Eye on the Market

  November 3 Mo. YTD 1 Year
S&P 500 2.80% 10.58% 26.62% 27.51%
Russell 2000 3.88% 13.06% 34.56% 39.05%
NASDAQ 3.58% 13.09% 34.46% 34.87%
MSCI EAFE ($ basis) 0.56% 11.29% 17.76% 21.42%
MSCI EAFE (local) 1.33%   9.17% 21.87% 25.70%
UK (FTSE)          -1.20%   3.71% 12.76% 13.36%
Germany (DAX) 4.11% 16.07% 23.55% 27.00%
Japan (NIKKEI) 9.31% 16.98% 51.72% 65.80%
MSCI Emerging Markets ($ basis)          -1.56%  9.55% -3.50%  1.12%
Barclays Aggregate          -0.37%  1.39% -1.47% -1.61%

All market data as of the end of November 2013.  Quoted index returns are based on month end index prices (in local currency except where noted) and do not include dividends.

  November Prior Month Beginning of Year Prior Year
10 year Treasury Yield 2.75% 2.55% 1.76% 1.61%
Gold (London pm fixing per ounce in dollars) 1,253 1,324 1,676 1,726
Oil ($ per barrel) 92.72 96.38 91.82 88.88
VIX Index 13.7 13.7 18.0 15.9

All economic and market data as of the end of November 2013.


Eye on the Market Express

U.S. equity markets rallied during November, as the benchmark S&P 500 Index rose by 2.8%, reaching new all-time highs. Domestic markets experienced strong economic results due to general optimism in the U.S. economy and the anticipated appointment of Janet Yellen as Fed Chair. However, the largest surprise of the month was the employment report. October nonfarm payrolls skyrocketed by 204,000, surpassing expectations of a 120,000 increase. Furthermore, revisions to August and September reports added another 60,000 jobs to previous estimates. In spite of these strong payroll results, unemployment still rose by 0.1% to 7.3%.  Manufacturing, home prices, retail sales, GDP and leading economic indicators all exceeded expectations, while pending home sales and consumer confidence fell slightly short. Delving further into the economic indicator report showed that the Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) reported a 0.2% gain, beating expectations of a 0.1% rise. “The recent increase in the index supports our forecast that the U.S. economy is poised to grow somewhat faster at 2.3% in 2014 compared to 1.6% in 2013,” said Kathy Bostjancic, Director of Macroeconomic Analysis at The Conference Board. Sub-indexes which contributed positively to growth were financial, housing and manufacturing variables. Restraining growth is the ongoing caution of businesses that continue to keep tight reins on capital expenditures.

In regards to Janet Yellen, the Senate Banking Committee supported her nomination for Chair of the Federal Reserve. The vote was 14-8 and it is widely expected that the Senate will heed the recommendation of the Committee and appoint Yellen as the next Fed Chair. It is anticipated that Yellen will continue the highly accommodative monetary policies of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC); these speculations were further validated after Yellen’s statement: “I consider it imperative that we do what we can to promote a strong recovery; it’s important not to remove support, especially when the recovery is fragile and tools available to monetary policy, should the economy falter, are limited given that short-term interest rates are at zero.” Despite the remarks, many investors believe the FOMC will begin tapering asset purchases either in December or early 2014; an increase in the Federal Funds rate is not expected in the near future. Several other U.S. indices also achieved gains: the small-cap Russell 2000 Index rose by 3.9% and the NASDAQ reached a new 13-year high, increasing 3.6% in November.

International developed markets were mixed during the month. The benchmark MSCI EAFE Index and the Japanese Nikkei Index each achieved gains, rising 0.6% and 9%, respectively. Japanese equities benefitted from strong performances out of exporters following depreciation of the Yen; the Yen reached its lowest level versus the Euro in more than 5 years (139.71 yen per euro) and continued its slide against the dollar (102.94 yen per dollar). The weakness of the Yen can be attributed to a highly stimulative monetary policy in Japan. The Bank of Japan is attempting to expand their monetary base by 60-70 trillion yen per year, while maintaining a near-zero interest rate policy. In addition, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the Bank of Japan will maintain its current policy until inflation is stable at 2%—up from the current level of 1.1%. Kuroda expects the 2% inflation target to be reached in late 2014 or early 2015, though he admits the goal is quite ambitious after 15 years of deflation in Japan. In Europe, the European Central Bank (ECB) surprised investors by cutting its benchmark refinancing interest rate in half to 0.25%. ECB Governing Council member Ardo Hansson commented that the ECB is prepared to further cut interest rates and potentially impose a negative deposit rate should economic conditions warrant. Overall, European economic results were mixed; most German data (manufacturing, investor confidence, business confidence) came in above expectations while French markets (manufacturing, GDP, business activity) disappointed. Meanwhile, the Bank of England left its key interest rate unchanged at 0.5%. Credit rating agencies were also active in the European region. The Moody’s rating agency upgraded Greece from a C to a Caa3 and Spain’s government bond rating from “negative” to “stable”, while S&P cut the Netherlands credit rating from AAA to AA+ and France from AA+ to AA. European indices responded to the news with varying results; the German DAX increased by more than 4%, yet the UK FTSE Index fell by 1.2%. Emerging market equities continued to underperform the developed indices with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index falling by 1.6% and extending its year-to-date loss to 3.5%. Emerging market equities have been pressured by slowing economic growth and inflationary pressures in certain countries. During the month, the largest equity market declines in emerging markets were found in Indonesia, Thailand and Brazil, while Chinese and Mexico rallied in major indices.

Fixed income markets were driven largely by economic data and continued speculation over tapering. For the month, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.75%, up 20 basis points from October and nearly a full percent year-to-date. The Barclays Aggregate Bond Index fell by 0.4%, extending its year-to-date decline to 1.5% and putting the Index on pace for its first decline since 1999. The TIPS market has been one of the worst performing areas within fixed income during 2013, declining 8% year-to-date and marking its poorest performance since being launched in 1997. Market participants who invested in TIPS expected an increase in inflation as a result of the Federal Reserve’s accommodative monetary policy, but the domestic economy has shown little signs of that.  

Commodities continued its downward trend for the month of November. The Thomson-Reuters Jefferies CRB Index (“CRB Index”), led by declines in metals and energy, fell by 1.0% to a new 16-month low. Commodity prices were pressured by continued speculation over the tapering of asset purchases, low levels of geopolitical concerns and global inflation, and an increase in energy supplies. The CRB Index extended its year-to-date loss to 6.6%. Crude oil fell by nearly 4%, its third consecutive monthly decline. In response to this decline, average gasoline prices have fallen more than 52 cents to $3.26 per gallon, the lowest average since 2010. Gold prices also declined, falling more than 5% and recording its largest monthly drop since June—and its worst November since 1978. Gold prices have been hit sharply during the year, falling by more than 25%. Softening demand, little signs of inflation and significant sales in gold exchange traded funds have all contributed to the decline.


Arktos Wealth Management

3436 N. Verdugo Rd. Glendale, CA 91208

(818) 249-4984





Arktos Wealth Management is separate from and unrelated to NPC and all other named companies.”


The Market Update has been prepared by National Planning Holdings, Inc. (NPH), for use by its affiliated broker-dealers which includes National Planning Corporation, member FINRA, SIPC. This Update is for informational purposes only – any mention of any security, index, corporation is not meant as a solicitation to buy or sell any security, or any investment related to any corporation mentioned in this Update. Securities offered through National Planning Corporation® (NPC of AmericaSM in FL & NY) Member FINRA/SIPC.


Opinions, Forecasts and Statistical Information.  All expressions of opinions and forecasts expressed in this Market Update are based on assumptions we feel are reasonable. However, these opinions and forecasts may or may not actually come to pass.  This information is subject to change at any time, based on market or other conditions and should not be construed as a recommendation. Undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements because, by their nature, they are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Past performance does not guarantee future results. NPH, its affiliates, officers, directors or their employees may in the normal course of business, have a position in any securities mentioned in this report.  This Update also contains statistical information related to the performance of certain indices which are presented for illustrative purposes only as factors that may have an impact on today’s economic environments. Keep in mind individuals cannot invest directly in any index, and index performance does not include transaction cost or other fees, which will affect actual investment performance. Individual investor’s results will vary.

Risks of Investing.  Both stock and bond investing are subject to risks, including the possibility you may lose money and include credit, interest rate and inflation risk.  Stock or bond market investing may not be suitable for all investors.  Certain investments including international investments, global or emerging markets, securities of small to middle sized companies, companies with low quality industry ratings, commodities, foreign currencies are subject to a higher degree of risk than more conservative investments and thus may only be suitable for the more speculative investor. International investments are subject to special risks, such as political unrest, economic instability, and currency fluctuations.


Securities products are Not FDIC/NCUA Insured; are Not Guaranteed By Any Bank or Credit Union, and May Lose Value. NPC is not affiliated with any bank or credit union.


Affiliate Disclosure.  Please note that NPH and National Planning Corporation are affiliates of Jackson National Life Insurance Company and Curian Capital LLC.