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October 25 2016

“Verrrry interesting.”

Arte Johnson’s catch phrase from Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In may not have described U.S. stock markets last week, but there were some interesting economic, cyber-security, and consumer developments around the world.

Major U.S. stock indices finished the week slightly higher. Experts, cited by Barron’s, suggested markets seemed tired and were waiting for clarity around the U.S. election outcome, Federal Reserve rate increase, and corporate quarterly earnings.

Across the pond, opposition from Wallonia (a dairy-producing region of Belgium) killed trade negotiations between the European Union and Canada. The New York Times suggested the collapse of trade talks could signal a new chapter in modern history:

“Liberalized trade has amplified economic growth, but the spoils have been largely monopolized by wealthy and corporate interests. Recriminations over the resulting economic inequalities are now so ferocious that modern history has been altered: The phase of globalization that began with the ending of World War II is essentially over.”

Another modern development – the Internet Everything (think unsecured DVRs, CCTV cameras, baby monitors, home routers, and other unsecured devices) – may have helped facilitate a cyber attack on an Internet performance management company last Friday. The hack disrupted access to some major websites. Financial Times explained cyber criminals infected the devices without the owners’ knowledge.

Finally, we learned food doesn’t have to be gold-foiled to be outrageously expensive. AdWeek wrote:

“…To go along with the supposed epicurean majesty of its beverage, St. Erik’s Brewery created a very high-class snack – potato chips featuring rare Nordic ingredients and sold in a pack of five for a whopping $56.”

The first 100 boxes sold out in a week!

  • Data as of 10/21/161-WeekY-T-D1-Year3-Year5-Year10-Year
  • Standard & Poor’s 500 (Domestic Stocks)0.0040.0480.0610.0710.1160.045
  • Dow Jones Global ex-U.S.0.82.7-0.5-32.5-0.5
  • 10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only)1.7NA22.62.24.8
  • Gold (per ounce)1.119.28.5-1.3-5.18.1
  • Bloomberg Commodity Index-0.39.6-2.4-12.4-9.9-6.4
  • DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index0.68.89.510.813.35.5

*Indices are unmanaged and investors cannot invest directly in an index.
*Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Barron’s, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association
*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.
*Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.

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Bart A Zandbergen, CFP® is a Registered Investment Advisor with Optivest, Inc and a Registered Representative with Gramercy Securities, Inc. Investment advisory services are offered by Optivest, Inc. under SEC Registration and securities are offered through Gramercy Securities, Inc., member FINRA & SIPC, 3949 Old Post Road, Charlestown, RI, 02813, 800-333-7450.

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