FAANG Dominated the Third Quarter

 | Sep 29, 2017 | 5:15 PM EDT
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The last trading day of a quarter is always an opportune time to reflect on portfolio performance. It is easy to get distracted by the performance of your own individual holdings and ignore the performance of other stocks and other asset classes. I maintain the discipline of looking around the markets (and around the world) for emerging ideas, and so, as much for my own edification as yours, here is a short list of performance statistics for the third quarter of 2017. Figures are as of Friday afternoon, and this list is not meant to be comprehensive, rather a list of important benchmarks. 

Security           3Q2017           YTD 2017


S&P 500          +4.0%              +12.4%

Nasdaq 100     +5.6%              +20.6%

FTSE 100         +0.3%              +1.3%

DAX                 +3.3%              +11.7%

Nikkei               +0.7%              +6.5%

Shanghai         +5.1%              +7.9%


Dollar Index     -1.3%              -5.0%

Bond ETFs

(SHV)                  +0.1%              +0.1%

(TLT)                   -0.44%             +4.8%

(HYG)                 +0.6%              +2.5%

Sector ETFs

(XLF)                   +4.5%              +11.0%

(XLE)                   +5.8%              -9.2%


Gold                 +3.6%              +10.7%

WTI Crude       +11.1%            -1.7%

HH Nat gas      -0.2%              -10.0%


Facebook (FB)           +13.2%            +38.5%

Apple (AAPL)           +7.0%              +30.3%

Amazon (AMZN)        -1.4%              +21.0%

Netflix (NFLX)          +20.8%            +38.4%

Alphabet (GOOGL)    +3.8%              +18.0%

So, FAANG stocks have clearly been the place to be this far in 2017, and have driven the Nasdaq to a stellar performance. Oil has had a nice bounce in September, driving a double-digit gain for the quarter, and the potential for undervalued hard assets to narrow the gap with stratospheric tech valuations is a theme I will be watching in the fourth quarter. Much of the value has been priced out of high-yield bonds at near-record low spreads, but I do see one more bond market rally this year, so that would help corporates as well as treasuries. Gold remains unattractive, structurally as well as cyclically. 

On to the fourth quarter!

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