Stocks continued to push higher. The S&P 500 rose 0.4% last week and is now up 0.2% this month. The MSCI ACWI rose 0.1% and the Bloomberg BarCap Aggregate Bond Index finished basically unchanged.
The U.S. economy added 228,000 jobs in November, beating expectations. Hurricane relief efforts were not a factor in the report. Bitcoin has risen 400% in the last three months leading many analysts to believe the stock is a bubble. CVS Health is seeking to acquire Aetna as the health care industry continues to realign.
Key points for the week
- The U.S. economy beat expectations by adding 228,000 jobs in November, while wage growth rose only 0.2%.
- Many analysts are calling the rise of Bitcoin a bubble.
- The CVS Health and Aetna merger was spurred by the changing health care landscape.
What are we reading?
Below are some areas of the market we paid particularly close attention to this week. For further information, we encourage our readers to follow the links.
The U.S. economy added 228,000 jobs in November, beating economists’ expectations. Hurricane relief efforts had virtually no impact on November’s report. The unemployment rate continues to remain at the 17-year low of 4.1%, while wage growth rose 0.2%.
Bitcoin has increased more than 400% in the last three months, a rise that has led to significant speculative investing. The overall consensus among analysts is Bitcoin is a bubble; however, they think the technology behind it is here to stay. Meanwhile, Apple Pay and Venmo have majority market share for digital currency and advantages Bitcoin does not, such as the backing of the U.S. dollar, which reduces tax implications. Similarities between Bitcoin and past bubbles are increasing analysts’ skepticism.
CVS Health is seeking to acquire Aetna, the third-largest health insurance company in the U.S. The deal is set to spike innovation within the health care industry by creating one-stop health care shopping by installing doctors’ offices in CVS stores. The acquisition is a move to compete with Amazon, which is exploring entering the pharmacy business, and UnitedHealthcare, which has bought multiple clinics to gain control over the delivery of health care to its customers.
Fun story of the week
In Sea Girt, New Jersey, a tree-lighting ceremony almost didn’t happen. A few days before the ceremony was to begin, several light strands were severed by, presumably, vandals. To prevent the vandals from returning, police watched over the Christmas tree until the ceremony took place. The next morning, an officer caught the vandal: a very guilty-looking squirrel.
This newsletter was written and produced by CWM, LLC. Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. The views stated in this letter are not necessarily the opinion of CWM, LLC and should not be construed directly or indirectly as an offer to buy or sell any securities mentioned herein. Due to volatility within the markets mentioned, opinions are subject to change without notice. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
S&P 500 INDEX
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries.
MSCI ACWI INDEX
The MSCI ACWI captures large- and mid-cap representation across 23 developed markets (DM) and 23 emerging markets (EM) countries*. With 2,480 constituents, the index covers approximately 85% of the global investable equity opportunity set.
Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index
The Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is an index of the U.S. investment-grade fixed-rate bond market, including both government and corporate bonds.