Third Quarter Review
Weekly Update – October 9, 2017
“If you can’t do great things, do small things in a great way.” – Napoleon Hill
This Monday, October 9, marks the 10-year anniversary of the S&P 500’s highest point before the Great Recession. While the ensuing decade has provided quite a rocky road for the markets at times, the recovery is undeniable.
In fact, last week, markets posted one record high after another—and the S&P 500 had its longest streak of record closes since 1997. At the markets’ close, the S&P 500 added 1.19%, the Dow gained 1.65%, and the NASDAQ grew by 1.45%. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE lost 0.07%.
These domestic gains came despite stocks stumbling slightly on Friday in reaction to disappointing jobs numbers. After 7 years of monthly growth, the September jobs report indicated the first labor market contraction since 2010, with 33,000 jobs lost. The decrease was largely due to the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Despite this unexpected contraction, however, the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in 16 years, and average hourly earnings increased by 2.9%.
We also began the first trading week of the 4th quarter last Monday, so we will review Q3’s performance and what lies ahead for Q4.
How did the markets perform in Q3?
If we had to pick one word to describe performance in Q3, it would be: positive.
- Sustained Market Growth
Throughout the quarter, all four indexes we track in this weekly update had solid showings and hit a number of record highs. The S&P 500 was up 3.96%, the Dow rose 4.94%, the NASDAQ jumped 5.79%, and the MSCI-EAFE gained 4.81%. Both the Dow and S&P 500 marked their 8th straight quarter of gains, and the NASDAQ was not far behind with its 5th positive quarter in a row. The S&P 500 even had its least volatile September in over 47 years.
- Continued Global Gains
What drove the markets in Q3?
Rather than last quarter’s growth rallying around a few sectors, markets advanced broadly in Q3, with 10 of the 11 S&P 500 sectors gaining. This positive performance reflects solid corporate earnings, stronger oil prices, and impressive core capital goods orders—though inflation remained below the Fed’s target of 2%.
What is on the horizon for Q4?
By most accounts, betting against a strong 4th quarter seems like a bad idea: The S&P 500 has grown during Q4 in 7 out of the past 8 years. Americans remain generally bullish on the economy and continue to increase their spending as their incomes grow and inflation remains low.
In addition, manufacturing, services, and housing all seem to be supporting economic expansion. This growth is not limited to the United States; globally, 94% of countries are experiencing year-over-year economic growth.
Of course, the coming weeks will give us an even clearer understanding of Q3 performance—and Q4 expectations. If you have questions about how the markets are affecting your portfolio and future, please let us know. We are here to provide the guidance you need and help clarify your investment process.
Monday: Banks Closed for Columbus Day Holiday
Thursday: Jobless Claims
Friday: Consumer Price Index, Retail Sales, Consumer Sentiment
Notes: All index returns (except S&P 500) exclude reinvested dividends, and the 5-year and 10-year returns are annualized. The total returns for the S&P 500 assume reinvestment of dividends on the last day of the month. This may account for differences between the index returns published on Morningstar.com and the index returns published elsewhere. International performance is represented by the MSCI EAFE Index. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.
Flank Steak Panzanella Salad
1 pound flank steak, trimmed
½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided in half
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground and divided in half
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 cups baby arugula
½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
1 pound multicolored heirloom tomatoes, sliced in wedges
1 medium cucumber, cut into lengthwise halves and sliced
3 ounces whole wheat baguette, cut into cubes and toasted
- Prep grill by preheating it to medium-high.
- Cover grill rack with cooking spray.
- Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper on the steak.
- Grill steak 3 to 4 minutes on each side or to preferred temperature.
- Remove steak from grill and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Cut steak into thin slices, going across the grain.
- Combine olive oil, vinegar, and remaining salt and pepper in a large bowl.
- Toss together arugula, basil, tomatoes, and cucumbers in bowl with olive oil mixture.
- Mix the steak and bread cubes into the salad, and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe adapted from MyRecipes
Try the Chunk-and-Roll to Improve Height
No one likes landing in a sand trap, but a greenside bunker shot makes a bad lie even worse. If you want to recover from this situation, you need to have the skill—and nerve—to hit the ball just right.
Hitting a greenside bunker shot successfully requires you to address two key factors: 1) how much speed is in your swing and 2) where you enter the sand with your clubface.
If you’re staring at an upslope or your ball is stuck in the sand, try the “chunk-and-roll” to get the height you need. With this approach, you’re trying to make your ball pop out high, travel with no spin, and follow the green’s break. The ultimate goal is to have your clubhead blast the sand 2- to 3 inches behind the ball, so you have no chance of hitting it thin.
To set up the shot:
- Distribute your weight evenly across the slope by favoring your front foot.
- Open your stance a bit and swing along your foot line.
- Make sure you swing hard, using a downward driving motion.
- Keep the slope from stopping your club’s momentum by exploding through the shot with your arms and shoulders strong.
Tip adapted from Max Adler | Golf Digest
Prediabetes is a medical condition where you have higher than normal blood sugar levels but haven’t yet developed type 2 diabetes. Typically, unless someone with prediabetes makes lifestyle changes, they will end up developing diabetes. The long-term effects on your heart, blood vessels, and kidney could start before you even develop the disease.
Does prediabetes have symptoms?
People usually show little to no signs of prediabetes. One potential signal that you may be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes are darkened patches of skin around your:
What risk factors exist for prediabetes?
Similar factors that can lead to diabetes can also increase your chance of developing prediabetes. A few of these include:
- Overweight: When you have more fatty tissue, in particular around your abdomen, your cells become more resistant to insulin.
- Dietary Habits: Specific foods can increase your chance of developing prediabetes when eaten regularly. These include red meat, processed meat, and sugar-rich foods and drinks.
- Exercise: You are more at risk the less physically active you are. By not exercising regularly, you don’t burn up the glucose you’d otherwise use for energy.
Tips adapted from Mayo Clinic
Go Plastic-Free With These Kitchen Items
Choosing to ditch plastic in your home is a great way to support a green lifestyle. With the plethora of household items made from plastic, you can make a real difference with some relatively easy tweaks. A great starting point is to replace plastic kitchen items made with eco-friendly alternatives.
- Plastic containers: Instead of storing food in plastic containers, like Tupperware, use glass jars or metal containers instead.
- Plastic sandwich and snack bags: You can swap plastic bags in your lunch with glass or metal containers.
- Dishwashing detergent in plastic bottles: You can buy powdered detergent that comes in a cardboard container, and then recycle the box once you’re done with the product.
- Nonstick pans: The ingredient that makes those pans nonstick is actually plastic, which you can avoid by using cast iron skillets or stainless steel pans.
Tip adapted from Care2.com
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