Last Week Stock Market (Feb 13-17, 2017)

Last week, Feb 13-17, 2017, the stock market once again closed at record highs on Friday, just as it did last Friday, Feb. 10th. U.S. stocks closed the week up 1.5% and the S&P 500 is up 5.0% year-to-date. Investors continue to be fascinated by possible changes to the U.S. corporate tax code and the regulatory environment. As hopes for policy changes continue to rise, interruptions of these policy changes could cause market instability.

  • The U.S. has dropped on the World Economic Freedom Index from 11 to 17, and is now behind countries like the Netherlands and Lithuania
    • Here are the top 5 countries on the World Economic Freedom Index…
      1. Hong Kong
      2. Singapore
      3. New Zealand
      4. Switzerland
      5. Australia
    • Note: a key component to this index is tax rates, e.g. the lower a counties tax rate the more economic freedom it has
  • A report shows 79% of American’s plan to save their tax refund or use it to pay off debt this year
  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage drops slightly to 4.15% this week from 4.17% last week (one year ago a 30-year fixed-rate was at 3.65%)
  • All-time low for 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.31% back in November 2012 (all-time high for 30-year fixed was 18.63% back in October 1981)
  • Monthly mortgage payments consume nearly 16% of median income
  • The S&P 500 is up 248% from its March 9, 2009 low
  • Oil is down 0.6% so far this year and down 0.9% this past week (oil is down 63.2% from record high in July 2008)

Last Week’s Stock and Bond Index Performance (Feb 13-17, 2017)

  • NASDAQ 1.8% (YTD 8.5%)
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average 1.7% (YTD 4.4%)
  • S&P 500 Index 1.5% (YTD 5.0%)
  • U.S. Aggregate Bond Index -0.1% (YTD 0.5%)

How did my retirement portfolio perform last week (Feb 13-17, 2017)?

Below is a snapshot of my three biggest retirement portfolio mutual fund movers in terms of percentage gained last week.

The below mutual funds are held within my work 401(k) plan as well as two separate Roth IRA plans. All accounts are held with Vanguard.

  1. Vanguard S&P 500 Index Fund (VFIAX) 1.6%
  2. Vanguard Target Date 2040 Fund (VFORX) 1.1%
  3. Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXAX) 1.0%

Can I Beat the Stock Market?

I am actually not trying to “beat the market” with my retirement portfolio…I am trying to match it. I do have alternative indexes in my retirement portfolio to help possibly beat the market, e.g. Small Cap, REITs, International, and Emerging Markets. With that said, if I can beat the market I will absolutely take it (obviously)! In the last 90 days my portfolio is up 7.08%, whereas the S&P 500 is up 6.96%. So I am just slightly beating the market.

I am a liberal arts major and I am my own financial advisor. My goal with this personal finance blog is to show all Millennial’s that you have the power to take control of your personal finances through self-educating on money and finance, and by striving to become financially literate. That is what I have been doing for years now, focusing on becoming financially literate, so I can one day become financially independent. I’m trying to prove to Millennial’s that we can all do this and thrive with money. Follow my blog as I highlight relevant personal finance topics pertaining to us Millennial’s.

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