The month got off to a good start despite turbulence Monday. Here is how the models look:
Top 20 had a very strong week, rising 3.48% compared to the 1.04% gain in the S&P 500. The recovery in the name that we sold Friday helped, but several of the stocks jumped more than 5%, including a double-digit gain in IRG following its Q4 earnings reort and 5%+ moves by LMNX, MASI, NEM and ROSE.
Conservative Growth/Balanced also recovered from its rough start to 2014, gaining 1.06% compared to the 0.41% jump in the index of 60% stocks and 40% bonds. Bonds were weak, and the model is underinvested (about 25% exposure). The position we sold on Friday helped, but it was a relatively small holding. NEM rose 5%, with most of the rest of the holdings returning within a couple of percentage points of the market.
While the market remains resilient, I still expect flattish to slightly down performance in March and into April. The weakness in January may have proven to be the lows of the year, but I anticipate a reasonable chance of testing them or possibly making a new low in the 1650-1700 area. My year-end forecast of 1968 for the S&P 500 remains my best guess, and this represents just 5% price return from here.