Market Update: December 19, 2016


  • Stocks edge up to begin quiet week. U.S. markets are slightly higher in early trading, kicking off what is likely to be a low-volume week on scattered data releases ahead of the holidays; though a speech by Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) Chair Janet Yellen this afternoon will garner attention. Friday’s session saw the S&P 500 (-0.2%) slip into negative territory for the week, as the heavily weighted technology (-0.8%) and financials (-0.9%) sectors lagged; rate-sensitive utilities and real estate both moved up more than 1%, despite only a 1 basis point (.01%) drop in the yield on the 10-year Treasury. Overnight, Asian markets were modestly lower, led down by the Hang Seng (-0.9%) after China stated it would take measures to control asset bubbles in 2017; major European indexes are near flat in afternoon trading, with the STOXX Europe 600 down 0.1%. Finally, WTI crude oil ($52.70/barrel) is slightly lower, COMEX gold ($1,141/oz.) is rising by 0.3%, and the yield on the 10-year note is down to 2.55%.


  • 2016 calendar winding down. Although there are a few key events on tap this week (i.e., a speech by U.K. Prime Minister Teresa May on Brexit, the Bank of Japan’s final policy meeting of the year, and Vladimir Putin’s only press conference of 2016), the calendar is fairly quiet. Data on new and existing home sales, the service sector Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) and durable goods orders and shipments are the key U.S. data releases. Overseas, China’s property price indices (released over the weekend) and the German IFO reading for December (released overnight) were the only key events.
  • A look back. As the year comes to an end, we take a look back at some of our hits and misses of 2016. We certainly had some of both in a difficult year to forecast equity markets. First, the year got off to one of the worst starts ever as oil prices collapsed. Then it was the unexpected outcome to the Brexit vote, which stocks largely shrugged off, followed by Trump’s upset, which was followed by one of the strongest post-election stock market rallies in history-outcomes few predicted. Among the hits, our stock market forecast and our decision to largely stay on the sidelines with regard to international equity markets. Misses included favoring large caps and growth.
  • Can we count on Santa in 2016? Since 1950, the S&P 500 historically has been flat from December 1 through 15, then rallies nicely into year end. Last week, we took a look at this bullish time of year and the well-known Santa Claus Rally. But what happens during rare years like 2016, when the S&P 500 has already seen nice gains (2.9%) as of the mid-way point of the month? Going back to 1950¹, we found there were only seven other months that were up on December 15 at least 2.75%. The good news? The rest of the month the S&P 500 gained another 1.8% on average and was higher all seven times.



  • Markit Services PMI (Dec)
  • Yellen (Dove)
  • Germany: Ifo (Dec)
  • UK: PM Teresa May Makes a Statement on Brexit


  • Japan: Bank of Japan Meeting (No Change Expected)


  • Existing Home Sales (Nov)


  • Leading Indicators (Nov)
  • Durable Goods Orders and Shipments (Nov)
  • Russia: President Putin Holds His Annual Press Conference in Moscow


  • New Home Sales (Nov)







¹ The modern design of the S&P 500 stock index was first launched in 1957. Performance back to 1950 incorporates the performance of predecessor index, the S&P 90.

Important Disclosures: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The economic forecasts set forth in the presentation may not develop as predicted. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide or be construed as providing specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual security. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal. A money market investment is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Although money markets have traditionally sought to preserve the value of your investment at $1 per share, it is possible to lose money by investing in such a fund. Investing in foreign and emerging markets securities involves special additional risks. These risks include, but are not limited to, currency risk, political risk, and risk associated with varying accounting standards. Investing in emerging markets may accentuate these risks. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) are subject to interest rate risk and opportunity risk. If interest rates rise, the value of your bond on the secondary market will likely fall. In periods of no or low inflation, other investments, including other Treasury bonds, may perform better. Bank loans are loans issued by below investment-grade companies for short-term funding purposes with higher yield than short-term debt and involve risk. Because of its narrow focus, sector investing will be subject to greater volatility than investing more broadly across many sectors and companies. Commodity-linked investments may be more volatile and less liquid than the underlying instruments or measures, and their value may be affected by the performance of the overall commodities baskets as well as weather, disease, and regulatory developments. Government bonds and Treasury bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate. Investing in foreign and emerging markets debt securities involves special additional risks. These risks include, but are not limited to, currency risk, geopolitical and regulatory risk, and risk associated with varying settlement standards. High-yield/junk bonds are not investment-grade securities, involve substantial risks, and generally should be part of the diversified portfolio of sophisticated investors. Municipal bonds are subject to availability, price, and to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rate rise. Interest income may be subject to the alternative minimum tax. Federally tax-free but other state and local taxes may apply. Investing in real estate/REITs involves special risks such as potential illiquidity and may not be suitable for all investors. There is no assurance that the investment objectives of this program will be attained. Currency risk is a form of risk that arises from the change in price of one currency against another. Whenever investors or companies have assets or business operations across national borders, they face currency risk if their positions are not hedged. Technical Analysis is a methodology for evaluating securities based on statistics generated by market activity, such as past prices, volume and momentum, and is not intended to be used as the sole mechanism for trading decisions. Technical analysts do not attempt to measure a security’s intrinsic value, but instead use charts and other tools to identify patterns and trends. Technical analysis carries inherent risk, chief amongst which is that past performance is not indicative of future results. Technical Analysis should be used in conjunction with Fundamental Analysis within the decision making process and shall include but not be limited to the following considerations: investment thesis, suitability, expected time horizon, and operational factors, such as trading costs are examples. This research material has been prepared by LPL Financial LLC.

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