Fearless Friday – Markets Head into the Holidays at All-Time Highs

Image result for winter vacation cartoonNext week is nonsense

In the US, Thanksgiving is Thursday and the markets are closed and many people take the whole week off and almost everyone is in vacation mode by Wednesday and Friday (a half-day on Wall Street) is a total joke for those who show up – often the lowest volume day of the year.  So we don't expect much action next week and certainly not a move higher and then, after Thanksgiving it's Christmas time and then New Years so let's just meet back here on Jan 2nd and see where things are, OK? 

We've been reviewing our porfolios in our Live Member Chat Room and we're well-locked in neutral already with very little gained in the past month but that's OK, as the market has made very little gains in the past months.  In fact, our last Portfolio Review was October 28th and the S&P closed that Friday at 2,581 and, this morning, we're at 2,585 so – happy holidays – see you in Januray!  

If you do insist on hanging around, you can expect more of the same in December – unless the Trump Tax Plan fails to pass the Senate, then we are likely to break below the range.  At the moment, as we've discussed before, most people are holding their equities (including us) into next year, so we can take our profits when the taxes are lower.  If no one is willing to sell (and take high-tax profits), then the new buyers are forced to offer higher prices and the market does drift higher but the low volumes indicate it may be very hard to find buyers once people do want to cash in their gains. 

There are good strategies for locking in gains and I'll tell you a few.  Apple, for example, is at $171 and let's say you bought 1,000 shares for $120 ($120,000) and you have a $51,000 gain.  If you take that gain now, you will be taxed, for example, 38.5% ($19,635) but if you wait and next year you pay just 25% ($12,750) you are saving almost $7,000.  So your 1,000 shares of AAPL would have to fall more than $7 (4%) for it to be…
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