Top Stories Last Week
- Equity markets were down
Global equity markets closed the week down as Chinese economy showed signs of slowdown, and disappointed European manufacturing activities and mixed US housing data captured the headline. The S&P 500 Index was down by 0.5%, posting its worst weekly performance of the year. MSCI EAFE index fell by 1.3% and MSCI Emerging Market index dropped by 2.6% for the week.
- US housing markets - a mixed picture
The data released last week painted a mixed picture of US housing markets. The National Association of Home Builders reported that housing activities and outlook were a little softer than expected. The builders broke ground on 698K new homes and acquired 717K building permits, an increase of 27K from last month. However, the existing home sales dropped by 0.9% in February. New homes sales was 313K, which was lower than January. Although the warm weather and improving job market helped the housing markets, there is still a long way from a significant housing recovery.
- Eurozone manufacturing activities were disappointed
Against the economists' consensus, the manufacturing activities in Eurozone worsened in March. The PMI manufacturing index declined to 47.7. The hope of a quick recovery from the debt crisis is premature.
- China slowed down further
The HSBC Chinese Manufacturing PMI in March declined to 48.1 from 49.6 a month ago, adding to the sign of further slowdown in the Chinese economy.
- Apple announced dividend for the first time in 17 years
Apple said it would pay $45 billion of its vast cash pile in dividend to shareholders over next three years, though the dividend yield was estimated to be 1.8%. The first dividend since 1995 signaled the change of policy from the Steve Job's era.
Top Stories to Watch This Week
There will be no major economic data to be released this week. Most of them are second-tier data, though we may see some market trading activities as result of quarter-end window dressing.
- US consumer confidence
The US consumer confidence released by the Conference Board captures the consumer optimism about the economy. It is expected to be 70.5, a slight drop from last month.
- Japanese industrial production
The industrial production measures the outputs of the Japanese factories and mines. It is a useful gauge on the health of Japanese economy. It is expected to rise by 1.4% in February.
- German IFO business confidence survey
The German IFO business sentiment index released by the CESifo Group is closely watched as an early indicator of current business conditions in Germany. It is expected to remained at 109.6. Any improvement will be seen as positive development in the European's largest economy.
Weekly Performance Summary
All the portfolios declined slightly as results of negative performance of equity and other risk assets during the week.
Table 1: ETF Performance
|Asset Class Return||Ticker||Asset Class||Last Week Return||MTD Return||YTD Return|
|SPY||US Large Cap||-0.5%||2.4%||11.8%|
|IWM||US Small Cap||-0.1%||2.3%||12.5%|
|EFA||Developed Market Equity||-1.3%||0.2%||10.6%|
|VWO||Emerging Market Equity||-2.6%||-3.0%||13.3%|
|AMJ||US Energy Master Trust||-0.2%||-2.8%||2.9%|
|HYG||US High Yield||0.0%||-1.2%||2.4%|
|TIP||US Treasury Inflation Indexed Bond||0.3%||-0.6%||1.0%|
|IEF||US Treasury Bond||0.4%||-1.8%||-2.0%|
|TLT||US Long Term Treasury Bond||1.6%||-3.4%||-6.2%|
|SHV||US Short Term Bond||0.0%||-0.1%||-0.2%|
Table 2: Portfolio Performance
(1 day delay)
(1 day delay)
(as of 12/11)
(as of 12/11)
(as of 12/11)
|S&P 500 Index||-0.5%||2.4%||11.8%||2.0%||-0.3%||2.9%|
|Barclays Bond Index||0.4%||-0.7%||0.0%||10.3%||6.9%||5.8%|
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About ALL SEASON INVESTING: All Seasin Investing (NYSE:ASI) is an investment blog, created in December 2011 to offer investors insights and researches on how to implement a dynamic multi asset allocation strategy with the low-cost index funds or ETFs to achieve consistent returns while limiting downside risks through all stages of a market cycle.