Traveling the country road that is near to our office one evening during the first week in November, we could not help but notice where a single house stood out amongst the rest on the road. You see, the residents had strung their Christmas lights quite early. Lots of them! Then, a few days later, we noticed several more houses with Christmas lights and decorations. Pursuing our memory, we did not recall as many houses having strung lights in the past; and here countless were lit several weeks prior to Thanksgiving! It was as if those lights were trying to bring a bit of cheer to offset the lack of gathering with family and friends.
Here at White Raven Financial, we had to bypass on one of our traditions. Our annual wreath making gathering, hosted by the Stump Farm, was not-to-be. For an alternative, we had allowed the option to pick up supplies. Sadly, it does not replace gathering with family, friends, drinking hot chocolate, and telling stories. Oh, and the enjoyment of remarking over each other’s wreath or swag creations. When chatting with a friend on the phone and commenting on the gathering that was not, the friend noted “New Year’s Eve is just around the corner!” We had to laugh because it is so true. Staying safe, we are exploring new options in place of traditions and finding amazing new ideas to replace the old.
Similar to our personal and professional lives, change is appearing in our economy. MarketWatch’s economic report noted that new orders for durable goods increased by 1.3% in October. The authors continued by stating that this a welcoming sign as it potentially shows that businesses in the U.S. are planning ahead. Charles Schwab, in their December 1st Market Commentary On the Path to Recovery, wrote that the U.S. may see another dip in the economic recovery. Although they also suggested that the long-term outlook appears brighter with the vaccine rollout and easy monetary and fiscal policy. On November 24th, Yahoo Finance reported that earnings per share for the S&P500 companies were down 6.3% from 2019. They further shared that if you took away the struggling industries of oil, airlines, and hotels, the S&P500 earnings would have been a positive 4.3%. Russell Investments has an Economic Indicators Dashboard with the subtitle of “What’s the state of the economy?” A nice illustration of market and economic indicators!
And if we are bored with the changes that are occurring in the U.S. (personally we think the U.S. has been quite interesting these past few months), we can always look internationally. Thornburg Investment Management, in an interview with Nancy Lazzar, who is head of economic research at Cornerstone Macro, noted the global economic highlighted the three major themes of: Economic globalization and onshoring; improved profitability from technology which will help keep inflationary trends lower; and the world awakening to the need to take steps to improve the environment. In their late November Global Weekly Commentary, BlackRock wrote that with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, they expected global growth to rebound strongly in 2021.
We hope you can relax, take stock of a difficult year, and enjoy the company of your family and friends, even if it is via video or phone during this Holiday Season. The team here at White Raven Financial wishes you a Happy Holiday and Tu sends his joy!
November was a positive month, with incredible gains for the major markets. It appeared that they were celebrating the announcement of those COVID-19 vaccines that ‘should’ receive FDA emergency approval in December. The blue-chip barometer (the Dow)* popped the cork with a 11.84% monthly increase. The S&P 500 (SPY)* strung lights and posted a gain of 10.75% for the month of November. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (COMPTR)* feted the event and increased 11.8% for the month. (*After linking, click on Quarterly & Monthly Total Returns, “Monthly” tab.) On Tuesday, November 24th, the Dow Jones Indices released the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller report. The report showed that for the reporting month, home prices had chosen to continue their increases. The September 20-city composite Home Price Index reported a 6.6% annual gain; up 1.3% from the previous month year-over-year posting. Before seasonal adjustments, month-over-month data had the month of September showing a 1.3% increase over the prior month of August for the 20-city composite index.
Regards and thank you (as always) for reading,
The Team at White Raven Financial
Advisory services offered through White Raven Financial Services, Inc. a Registered Investment Advisor in the State of Washington.
*Indexes are unmanaged and do not reflect service fees, commissions, or taxes. You cannot invest directly in an index. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Returns for the DOW, S&P 500 and the NASDAQ are the total return (price only) provided by Morningstar as of November 30, 2020. Diversification and asset allocation do not assure or guarantee better performance and cannot eliminate the risk of investment loss.
*The Standard and Poor’s 500 is an unmanaged, capitalization weighted benchmark that tracks broad-based changes in the U.S. stock market. This index of 500 common stocks is comprised of 400 industrial, 20 transportation, 40 utility, and 40 financial companies representing major U.S. industry sectors. The index is calculated on a total return basis with dividends reinvested and is not available for direct investment.
*The Dow Jones Industrial Average covers 30 blue chip U.S. companies selected by the editors of the Wall Street Journal. The Dow represents about 25% of the NYSE market capitalization and less than 2% of NYSE issues.
*The NASDAQ is a market-value weighted index that measures all NASDAQ domestic and foreign common stocks.