Fri 29 Dec 2017 (EOY)

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In Portfolioticker today

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  • Today at the stock market Opinion
  • The portfolio today Opinion
  • News
  • flag_japan Japan Update
  • flag_china China Update
  • Today at the stock market

    bull/bearThere were no fireworks on Wall Street for the last trading day of the year, as U.S. stocks closed out their best year since 2013 on a down note, with losses in technology and financial stocks keeping equities in negative territory for the session.

    Major indexes hit a series of record highs in 2017, lifted by a combination of strong economic growth, solid corporate earnings, low interest rates and hopes for a tax cut from U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration.

    The benchmark S&P 500 surged 19.5% this year, the blue-chip Dow 25.2% and Nasdaq 28.2%, as each of the major Wall Street indexes scored the best yearly performance since 2013.

    • The S&P 500 index fell 13.93 points, or 0.52%, to 2,673.61
    • The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 118.29 points, or 0.48%, to close 24,719.22
    • The Nasdaq Composite index fell 46.77 points, or 0.67 percent, to 6,903.39.
    • Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.46-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.91-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
    • The S&P 500 posted 36 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 81 new highs and 20 new lows.
    • Volume on U.S. exchanges was 4.94 billion shares, compared to the 6.4 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

    The market has also remained resilient in the face of tensions in North Korea and political turmoil in Washington. The S&P 500 only saw four sessions all year with a decline of more than 1% while the CBOE Volatility index (VIX) topped out at 15.96 on a closing basis, well below its long-term average of 20.

    “The real question is what happens as we head into 2018. There is an awful lot of optimism built into share prices right now that could set us up for disappointment,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research in New York.

    The rally is widely expected to extend into 2018, boosted by gains from a new law that lowers the tax burden on U.S. corporations.


    Among sectors, the technology index has been the best performer, up 37% and led by a gain of 87.6% in Micron Technology.

    Apple declined 1.08% after issuing a rare apology for slowing older iPhones with flagging batteries.
    Amazon fell 1.4% after Trump targeted the online retailer in a call for the country’s postal service to raise prices of shipments in order to recoup costs.

    Other Sectors

    Telecom services down 5.7%, and energy, down 3.7%, were the only two sectors to end the year in the red.

    Goldman Sachs lost 0.68% after saying its Q4/2017 profit would take a $5 billion hit related to the new tax law.Reuters

    Market indices

    Market indices
    ^ Market indices today (mouseover for 12 month view) Chart: Google Finance

    Index Ticker Today Change 31 Dec 16 2017 Year
    S&P 500 SPX (INX) 2,673.61 -0.52% 2,238.83 +19.41%
    DJIA INDU 24,719.22 -0.48% 19,762.60 +25.08%
    NASDAQ IXIC 6,903.39 -0.68% 5,383.12 +28.24%

    Portfolio Indices

    :-) Our USD and AUD denominated indices were established 5 years ago. Since then:

    • The USD denominated index has risen 203.43%. That represents an average annual compounding growth rate of 25.12%.
    • The AUD denominated index has risen 302.73%. That represents an average annual compounding growth rate of 31.34%.

    USD and AUD denominated indices over the past 52 weeks (Chart: Bunting)
    ^ USD and AUD denominated indices over the past 52 weeks Chart: Bunting

    Index values

    Index Currency Today Change 31 Dec 16 2017 Year
    USD-denominated Index USD 3.067 -0.98% 2.105 +45.73%
    Valuation Rate USD/AUD 0.78528 +0.10% 0.72663 +8.07%
    AUD-denominated Index AUD 3.908 -1.08% 2.895 +35.00%

    Portfolio stock prices

    Stock Ticker Today Change 31 Dec 16 2017 Year
    Alphabet A GOOGL $1,053.00 -0.28% $792.45 +32.87%
    Alphabet C GOOG $1,045.65 -0.24% $771.82 +35.47%
    Apple AAPL $169.23 -1.09% $115.82 +46.11%
    Amazon AMZN $1,169.54 -1.40% $749.87 +55.96%
    Ebay EBAY $37.76 -0.43% $29.69 +27.18%
    Facebook FB $176.46 -0.83% $115.05 +53.37%
    PayPal PYPL $73.61 -0.76% $39.47 +86.49%
    Twitter TWTR $24.01 -1.24% $16.30 +47.30%
    Visa V $114.02 -0.29% $78.02 +46.14%
    VMware VMW $125.32 -1.02% $78.73 +59.17%



    DXY movements
    ^ Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index (DXY) movements today (mouseover for 12 month view) Chart: Bloomberg

    The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index (DXY) fell 0.4% to the lowest in more than 3 months.
    The EUR rose 0.4% to USD 1.20, the strongest in more than 14 weeks.
    Britain’s GBP rose 0.6% to USD 1.3525, hitting the strongest in 14 weeks.


    AUD movements
    ^ AUD movements against the USD today (mouseover for 12 month view) Chart:

    Oil and Gas Futures

    Futures prices

    Prices are as at 15:47 ET

    • NYMEX West Texas Intermediate (WTI): $60.21/barrel +0.62% Chart
    • ICE (London) Brent North Sea Crude: $66.87/barrel +1.07% (14:59) Chart
    • NYMEX Natural gas futures: $2.95/MMBTU +1.24% Chart

    flag_australia AU: Financial Aggregates: Nov 2017

    Press Release Extract [au_money]
    Oct 2017 Nov 2017 YE Nov 16 YE Nov 17
    Total credit 0.4% 0.5% 5.4% 5.4%
    – Housing 0.5% 0.4% 6.3% 6.4%
    – Personal −0.1% −0.2% −0.8% −1.2%
    – Business 0.4% 0.7% 4.9% 4.7%
    Broad money 0.6% 0.1% 6.3% 6.0%
    Sources: ABS; APRA; RBA

    Reserve Bank of Australia, “Financial Aggregates: Nov 2017“, 29 Dec 2017 More

    Comment: TradingEconomics

    Private sector credit in Australia rose 0.5 percent month-on-month in November of 2017, following a 0.4 percent increase in the prior month and above market expectations of 0.4 percent. Credit rose faster than in the preceding month nudged mainly by business (0.7 percent vs 0.4 percent in October). In contrast, housing credit slowed down to a 0.4 percent monthly expansion (vs 0.5 percent). Compared to the same month the prior year, private sector credit went up by 5.4 percent, after a 5.3 percent increase in the prior month. Private Sector Credit in Australia averaged 0.88 percent from 1976 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 2.90 percent in July of 1986 and a record low of -0.50 percent in July of 1992.TradingEconomics

    flag_japan Japan update

    Currency: USD/JPY

    JPY movements
    ^ JPY movements against the USD over the past month (mouseover for inverse) Chart:

    Stockmarket: Nikkei 225

    N225 movements
    ^ Nikkei N225 movements over the past week Chart: Google Finance

    flag_china China update

    Currency: USD/CNY

    CNY movements
    ^ CNY movements against the USD over the past month (mouseover for inverse) Chart:

    China’s CNY strengthened almost 6.5% against the USD in 2017 after depreciating nearly 7% in 2016. It is the best performance of the offshore renminbi since 2008 as tighter cash conditions and financial regulations from the PBoC contributed to the slowdown in capital outflows and as fears of an economic slowdown eased. Historically, the CNY reached an all time high of 8.73 in Jan 1994 and a record low of 1.53 in Jan 1981.TradingEconomics

    Stockmarket: CSI300

    CSI300 movements
    ^ Shanghai CSI300 movements over the past week Chart: Google Finance

    Comment on CSE (not the same as CSI300)

    The Shanghai Composite (CSE) closed the last trading day of 2017 in the green, gaining 11 points or 0.3% to 3307. On the year, the benchmark stock index jumped 6.6% after falling 12.3% in 2016 as investors increased their exposure to Chinese markets amid a stronger yuan, tighter financial regulations, better-than-expected economic performance and a recovery in global growth. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng jumped 36% on the year, compared to a 0.4% gain in 2016. Historically, the China Shanghai Composite Stock Market Index reached an all time high of 6092.06 in October of 2007 and a record low of 99.98 in December of 1990.TradingEconomics