Before I get into the latest housing numbers and last week’s stock market performance, watch our brief video explaining how different investment accounts are taxed. Hopefully this serves as a good resource as you start prepping for tax season in January.
Let us know if anything is unclear or if you want additional information regarding taxes.
Real Estate: Home values continue to stagnate nationwide. Home prices were unchanged in the month of September and fell for the second-straight month in Seattle, down -1.3% (per the latest S&P/Case-Shiller report). Seattle was the biggest loser among the 20 major cities tracked, of which 8 cities experienced monthly price declines. Year-over-year, Seattle homes remain +8.4% higher, which is above the +5.5% national average but a far cry from the +13% growth of just a few months ago.
Take a look at how each major city behaved:
Las Vegas has been on a tear, up +13.5% annually, while San Francisco remains in the second spot (up +10%).
In The Market...
The S&P 500 gained +4.7% last week. Let's look under the hood:
The stock market was resilient last week, almost the exact opposite of what had happened the week before. Coming off a -4% weekly loss, the S&P index rallied nearly +5% as all 10 sectors gained.
There were some distinct positives about last week, including the S&P getting back above its 200-day moving average. The end of the week happened to coincide with the end of the month, for which the S&P gained +1.8% in November. It really was not a good month for the market considering stocks lost roughly -7% in October. Most of the same risks that I have been emphasizing since then still exist. Prices are likely to remain choppy, although the news on Sunday that there may be some trade tension relief between the U.S. and China seems to be boosting stocks to start this new week.
We finally added the Health Care sector fund (XLV) that I have mentioned over the past few weeks. By my estimation, Health Care is the strongest sector and last week’s rally has it poised for a bigger run. We will see.
Most client accounts are getting closer to being fully invested, although we are still holding some cash. The bond market continues to flail around, providing no good opportunity. Until that changes, any accounts that include an allocation into bonds will continue to hold cash instead. Contact us if you would like to discuss.
In Our Portfolios...
What's New With Us?
My family went to Safeco Field on Saturday evening, which was transformed into a holiday event called “Enchant Christmas”. From the light maze to ice skating to all of the other activities and vendors there, it was a cool event that apparently will be there all month. Our daughter loved it, as did we.
Have a great week!
Brian E Betz, CFP®