By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, October 20, 2017
By Mike Keerma
Stock markets in the U.S. closed at record highs again this past week, as
the U.S. Senate passed a budget blueprint that would pave the way for the
Trump Administration’s plan to reform the unwieldy U.S. tax code. That,
along with a purported short list of candidates to lead the Federal Reserve
Board, had investor sentiment bubbling even higher, leading the blue-chip
S&P Composite Index to yet another record close and its sixth consecutive weekly gain, at 0.9%.
Nasdaq Composite Index also racked up a record high close on Friday, posting an advance of 0.4% on
the week. Toronto’s benchmark
S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 0.3% on the week, also its sixth consecutive weekly advance, buoyed
by strength in the materials sector and gains in financial stocks.
Gold, however, retreated 1.8% on the week, while
crude oil posted a gain of 1.3%.
“Preparing for a rainy day” may be the best way to describe the direction
of the U.S. stock market with the three most recognized indexes – the Dow
Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 Composite, and the Nasdaq
Composite – having notched solid, double-digit gains to the end of August.
Taking a longer view, the current U.S. equity bull market has boosted share
prices by about 260% in a little over eight years to the middle of the
third-quarter 2017. This makes it one of the longer and stronger uptrends
in post-war history. So it’s not surprising that this cycle’s duration – in
concert with depressed volatility readings, concerns about narrowing market
participation, monetary tightening and stretched valuations – has some
investors reviewing their passive U.S. equity ETF allocation.
Ethical, or socially responsible, investing has been growing in popularity
recently as more people look to do the right thing with their investment
NEI Ethical Canadian Equity Fund, managed by Calgary based QV Investments, is one of the oldest, and
best-managed funds currently available in the socially-responsible
investing space. Here’s a look at what makes this fund tick.
According to the Bank of Canada, the record low for the Canadian dollar
against the U.S. dollar, since October 1950, was recorded on the Jan. 21,
2002 – just over 15 years ago – when the loonie was worth just 62¢. But
there have been some rebounds lately; and this means for some, there may be
a tax consequence.
Some investors may believe that natural disasters lead to increased
economic growth. In the short run, this may appear to be the case. For
example, American manufacturing expanded last month at the fastest pace in
13 years, in part due to the effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. But
fortunately, we have the late French economist, Frédéric Bastiat, to set
enquiring minds straight: Destruction does not benefit the economy.