July public markets finished on a strong note, with both
domestic and international indices up for the month. The last couple of
years have seen substantial volatility with modest gain.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the month at
18,432, an all-time high, and its highest close since May 2015.
This compares to a closing price of 17,425 on December 31, 2015, and
17,823 on December 31, 2014. The Dow is up 1007 points, or 5.8% YTD,
and up 609 points over the last nineteen months, for an annualized
return, net of dividends, of 2.13%. Dividends have added about 2.4%
annually to this return.
The S&P 500 finished the month at 2173, an all-time
high, and its highest close since May 2015. This compares to a
closing price of 2043 on December 31, 2015, and 2058 on December 31,
2014. The S&P 500 is up 130 points, or 6.4% YTD, and up 115
points, for an annualized return of 3.45%, over the last nineteen
months. Dividends have added about 2.4% annually to this
return. Aggregate second quarter earnings for the S&P 500
companies are expected to fall 3.7%, compared to the previous quarter.
The NASDAQ Composite finished the month at 5162, up 155
points, or 3% YTD. Over the last nineteen months, the NASDAQ is up
426 points, for an annualized return of 5.5%.
Bonds have had an excellent year so far. Measured by short
term and intermediate/long term bond proxies, BSV and BLV, short term
bonds are up 2%, while intermediate/long bonds are up more than 16%
YTD. A large part of the reason? Investors from all over the
world are pouring money into U.S. markets, $41 billion just in May, and
almost all of it is going into U.S. Treasuries.
You've probably noticed that the world doesn't feel especially
safe at the moment. When there is uncertainty and chaos, many
citizens from around the world send their money and their families to
America. These citizens continue to vote with their pocketbook and
their feet about the relative strength and safety of the U.S.
On the earnings front, DuPont and Verizon both reported
earnings that exceeded forecasts. United Technologies, UTX, reported
earnings and sales ahead of expectations, and said it is on track to meet
its growth targets for 2020.
Under Armour, Exxon, and McDonald's all recorded a year over
year drop in quarterly profits.
Speaking of oil, John D. Rockefeller put together, and
controlled, what became the Standard Oil Trust, until its demise in 1911,
when Teddy Roosevelt put teeth into the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. (This act
was named after Ohio senator John Sherman, a brother of William Tecumseh
Sherman). This wasn't the demise of the controlling shareholders of
the trust, nor their wealth, just the breakup of the trust.
The Atlanta Regional Commission's Livable Centers Initiative
has produced a 92 page report detailing plans for Turner Field
post-braves. Plans include a Georgia State football stadium and
baseball field, housing, and more.
Once again, Hartsfield-Jackson tops ACI's list of the
busiest airport in the world. If you travel through Hartsfield
much, this won't surprise you. It's typically not too difficult to
navigate Hartsfield, though I'd suggest that the TSA outsource some of
their interpersonal skills training to Chick-Fil-A. At least after
they rummage through your bag, looking for contraband that usually isn't
there, they could say "my pleasure".
Quotes of the week:
today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by
midnight. Extend them all the care, kindness, and understanding you
can muster. Your life will never be the same again."
"As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men
say. I just watch what they do."
Centurion Advisory Group offers a suite of wealth management
services on a fee-only basis, including comprehensive personal and
business financial planning, financial administration, and investment
management. For more information about the company and its
services, go towww.centurionag.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 770.817.0525.