The Dow amassed 331.7 points to close at a record on Nov 30, finishing above the psychological 24,000 level for the first time in its history. Such a stellar rally was buoyed by increased hopes of tax reforms following Senator John McCain's statements. McCain's is seen as an important vote in getting the new tax code implemented. This represents the fifth 1,000-point milestone for the blue-chip index, which has gained nearly 22.8%, this year.
Markets have been mostly bullish this year and this can be owed to prospects of likely reforms in the U.S. tax code and stupendous corporate earnings. Moreover, the U.S. economy has been burgeoning with more than 3% growth for two consecutive quarters. Finally, unemployment is at a 17-year low at 4.1%. Under such circumstances, we suggest you invest in mutual funds whose major holdings include companies from the top 10 components of the Dow.
Tax Bill Clears the Senate
Though the Senate passed the Republican Tax Bill by a narrow margin, this victory takes Trump closer than ever to delivering on the "promise" that was the cornerstone of his campaign - a new U.S. tax code. A cut in domestic tax rates would mean that banks and big financial institutions, which are weighed down by a hefty tax load, would benefit greatly.
The Bill permanently slashes the corporate tax rate to 20%. Further, the tax repatriation provision allows big companies with global operations to bring back trillions of dollars held as cash reserve overseas. Finally, the Bill repeals the individual mandate of Obamacare in a bid to provide the citizens of the United States the freedom to choose from a variety of health plans and relieve them of the penalty for not having a health insurance.
Moreover, Trump's one-time tax repatriation policy is likely to improve the overall financial health of tech, drug and biotech companies. Such a tax holiday would allow large-cap corporations to bring back profits for one-time tax. Let us not forget that tech behemoths Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Inc. CSCO and Oracle ORCL hold 88% of their money overseas to avoid paying the 35% corporate tax rate on earnings. ( Read More )
Top Performers of the Dow
Dow's journey past 24,000 has been largely possible due to strong performances of some of its top components. Such companies include Caterpillar CAT , Boeing BA , Apple AAPL , Goldman Sachs GS and JPMorgan JPM .
Caterpillar has witnessed an improvement across all regions with construction, mining and energy reporting the best performances year to date. This was buoyed by higher sales in Asia Pacific and North America. Improved order rates and backlog will fuel growth in Construction Industries. Moreover, Trump's plans of increasing the infrastructural spending would boost Caterpillar's revenues since it is expected to play a major role in the national infrastructure plan.
Boeing's share price has outperformed the industry's rally over the last year. The aero-giant's share price has increased 82.6% in the last 12 months, outperforming the broader industry's gain of 34.8%. Internationally, the company is witnessing strong demand for its commercial as well as defense products, such as fighter jets, the rotorcraft line-up and 737-based military derivatives.
Apple posted strong growth in the last quarter, on the back of steady iPhone sales, spurt in Services segment and a resurgent Macs and iPad business. Moreover, business in India and China saw massive reacceleration driven by iPhone, Services and Mac sales.
Goldman Sachs has experienced higher revenues on continued momentum in its investment banking business. Also, the company's well-diversified business and its focus to capitalize on growth opportunities through strategic moves have boosted its gains. The company has also benefited for the past few years from its successful expense-reduction initiatives.
JPMorgan's shares have outperformed the industry over the past six months. The bank's efforts to control expenses, the improved rate scenario and rising loan demand should continue to benefit its financials. Finally, JPMorgan has been streamlining its businesses and focusing on core operations. The company continues to consolidate its branch network (down 3% year over year) with an increased focus on digitalization.
On year-to-date (YTD) basis, share prices of Caterpillar, Boeing, Apple, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan have gained 51.3%, 78.8%, 45.9%, 2.7% and 21.6%, respectively.
5 Best Funds to Invest In
The question here is: why should investors consider mutual funds? Reduced transaction costs and diversification of portfolio without several commission charges that are associated with stock purchases are primarily why one should be parking money in mutual funds (read more: Mutual Funds: Advantages, Disadvantages, and How They Make Investors Money ).
Here, we have highlighted five mutual funds whose major holdings include companies from the top 10 components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. These mutual funds sport a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy). Moreover, these funds have encouraging three-year and YTD returns. Additionally, the minimum initial investment is within $5000 and net assets are above $50 million.
Dow's journey past 24,000 has primarily been assisted by hopes of tax reforms and strong corporate earnings. Moreover, the U.S. economy has improved more than 3% for two consecutive quarters. Such circumstances make the following mutual funds a hotbed for money.
Fidelity Select Industrials Fund FCYIX seeks capital appreciation. FCYIX normally invests at least 80% of assets in common stocks of companies principally engaged in the research, development, manufacture, distribution, supply, or sale of materials, equipment, products, or services related to cyclical industries. Caterpillar is the top holding of this fund, occupying 5.5% of FCYIX's assets.
FCYIX has a Zacks Rank #1 and an annual expense ratio of 0.77%, which is below the category average of 1.27%. The fund has three-year and YTD returns of 9.9% and 17%, respectively.
Fidelity Select Industrial Equip Port FSCGX seeks capital appreciation. The fund normally invests the lion's share of assets in common stocks of companies involved in the manufacture, distribution and service of products and equipment for the industrial sector. Boeing is the top holding of this fund, occupying 7.3% of FSCGX's assets.
FSCGX has a Zacks Rank #2 and an annual expense ratio of 0.83%, which is below the category average of 1.27%. The fund has three-year and YTD returns of 10.7% and 16.8%, respectively.
Columbia Global Technology Growth CMTFX seeks capital appreciation by investing at least 65% of its assets in equity securities of technology companies that may benefit from technological improvements, advancements or developments and have attractive growth prospects. Apple is one of the top holdings of this fund, occupying 4.7% of CMTFX's assets.
CMTFX has a Zacks Rank #1 and an annual expense ratio of 1.11%, which is below the category average of 1.42%. The fund has three-year and YTD returns of 20.2% and 40.1%, respectively.
Fidelity Advisor Financial Services A FAFDX invests the majority of its assets in securities of companies principally engaged in providing financial services to consumers and industry. Goldman Sachs ranks seventh in the top 10 holdings of this fund, occupying 3.7% of FAFDX's assets.
FAFDX has a Zacks Rank #1 and an annual expense ratio of 1.12%, which is below the category average of 1.47%. The fund has three-year and YTD returns of 11% and 20.5%, respectively.
Vanguard Financials Index Admiral VFAIX tracks the performance of MSCI US Investable Market Index (IMI)/Financials 25/50 using an indexing investment approach. The fund invests the majority of its assets in stocks that are a part of this index. Such investments include large-cap, mid-cap and small-cap companies from the financial sector that are categorized under Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS). JP Morgan is the top holding of this fund, occupying 8.9% of its assets.
VFAIX has a Zacks Rank #1 and an annual expense ratio of 0.10%, which is below the category average of 1.47%. The fund has three-year and YTD returns of 14.7% and 20.3%, respectively.
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