Market Beat: Year-to-date market performing quite well

Ken Roberts
Market Beat
Ken Roberts

So far, 2019 has been a very good year for the markets. Stocks have set record levels and performed very well, and so have bonds and precious metals. With just one month to go, it looks like the annual performance numbers will be good for this year.

As of the last day of November, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has hit an all time record of 28,174.97 and has posted a gain of 20.25%. The S&P 500 has set a record at 3,154.26 and returned 25.30% year to date. The Nasdaq Composite has set a record at 8,705.91 and returned 30.60% so far this year.

Foreign stocks have had good performance this year but have lagged the US markets. The EAFE, which stands for Europe, Asia and the Far East has posted a gain of 14.80%. The emerging markets as measured by the MSEM index are up 7.70%.

Diversified investors who have fixed income and precious metals have also seen good returns from those asset classes. The Barclay’s Global Aggregate index which is composed of worldwide bonds is up 6.22% YTD. The TLT, which is the ETF that represents long term US Treasury bonds has posted a gain of 17.89%.

The gold ETF, GLD is up by 13.70% and the silver ETF, SLV has had a gain of 9.64%. It has also been a good year for oil. USO, the ETF that represents crude oil is up 20.29% year to date.

Hopefully we’ll be able to hold most of those gains until year end. December is normally a pretty good month for stocks. One expression you may read about in the financial press is called the, “Santa Claus Rally”. A Santa Claus rally is the tendency of stocks to perform well over the last couple of weeks of the year into the new year. Going back to the 1960’s this time period has produced positive results about two thirds or 66% of the time.

Theoretically, one reason for the Santa Claus rally is that investors are buying stocks in anticipation of what’s known as the, “January Effect.”, The January Effect is the tendency of stocks, especially small cap stocks to rise in the first few weeks of the new year. One reason is that some stocks are subject to year end tax selling and those stocks can tend to bounce a little in the new trading year.

Kenneth Roberts is a Truckee-based Registered Investment Advisor. Information is at his blog at or 775-657-8065. The mention of securities should not be considered an offer to sell or solicitation to buy investments mentioned. Consult your investment professional to understand the risks and/or how the purchase or sale of these investments may be implemented to meet your investment goals. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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