Stock prices sagged for most of August, returning to the starting point at the very end. Biotech stocks outperformed for the month and health care and utilities offered gains. Values are still up amazingly this year. International stocks and emerging markets lead the surge, with large company stocks next in growth year-to-date. Our diversified and defensive portfolios averaged close to the stock markets. Health care and utility positions contributed to growth this month.
We have enjoyed several months of low volatility in the stock market. Indicators suggest that this market is still climbing toward a peak. While we share concerns that this market cannot go on indefinitely, it seems early to prepare for the next big downturn. While the economy holds strong, the markets will recover from any setback more quickly and we can focus on maximizing returns for now.
The summer was great for green lawns – for tomatoes, not so much. Ripening slowly now that they have finally begun, some warm days will speed the process. Although we have felt the chill of the turning season already, bits of summer spike September. It’s not over yet.