Dow Jones, S&P set record highs
Not long after stock markets crossed into record territory on Friday, John Spinosi popped into a Charles Schwab investment office Downtown over his lunch break to discuss selling shares he owns in a financial services company.
Spinosi thought it time to cash out after watching the run-up in the markets so far this year. The Standard & Poor's 500 index and the Dow Jones industrial average hit new highs on Friday after a better-than-expected government report on hiring.
“I saw that they were hitting record highs, and I thought, how long do you want to hold onto it?” the 56-year-old Hopewell resident said after walking out of the office on Grant Street.
Most of Spinosi's investments are in mutual funds, he said. But he has held onto shares of Fiserv Inc., a Milwaukee company that purchased data-processing units from the former Mellon Financial in the 1990s.
Fiserv hit a record high this week, a level that would quadruple Spinosi's investment, and he wanted to collect his profit before the shares tumbled.
“I've sat on the sidelines and got creamed,” he said, referring to past experiences with investing.
Many investors may have been thinking the same thing on Friday. But financial advisers cautioned that investors need to have a long-term plan and avoid the influence of day-to-day fluctuations.
Stock markets surged past new milestones on Friday as the government reported that employers added 165,000 jobs last month.
The Dow crossed 15,000 for the first time, and the S&P 500 broke through 1,600. The Dow gave up some of its gains but still closed up 142 points at 14,973, an increase of 1 percent. The S&P 500 surged 16, or 1 percent, to 1,614.
The Dow is up 14 percent this year; the S&P, 13 percent.
“Most clients are a little skittish because the market has run up,” said Louis Stanasolovich, CEO of Legend Financial Advisors in Ross. “There's a fear that it is going to turn around at any moment. We would say that's not the case.”
The Federal Reserve's efforts to boost the economy are fueling the strong rise in stock markets. The central bank has been buying billions of dollars worth of bonds a month, a move that pumps money into the economy and lowers interest rates. By making borrowing cheap, the theory goes, businesses will be more likely to borrow for new investments, which should create new jobs.
“Earlier this week, the Fed said they would extend easy money for as far as the eye can see,” said Kim Forrest, senior equity analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Green Tree.
With interest rates low, bonds, savings accounts and certificates of deposit — the lowest-risk investment vehicles — yield very little returns for investors, Forrest said.
Dividend-paying stocks have “become the replacement for the 5 percent savings account,” she said.
Beth Lynch, investment adviser for Schneider Downs, Downtown, said she has received calls from clients asking, “Is it a time to sell? Can it really go any higher?”
“We do take a long-term view of investing,” she said. “There's no reason to panic with where we're going. … You really can't time the market.”
Some investors may still remember being burned in the late-1990s technology-stock bubble.
Norman Robertson, economic adviser to Smithfield Trust Co., Downtown, said investors should be cautious about a bubble — if stock prices continue to climb without solid economic growth and company earnings.
But, Robertson said, “there's no real evidence for that at the moment.”
Alex Nixon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Add Alex Nixon to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Highmark lays off nearly 100 workers, mostly in IT, as membership declines
- Shift in what powers the grid raises concerns about fuel diversity
- Severance tax on natural gas drilling backed by Pa. voters
- Free-market thinker Hall to lead Congressional Budget Office
- Wolf tax proposal puts Beaver County Shell plant at risk, gas group head says
- Corporate food masquerades as hipster fare
- Mylan closes $5.3B tax-lowering deal with Abbott Labs
- Easier home loan rules worry some
- Few in Westmoreland County opposed to expansion plan for Mariner pipeline
- Women encouraged to become engineers
- Toyota Mirai to run on hydrogen fuel cells, widen green-vehicle divide