January stock markets grew strongly until mid-month, then lost the gains to close just positive. Utilities had a great month. Large company U.S. growth stocks, bonds, and Real Estate stocks contributed to the upside. International stocks, small company U.S. stocks, and Health Care stocks lost some ground by month’s end.
The stock market reverse in January is generally blamed on fears about the economic impact of the new coronavirus outbreak. Significant growth in the Chinese economy in the 17 years since the SARS virus increases the anticipated impact of this flu virus on the rest of the world economies. Besides flu avoidance precautions for health (well-washed hands), the recommended best hedge against the financial effect of the virus is, yes, U.S. Treasuries. Your diversified position includes bond investments to hedge against stock volatility. This is definitely working for you now, and moving through the new year, Stacie will recommend any needed adjustments.
Confusion reigns in the garden. Temps suggest it is time to start the growing season but the sunlight day is still short (although lengthening nicely). Just halfway through the calendar winter, with lots of snow and cold waiting in the wings, buds have softened and exposed their tender readiness for growth. The unusually warm January has been easy for us. An early end to winter seems too much to expect.