In the spirit of Thanksgiving, investors and readers can be thankful the market has weathered the news headlines headwinds coming out of Europe and the Middle East. Looking at the positives and not sweating the small stuff can certainly make for a happier investor. A recent opinion article in the New York Times, Choose to Be Grateful. It Will Make You Happier, touches on this issue.
The S&P 500 Index ended the pre-Thanksgiving Holiday trading day essentially unchanged, closing at 2,088.87. This unchanged outcome is what the market has delivered to investors for most of the eleven months of the year. As the below chart shows, the S&P 500 Index has been stuck in a 6% trading range (maroon box) except for the decline between August and September. This August and September period resulted in the market contracting 12.3% from its May high to the August low. The quick recovery from the double bottom reached in September has simply taken the market back into its year long trading range. On a price only basis, the S&P 500 Index is up just under 2% so far in 2015.
As investors return to the market following the Thanksgiving Holiday, they will face the uncertainty surrounding the Fed’s rate decision in mid December. Until then though, the market’s trading range may persist until the rate uncertainty is resolved.