Welcome to the end of the week! Just sit back, relax, and enjoy this weeks roundup of interesting reads in another edition of Happy Hour.
The first half of 2014 is done. It was a good six months, far better than I expected. Every asset class is positive for the year. I bet nobody forecast that possibility back in January.
The S&P 500 is up 7% (7% more than I expected). International stocks are up. So are Emerging markets. Bonds are higher. Commodities – higher. Gold – higher. REITs – higher. And the best performing sector year to date is utilities up over 18% – probably because interest rates didn’t rise like everyone expected.
The economy even showed more signs of improving. The Fed has continued to taper. And the unemployment rate hit 6.1% today. All that despite a U.S. economy that shrunk 2.9% in the first quarter due to a bad winter.
None of this tells us what the second half will do. Don’t expect everything to continue working. Don’t change your investment plan because of it. This won’t last forever.
Enjoy your three day weekend. Happy 4th of July!