December 14, 2017 The Markets “It's the hap- happiest season of all.”While holidays don’t make everyone happy, investors should be feeling festive. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is up more than 18 percent year-to-date. The Dow Jones Global ex U.S. Index is up about 21 percent year-to-date (refer to the table), and Treasury bond yields are lower than they were at the start of the year.In addition, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), a measure of how unpredictable investors expect the S&P 500 Index to be over the short-term, finished the week below 10. A low VIX reading means investors expect calm markets through the end of the year.Some are wary of the optimism that pervades markets, though. Barron’s wrote:“In fact, everything’s going well right now – really well…The Citigroup U.S. Economic Surprise Index – a metric designed to measure the extent to which economic data have been beating or missing expectations – is near its highest level since January 2014, a sign of just how smoothly everything’s been going. The problem is that once the data have been surprising by this much, for this long, it gets hard for good news to provide much more of a boost…”There was a disappointing piece of economic news last week concerning wages. Unemployment has fallen to a 17-year low (4.1 percent), and unemployment in the manufacturing sector is at 2.6 percent, an all-time low. It appears demand for labor is high and supply is low. That should translate into higher wages, but it hasn’t yet. Average hourly earnings are up 2.5 percent year-on-year. That’s an improvement on October, but not much of one.A lot of folks are scratching their heads wondering when inflation is going to move higher. The Fed has been expecting it to happen for a while. Maybe 2018 will be the year. GPS STRATEGIES remain unchanged the past week. GPA Market Navigation Strategy continues to be fully invested in the stock market. While the market is considered overvalued in many respects, the design of this strategy is to take advantage of the market trend and that remains upward in terms of trend and momentum. While this can change quickly, there is also a seasonal component to the market and that is favorable for a few more weeks.GPS is considering adding commodities to many of our models. A simplistic but successive strategy according to Morningstar is a Contrarian strategy or investing in areas that have been out-of-favor and could be considered undervalued. Commodities are about the only asset class negative for 2018 and could be considered a contrarian investment. Here is an interesting article by Jeffrey Gundlach from Doubleline: Doubleline's Gundlach says commodities are best buy for 2018. Below is an interesting chart. Dennis Gartman, famed commodity trader calls commodities the ripest opportunity there is right now according to CNBC. A reversion to the mean would be a significant return and as investments typically overshoot the mean both up and down the opportunity is worth analyzing. TOYS: No, not presents! TOYS are an acronym for “Turn of the season” where small caps typically outperform larger stocks the last two weeks of December and into January. Typically, we place small caps in many models and most likely will do so again this year via a no-transaction cost iShares ETF. Seasonality: Seasonal Pattern - We are now one month into the favorable six-month seasonal window. This year saw the unfavorable period (May through October) manage to maintain an upward bias as measured by moving averages or the regression line. Even though it has seen some very bad years (2008, 2001, 1987 stand out), 64% of the years in the S&P have seen it hold well through October. Of those, 82% went on to new highs for the year. This year fits that model. More specifically, we find that corrections in November that generate an oversold CCI(8) of -100 while maintaining an upside bias (seen on November 16 th ) tend to make new highs (✓). Subsequent oversold corrections in December have seen the market then take out the year’s high in all, but four instances (1980, 1968, 1961 and 1938). If such a correction occurs in the next few weeks, it should be viewed as a buying opportunity. Highs are seen in either the first six weeks of the year, with a correction to the 100 or 150-day moving average OR following an upside acceleration into May. We will provide updates as warranted.Are you concerned about human obsolescence? Researchers from the University of Oxford and Yale University asked experts at several artificial intelligence (AI) conferences how long it would be before machines became better than humans at various tasks. The answers weren’t encouraging.Overall, researchers think there is a 50 percent chance that AI will outperform humans at all tasks within 45 years. They also said it’s possible many jobs humans do now will be automated within 120 years. Asian survey participants expect the change to happen more quickly than North American participants do.Wondering if this might affect you? Here are a few of the time frames as determined by averaging survey participants’ answers. Machines may be better at:Translating languages by 2024Writing high-school essays by 2026 (Would this be cheating?)Driving trucks by 2027Working in retail by 2031Writing bestselling books by 2049Working as surgeons by 2053While the idea of human employment prospects becoming more limited is disturbing, there is still time to capitalize on shorter-term opportunities. For example, eSports is a booming industry. FactSet reported, “Last year’s League of Legends World Championship sold out the Los Angeles Staples Center in less than an hour…an additional 43 million tuned in online – for context, the 2016 NBA Finals Game 7 broke records with 30 million viewers…” The League of Legends champions took home about $1.5 million in 2017.If you can’t picture yourself encouraging your loved ones to spend hours playing video games, perhaps an online or bricks and mortar eSports store is an option. According to reports from Statista, the eSports market is growing 40 percent year-over-year globally and is expected to generate about $1.5 billion by 2020. Weekly Focus – Think About It“Gamers always believe that an epic win is possible and that it's always worth trying, and trying now. Gamers don't sit around.”--Jane McGonigal, American game designer and author Best regards, The Jim Goodland and Kristen Mueller Team and GPS P.S. Please feel free to forward this commentary to family, friends, or colleagues. If you would like us to add them to the list, please reply to this email with their email address and we will ask for their permission to be added. * Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.* You cannot invest directly in an index.* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision. Sources:http://www.metrolyrics.com/its-the-most-wonderful-time-of-the-year-lyrics-andy-williams.htmlhttps://finance.yahoo.com/quote/^TNX?p=^TNXhttps://finance.yahoo.com/quote/^VIX?p=^VIXhttp://www.cboe.com/products/vix-index-volatility/vix-options-and-futures/vix-indexhttps://www.barrons.com/articles/what-could-go-wrong-1512793294 (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/12-11-17_Barrons-What_Could_Go_Wrong-Footnote_4.pdf)https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/2017/12/08/274e325e-dc4d-11e7-b859-fb0995360725_story.html?utm_term=.3e715acdfa52http://fortune.com/2017/11/27/william-dudley-federal-reserve-inflation/https://www.technologyreview.com/s/607970/experts-predict-when-artificial-intelligence-will-exceed-human-performance/https://insight.factset.com/gaming-the-system-a-market-view-of-esportshttp://www.lolesports.com/en_US/articles/update-fan-contribution-worlds-2017-prize-poolhttps://www.statista.com/statistics/490522/global-esports-market-revenue/https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/jane_mcgonigal_560557?src=t_gamers Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Spire Wealth Management, LLC), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this commentary will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this commentary serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Spire Wealth Management, LLC. 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