What I’m Watching This Week – 6 January 2014

What I’m Watching This Week

Here we are, 2014, and hopefully your portfolio had a profitable 2013.  If not, we may need to have a chat.  =)

The Dow was up 25%, the S&P 500 up 29% and the NASDAQ up 37% to end 2013.  Your individual performance more than likely probably doesn’t reflect the substantial gains as the overall indices but hopefully you were able to capture a significant percentage to close out the year, hopefully.

Equities rang in the new year by taking a bit of a breather. As investors decided to take some of the profits that the Santa Claus rally had left in their stockings, the Dow lost 135 points on 2014’s first trading day, though it regained much of that the following day. The other three domestic indices fared slightly worse, though not as badly as the Global Dow. Meanwhile, gold showed signs of new life after its disastrous 2013, jumping nearly 3% in the first two days of the year.

Last Week’s Headlines

Home prices rose 0.2% in October, putting them 13.6% higher than 12 months earlier. The year-over-year gain in the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Index was the strongest since February 2006, and October’s monthly increase represents the 17th straight month of gains. However, S&P warned that the monthly increases were showing signs of slowing.

Construction spending was up 1% in November, according to the Commerce Department, and was almost 6% higher than the previous November. Strength in both residential and non-residential private construction fueled the growth as spending on public works projects fell 1.8% during the month.

Eye on the Week Ahead

Last week’s light trading volumes should be back to normal this week, and those who believe that the first five trading days of January indicate something about equities’ subsequent direction during the coming year will have a better basis for making that assessment. Friday’s jobs numbers will be of interest, as always, as will the minutes of the meeting at which the Fed’s monetary policy committee decided to start tapering.

Have an amazing 2014, stay focused, aware and able to participate in achieving your individual goals for the year!