How good was 2017?
It was so good, the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index finished in positive territory every month for the first time ever (on a total return basis), reported Barron’s. All major U.S. indices finished the year with double-digit gains.
As we enter 2018, keep an eye on investor sentiment. “History has shown us that the crowd can be right during trends, but it also tends to be wrong at extremes. This is why sentiment can be an important contrarian indicator, because if everyone who might become bearish has already sold, only buyers are left. The reverse also applies,” reported ValueWalk.
Toward the end of 2017, sentiment shifted, but not everyone shared the same outlook. Surveys and indices that track market indicators and institutional advice became less bullish, while newsletter writers and investors became more bullish.
Bullish sentiment was up 2.1 percent to 52.6 percent. The long-term average is 38.5 percent.
Neutral sentiment was up 2.8 percent to 26.7 percent. The long-term average is 31.0 percent.
Bearish sentiment was down 5 percent to 20.6 percent. The long-term average is 30.5 percent.
During 2017, U.S. markets appeared to be Teflon-coated. Geopolitical events, natural disasters, and other shocks had little impact on investor optimism or share prices, and expectations for volatility remained historically low. That may continue during 2018, or it may not.
Some of the best and worst of 2017. It may have seemed longer but 2017 had 365 days, just like every other year. It was a year of firsts, worsts, and bests, although not everyone agrees about which were which. Here are a few memorable pop culture moments from 2017:
What were the best and worst moments of 2017 in your opinion?
Weekly Focus – Think About It
“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.”
–Helen Keller, American author, lecturer, and activist
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https://www.barrons.com/articles/dow-industrials-end-solid-2017-on-a-sour-note-1514601649 (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/01-02-18_Barrons-Dow_Industrials_End_Solid_2017_on_a_Sour_Note-Footnote_1.pdf)
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