Weekly Market Commentary April 2, 2018

Share Post: facebook Created with Sketch. twitter Created with Sketch. linkedin Created with Sketch. mail Created with Sketch. print Created with Sketch.

Markets reversed the prior week’s selloff to end the quarter on a positive note. The S&P 500 rose 2.1% last week. The global MSCI ACWI climbed 1.3%, and the Bloomberg BarCap Aggregate Bond Index gained 0.5%. In spite of the positive week, all three indices finished lower in the first quarter. The S&P 500 eased 1.2% lower. The MSCI ACWI dropped 1.4%, and the Aggregate Bond Index fell 1.5%.

Stocks rallied as investors became less concerned about protectionist risk. Trade negotiations with South Korea suggested the Trump administration’s rhetoric will be balanced by an openness to negotiating deals that contain only modest changes to existing agreements. Reports of trade negotiations between the U.S. and China also boosted markets.


Key points for the week

  • Stocks rallied as protectionist concerns diminished.
  • Stocks declined slightly in the first quarter.
  • Consumer income and spending continue to grow at a healthy pace.

Quarterly Summary

Most markets finished lower during the quarter. While all three of the indices we track fell, the end result was a very modest decline between 1.2% and 1.5%. The quarter was volatile, but a net decline of less than 2% is a normal part of investing.

Technology and consumer discretionary stocks were the only two sectors that finished higher. Stocks more sensitive to changes in interest rates, such as utilities, real estate, and telecommunications, lagged. Growth stocks performed very well, and emerging market stocks rallied, helping to offset weakness in other international markets.

Bonds failed to provide investors any cushion during the quarter. As inflation moved up the list of investor concerns, bond prices dropped and underperformed stocks. If inflation remains a concern, the diversification benefit of bonds will likely be lower than in past years. We continue to watch fixed-income markets closely for the best opportunities to diversify portfolios.


Market Perspective

U.S. consumers continue to post healthy gains in income, according to data released last week. Personal income rose at a reasonable pace, climbing 0.4% for the third straight month. Spending trailed off in February after rising at an annualized pace of 4% in the fourth quarter. The slight pause in spending may push first quarter GDP below 2%,

The decline in spending provides evidence consumers are avoiding the excesses seen in the 2008 financial crisis. After the spending spree in the fourth quarter of 2017, consumers chose to boost their savings and debt payments in early 2018. A prudent consumer provides a healthy base for an ongoing recovery that benefits workers and corporations.


Fun story of the week

Roseanne Returns After 20-Year Hiatus

“Roseanne” returned to the airwaves after a 20-year hiatus. Politics and cultural issues are expected to be frequent themes this season. Roseanne is an avowed Trump supporter in the show — so there is now at least one political show on television that’s meant to be funny.


 

Share:
facebook Created with Sketch. twitter Created with Sketch. linkedin Created with Sketch. mail Created with Sketch. print Created with Sketch.
Share Post: facebook Created with Sketch. twitter Created with Sketch. linkedin Created with Sketch. mail Created with Sketch. print Created with Sketch.

RECENT POSTS

Market Commentary: S&P 500 Rallies 6.5%, Lifting Market Above Bear Level

The S&P 500 spent only a short time below the 20%-decline threshold, before jumping back above it last week. U.S. large-cap stocks rallied 6.5% based on optimism that inflationary pressures are starting to respond to higher interest rates.

Market Commentary: Fed Raises Rates by 0.75%, Market Moves Into Bear Territory

The S&P 500 dropped 5.7% last week and is now 22.3% off its peak. This decline pushed the index of large-cap U.S. stocks into a bear market, which is defined as a 20% or greater drop from its peak. Volatility remained elevated, and the S&P 500 has now moved by 1% or more 60 times …

Special Market Commentary: S&P 500 Slips Into a Bear Market. Now What?

Fueled by inflation readings that have remained stubbornly elevated, the stock market, measured as the S&P 500 Index, entered bear market territory at market close on June 13, 2022.  A bear market represents a decline in equity values by more than 20%.

Market Commentary: Inflation Pressures Remain High, S&P Dips Again

The S&P 500 dropped 5.1% last week as investors digested new inflation data released on Friday. May’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) report showed a reacceleration of inflation after a brief reprieve in April. Headline CPI increased 8.6%, which is the fastest pace since December 1981. The p …
1 2 3 67 68 69

Get in Touch

In just 15 minutes we can get to know your situation, then connect you with an advisor committed to helping you pursue true wealth.

Schedule a Consultation