Just like 1969 – A Good Year for U.S. Jobless Claims & the Jets

Market Overview

tableSources: Sources for data in tables: Equity Market and Fixed Income returns are from JP Morngan as of 04/19/19. Rates and Economic Calendar Data from Bloomberg as of 04/23/19. International developed markets measured by the MSCI EAFE Index, emerging markets measured by the MSCI EM Index. Sector performance is measured using GICS methodology.

Happening Now                   

In what was a shortened trading week due to the Easter holiday in the U.S., global capital markets took a fairly uneventful stance as they largely moved sideways. In the U.S., the S&P 500 Index pushed ahead to a level of 2905, representing a loss of -0.07%, while the Russell Midcap Index fell 0.98% for the week. The Russell 2000 Index, a measure of the Nation’s smallest publicly traded firms, outpaced its larger counterparts, losing 1.20%. On the international equities front, developed markets moved 0.35% higher, while emerging markets trailed slightly returning 0.34%. Finally, the 10 year U.S. Treasury yield finished the week generally unchanged for the week settling at 2.57%.

For the most part, last week was an uneventful one. However, investors and citizens alike were presented with at least one data point worthy of celebration. The data point we’re referring to is initial U.S. jobless claims, and the most recent reading indicates that claims have fallen to a level unseen in about half a century. The latest figure shows that U.S. jobless claims fell to 192,000, a depth that hasn’t been reached since September of 1969. To put this figure into historical context, consider the fact that this hasn’t been accomplished since Joe Namath and the New York Jets were crowned Super Bowl champions! What’s even more impressive is that the U.S. population is roughly double the size it was in 1969, making this jobless claim figure even more notable, and even more pronounced in percentage terms!

While we do believe that this updated employment figure speaks to the strength of the U.S. work force, and by extension the strength of the U.S. economy as a whole, we also understand that bouts of increased stock market volatility are likely ahead for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, the upcoming elections in the U.S. and Germany as well as the new October deadline for a Brexit plan from Great Britain. As a result, we implore investors to revisit the diversification that may, or may not, be in place within their existing portfolios.

Important Information and Disclaimers

Disclosures: Hennion & Walsh is the sponsor of SmartTrust® Unit Investment Trusts (UITs). For more information on SmartTrust® UITs, please visit www.smarttrustuit.com. The overview above is for informational purposes and is not an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any SmartTrust® UITs. Investors should consider the Trust’s investment objective, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. The prospectus contains this and other information relevant to an investment in the Trust and investors should read the prospectus carefully before they invest.

Investing in foreign securities presents certain risks not associated with domestic investments, such as currency fluctuation, political and economic instability, and different accounting standards. This may result in greater share price volatility. These risks are heightened in emerging markets.

There are special risks associated with an investment in real estate, including credit risk, interest rate fluctuations and the impact of varied economic conditions. Distributions from REIT investments are taxed at the owner’s tax bracket.

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MSCI- EAFE: The Morgan Stanley Capital International Europe, Australasia and Far East Index, a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure developed-market equity performance, excluding the United States and Canada.

MSCI-Emerging Markets: The Morgan Stanley Capital International Emerging Market Index, is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure the performance of global emerging markets of about 25 emerging economies.

Russell 3000: The Russell 3000 measures the performance of the 3000 largest US companies based on total market capitalization and represents about 98% of the investible US Equity market.

ML BOFA US Corp Mstr [Merill Lynch US Corporate Master]: The Merrill Lynch Corporate Master Market Index is a statistical composite tracking the performance of the entire US corporate bond market over time.

ML Muni Master [Merill Lynch US Corporate Master]: The Merrill Lynch Municipal Bond Master Index is a broad measure of the municipal fixed income market.

Investors cannot directly purchase any index.

LIBOR, London Interbank Offered Rate, is the rate of interest at which banks offer to lend money to one another in the wholesale money markets in London.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is an unweighted index of 30 “blue-chip” industrial U.S. stocks.

The S&P Midcap 400 Index is a capitalization-weighted index measuring the performance of the mid-range sector of the U.S. stock market, and represents approximately 7% of the total market value of U.S. equities. Companies in the Index fall between S&P 500 Index and the S&P SmallCap 600 Index in size: between $1-4 billion.

DJ Equity REIT Index represents all publicly traded real estate investment trusts in the Dow Jones U.S. stock universe classified as Equity REITs according to the S&P Dow Jones Indices REIT Industry Classification Hierarchy. These companies are REITs that primarily own and operate income-producing real estate.