With bellies full and Christmas on the horizon, consumers took to their computers this year to set all-time highs in online shopping records. This applied not only to the Amazons of the world but also major retailers like Kohl’s, Walmart and Target, which saw big increases from last year. Although people still pack brick-and-mortar stores across the country, Black Friday online sales totaled $6.22 billion this year!
November was a wild ride for the markets, however, and tech shares in particular took a beating led by the FAANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google). All of them officially entered bear market territory last week, but the post-Thanksgiving week has showed slightly more positive signs with the Nasdaq jumping out over a percent Monday morning.
Elsewhere in the markets, oil continues to struggle – starting out this week with a bit of a bounce. However, the previous week’s selloff continues to keep West Texas Intermediate oil near $50 per barrel. This drawdown in the oil market is puzzling as there aren’t many obvious reasons for the price weakness. Demand is growing and supply isn’t absurdly high. Many analysts blame impending equity weakness and continuing global weakness for the price staying where it is.
Although this is where the market stands today, it could be wildly different tomorrow. Stocks are fickle friends. So, while you might feel thankful for record-performance days, the best gifts you can give yourself this holiday season are a clear financial plan, an investment strategy that supports your goals and the gift of patience.
Blog by Andrew Gaskill, Financial Services Manager.