Three-quarters of the way through 2013, the stock market today has performed admirably. The average diversified U.S. stock fund soared 7.7% from July through September.
The third-quarter gain, the best since the first quarter, brings 2013’s average gain to 21.6% vs. 20.5% for the S&P 500 index. If the year were to end here, it would be the best one since 2009.
Stock Market Today
- Average stock gains 21.6%.
- Emerging markets sell off.
- Influenced by news of the day.
Small company growth funds jumped 12.8% the third quarter, bringing the 2013 gain to 32.2%. The biggest improvement through the third-quarter 2013 happened with precious metals funds, up 11.4%, thanks to a big rebound in gold prices.
Health and biotechnology funds were up 13.9% for the third quarter and 38.3% for the year.
Global science and technology funds rose 13.4% for the quarter and 22.5% for the year. The top fund for the quarter was Direxion China Bull 3X fund, up 93.6%. It uses leverage to capture the Chinese market’s gains and losses.
Some international funds also fared well. European funds gained 13.1% for the quarter, and international large-cap core funds — your basic diversified large-company international fund — jumped 11.6%.
Emerging markets funds, however, gained 5.5% for the quarter, and are still down 2.2% for 2013. India funds fell 6.5%, and real estate funds lost 1.7%.
Stock Market Today: Looking Ahead
However, the stock market is being influenced by a number of issues: a shutdown by the federal government, a threat by the Fed to reduce economic stimulation, unrest in the Middle East and a month—October—that historically has a bad reputation.
Historically, stocks have managed to advance the vast majority of the time (10 out of 11 occurrences) in the two weeks following a government shutdown. In addition, a Bloomberg report stated that since 1976, the S&P has risen 11% on average in the 12 months post-shutdown.
News of the day is likely to dominate trading in the coming days and weeks so should new tensions break out in the Middle East, investors may take profits and put new money to work in gold or bonds, both safe havens.
Speculation is brewing about whether Yahoo! might use some or all of the $5 billion windfall it will get from the Alibaba IPO to purchase AOL.
Net neutrality will have major implications for the Internet going forward, but the market might be missing one of the biggest opportunities.
resident Obama recently came out with his position on net neutrality, arguing that the FCC should regulate Internet service providers (ISPs) like utilities to ensure the FCC can enforce a fair and free Internet.
A perfect storm of uncertainty in the global economy and a stronger dollar means these companies are likely to be big stock market winners in the next year.
On the heels of midterm elections and with a couple weeks left until Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season, things were relatively quiet on Wall Street this week. Stocks inched up a few ticks. The move was far from spectacular. But with the S&P 500 already entering the week at all-time highs, the [...]