"Record-setting start for equities; market’s strongest beginning since 2006" by: John Sample

   Just in case you missed it due to the big freeze last week, the equities market started the new year at the strongest level since 2006. 
   One of the many indicators that analysts tout is the Santa Claus affect. You take the last trading days of the year and the first two of the next year as an indicator. 
   The thought is that if you can end the year strong and start off positive then the whole year will be positive. 
   I don’t actually think any of these indicators hold water but they do elicit comment. 
   It should be noted though that the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock-index has set record high closes for the first five trading days of the year. 
   This is comes with the fact that this start is the best since 2006.
   I don’t believe this market will continue unabated upward for the whole 12 months of 2018. 
   I would point out that retailers like Target and Kohls are reporting substantially higher sales for the last quarter than anyone expected. 
   So much for bricks and mortar being a dead horse. 
   One should though give Amazon’s Jeff Bezos his due as his net worth has climbed higher than Bill Gates and he is just getting started with Amazon.
   There is so much to evaluate and take note in trying to figure out what is next. 
   The 10-year yield on Treasuries has climbed back to 2.5 percent which is a level not seen since last spring. 
   We will have a new Federal Reserve Chairman. 
   The interest rate increases probably will come more often as it is just beyond my reasoning that an economy this strong will not generate inflation. 
   The Federal Reserve also is unwinding all the debt it has taken.
   None of the previously mentioned factors addresses the real impact of the tax legislation. 
   We continue to face nearly record unemployment numbers, plus the construction industry is seeing some of its greatest growth in over a decade and you wonder where are all the needed employees will come from. 
   It has to be great to be a young person graduating from college - a situation not experienced in quite some time.
   With all that said, I will just say that this wonderful ride probably has a couple more months left in it. 
   This summer might be remembered less for the heat than for the correction in direction. 
   It is getting to that point where people are beginning to state the mantra that it is different this time. It is never different this time. 
   We have yet to see the whole picture correctly. Moreover, most times we don’t even know the iceberg in right in front of the boat until we hit. 
   I would have to say in closing though that while you never have a profit till you take it, I would continue to enjoy the ride for now. 

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