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March 20 , 2017
Statistic of the Week: 
For the holiday season, MasterCard is reporting that retail sales are up just under 4%. Men’s clothing is the category with the biggest increase in spending, while jewelry sales saw a decline. The gift card market shrank from over $30 billion to approximately $27.5 billion; the number one category for gift cards this year is restaurants.
Global Perspective: 
Japan’s parliament recently voted to pass a bill that overturned a ban on gambling. The legislative body is betting that they will be able to keep its wealthy gamblers on Japanese soil instead of seeing them go to Macau or Singapore for the activity.
Market Moving Events: 
Tuesday: Consumer Confidence Wednesday: Pending Home Sales Thursday: International Trade, Jobless Claims Friday: Chicago PMI
Commentary: 
In the second to last trading week of the year, US domestic equity markets continued their march higher, while fixed income markets stabilized. The S&P 500 ticked up 0.30% as the DJIA increased 0.46%.1 Developed international markets, measured by the MSCI EAFE, kept pace, while emerging markets declined about 1.7%.2 The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell from 2.60% the week before to close Friday with a yield of 2.55%.3 As we head into the New Year, fixed income investors will be hoping for some stability in these markets, as fluctuations in bond yields and prices have led many to question the relative safety of these supposed “safe” investments. Looking at the year in review, “eventful” seems to be an understatement. 2016 began with a sharp selloff in the US equity markets, and by the bottom on February 10, the S&P 500 was down in excess of 10%.4 After that low, markets whipsawed higher, recovering until the Brexit vote, which caused another downturn in the markets. Heading into the US presidential election, domestic equity indices were near flat. The night of the election, stock futures plummeted with the prospect of a Trump win, only to turn and run higher as investors rushed into the “Trump Rally.” The S&P 500 crossed 2,200 for the first time, and the DJIA continues to flirt with 20,000. This state of euphoria may have some staying power. And while 2016 turned out “alright” for investors, it was a turbulent ride, and may foreshadow things to come in 2017. - Dan McElwee, CFP®
Chart of the Week: 
About Ventura Wealth Management: 
Ventura Wealth Management is an independent Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). Unparalleled service, objective advice, and comprehensive planning act as the central pillars of our client experience. We are dedicated to building long-term client relationships through diligent management, custom portfolios, client education, and ongoing financial review
Sources: 

Statistic of the Week:

CNBC

 

Global Perspective:

The Economist

 

Market Moving Data:

Bloomberg.com

 

Chart of the Week:

Haver Analytics / Census Bureau

 

Commentary:

1.Bloomberg
2.Bloomberg
3.Bloomberg
4.JP Morgan Asset Management
 
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