Date: July 12, 2016

Like a Broken Record

I read a stat last night that said only 1% of Americans hold off taking social security until 70. That low number really surprised me as it means 99% of Americans do not get the maximum amount of social security. When I meet with clients and prospects, one of the foundation conversations is when to take social security and why. If you are approaching retirement or already take social security, do yourself a favor and spend some time researching this!

Back to the markets, stocks have run harder and faster than even I thought. And that’s saying something! Of course, the revisionist pundits have been out in force changing their tune from selling after the BREXIT vote to knowing it was the time to buy. I call this the clown parade. One thing is clear from reading this blog; not only did I stay firmly in the bullish camp, but our models gave reinforcing buy signals at the bottom. MUCH better to be lucky than good!

The major stock indices are extended and could use either a pullback or pause to refresh, but momentum has been very strong. Some would call it historic and I could not easily disagree. Strength begets strength until it doesn’t. Since the BREXIT bottom, small caps and technology have led with mid caps following closely. The Dow and S&P 500 are trailing which is very bullish over the intermediate-term as it shows investors taking on risk.

We now have the Dow and S&P 500 at all-time highs, but the S&P 400, Russell 2000 and NASDAQ 100 still have some work to do. Like a broken record, until proven otherwise, weakness remains a buying opportunity.

On the sector front, semis, software, telecom, internet, discretionary, industrials, healthcare, homebuilders, REITs, staples, utilities and precious metals all are behaving very well. While I mentioned that the more defensive sectors might be under pressure after the stronger than expected jobs report, they have held up well as the more aggressive groups have come on strong. There is no debating that this rally has been very broad-based.

Junk bonds have also reengaged in leadership at the same time as treasury bonds are finally pulling back. Long-time readers know how much stock I put in junk bond performance. I am not quite sure what to make of the treasury bond rally rally and decline. It’s not your typical “risk off” or risk avoidance trade.

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Paul Schatz, President, Heritage Capital