: the Hatchimal Mystery. A Hatchimal is a “mystery egg” purchased with no clue what creature lives inside. But it’s all good. “You could hatch a super fluffy Bunwee, Pandor, Hedgyhen or Elefly” says the marketing material. Hatchimals are made by Spin Master (publicly traded, on the Toronto Stock Exchange).
Comment: a well-named company.
Looking ahead to the last month of the year: with razor thin profits year-to-date, the stock market’s performance in 2018 may come down to the next four weeks. As always, the market is a mystery egg. But with seasonal strength possible, the best advice – especially for long-term investors – may be: step in it.
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