Weekly Market Commentary December 14, 2015

Weekly Market Commentary December 14, 2015

The Markets
It’s not like it’s a surprise!
Last week, investors didn’t appear to be thrilled with the possibility the Federal Reserve might
raise rates this week. They also weren’t too impressed by another drop in oil prices. There was red
ink everywhere as markets from Australia to Hong Kong, across the Eurozone, and throughout the
Americas moved lower last week.
Bloomberg reported there was a 74 percent probability of a Fed rate hike at the December Federal
Open Market Committee meeting. The Wall Street Journal’s survey of business and academic
economists put the chance at 97 percent. More than 80 percent of those surveyed said the Fed
would lose credibility if it doesn’t act in December.
It’s important to remember the Fed doesn’t actually set interest rates. It takes actions designed to
influence financial behaviors. Even if the Fed does push to increase interest rates, it remains to be
seen whether its efforts will bear fruit. The Financial Times wrote:
“…As “lift-off” has drawn closer some analysts have begun to highlight just how
experimental this interest rate rise will be. The Fed’s bloated balance sheet –
swelled by its quantitative easing program – prevents it from using its traditional
interest rate tools, so it has unveiled and has been testing new ones. The main new
levers are known as the “interest on overnight reserves” and the “overnight reverse
repo program,” and central bank officials are confident that they will be able to lift
the Fed funds rate, which is the main target. But some analysts caution that it could
be a choppy take-off.”
If the Fed acts and interest rates don’t respond, there may be further volatility. The Financial
Times reported markets almost certainly have priced in a rate hike at this point. We’ll find out next
week.
Data as of 12/11/15 1-Week Y-T-D 1-Year 3-Year 5-Year 10-Year
Standard & Poor’s 500 (Domestic Stocks) -3.8% -2.3% -1.1% 12.1% 10.2% 4.8%
Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. -3.1 -8.3 -8.4 -0.1 -1.1 0.6
10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only) 2.1 NA 2.2 1.7 3.3 4.6
Gold (per ounce) -0.6 -10.6 -11.8 -14.4 -5.2 7.2
Bloomberg Commodity Index -4.0 -24.8 -29.2 -17.7 -12.9 -7.9
DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index -2.0 -1.0 -0.3 9.9 11.6 6.9
S&P 500, Dow Jones Global ex-US, Gold, Bloomberg Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a
dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; the DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index does include reinvested
dividends and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the
day on each of the historical time periods.
Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Barron’s, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.
NEXT YEAR, CHINA’S RENMINBI (A.K.A. YUAN) WILL JOIN THE U.S. DOLLAR,
euro, yen, and pound, when it is added to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s Special
Drawing Rights (SDR) basket – a supplementary foreign exchange reserve asset that is defined
and maintained by the IMF. It will become the third weightiest currency in the basket. After the
renminbi is added, the U.S. dollar will comprise 42 percent of the basket (unchanged from 2010).
The euro will be 31 percent (down from 37 percent in 2010). The renminbi will be 11 percent. The
Japanese yen will be 8 percent (down from 9 percent in 2010). The British pound will be 8 percent
(down from 11 percent).
Managing Director of the IMF Christine Lagarde said:
“The Executive Board’s decision to include the RMB in the SDR basket is an
important milestone in the integration of the Chinese economy into the global
financial system. It is also a recognition of the progress that the Chinese authorities
have made in the past years in reforming China’s monetary and financial systems.
The continuation and deepening of these efforts will bring about a more robust
international monetary and financial system, which in turn will support the growth
and stability of China and the global economy.”
So, is the renminbi likely to give the U.S. dollar a run for its money? Not any time soon, according
to economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. Over the next 50 years, they gave China about
a 34 percent chance of challenging the dollar. One said, “To match the dollar’s appeal, China will
need markets as deep as those in the U.S. and to produce economic indicators that are
trustworthy.”
Weekly Focus – Think About It
“Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love.
Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent then the one derived from
fear of punishment.”
–Mahatma Gandhi, Former leader of the Indian independence movement
Best regards,
John F. Reutemann, Jr., CLU, CFP®
P.S. Please feel free to forward this commentary to family, friends, or colleagues. If you would
like us to add them to the list, please reply to this e-mail with their e-mail address and we will ask
for their permission to be added.
Investment Advice and Financial Planning offered through Research Financial Strategies, a
registered investment advisor.
* These views are those of Peak Advisor Alliance, and not the presenting Representative or the
Representative’s Broker/Dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Peak Advisor Alliance. Peak Advisor Alliance is not affiliated with the
named broker/dealer.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of
principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value.
However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
*Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and
are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer
coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be
representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged index. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect
fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45
developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the
U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark
for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold
price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S.
dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the
commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and
was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity
subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific
periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to
predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies
promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* You cannot invest directly in an index.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.
* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.
* To unsubscribe from the Research Financial Strategies Weekly Market Commentary please click here
Sources:
http://www.barrons.com/mdc/public/page/9_3063-economicCalendar.html?mod=BOL_Nav_MAR_hpp
(Click on U.S. & Intl Recaps, “Nerves on edge,” then scroll down to the “Global Stock Market Recap”) (or
go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/12-14-15_Barrons-
Global_Stock_Market_Recap-Footnote_1.pdf)
http://www.barrons.com/articles/stocks-drop-3-8-in-overture-to-fed-meeting-
1449899545?mod=BOL_hp_we_columns (or go to https://s3-us-west-
2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/12-14-15_Barrons-
Stocks_Drop_3.8_Percent_in_Overture_to_Fed_Meeting-Footnote_2.pdf)
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-24/fed-rate-odds-rise-to-74-in-bond-market-as-pimcosees-
liftoff
http://www.wsj.com/articles/wsj-survey-economists-are-convinced-fed-will-raise-rates-in-december-
1449759601 (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/12-14-
15_WSJ-WSJ_Survey-Economists_are_Convinced_Fed_Will_Raise_Rates_in_December-Footnote_4.pdf)
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/43f6507c-9f68-11e5-beba-5e33e2b79e46.html#axzz3uA9sho6V (Click on the
Markets tab, then Capital Markets) (or go to https://s3-us-west-
2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/12-14-15_FinancialTimes-
Federal_Reserve_Rate_Call-Five_Questions-Footnote_5.pdf)
http://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/sdr.htm
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/01/business/international/china-renminbi-reserve-currency.html (or go to
https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/12-14-15_NYTimes-
Chinas_Renminbi_is_Approved_by_IMF_as_a_Main_World_Currency-Footnote_7.pdf)
https://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pr/2015/pr15540.htm
http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2015/12/10/wsj-survey-yuan-no-challenge-to-dollar-amid-chinas-tiptoetoward-
freer-markets/ (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/12-
14-15_WSJ-WSJ_Survey-Yuan_No_Challenge_to_Dollar-Footnote_9.pdf)
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/mahatmagan395453.html?src=t_power