It has been a great year for equity investors. The S&P 500 index posted a 31% annual return, the Dow 25%, and the NASDAQ a spectacular 39%. More than $6T of equity paper wealth was created for domestic investors this year alone.
It has been a good year for U.S. investors. The global economic slowdown and geopolitical turmoil created a nearly irreversible thirst for super safe assets...
At the moment, there are roughly 15T dollars of debt “earning” negative interest rates in the global economy, a state not anticipated in modern macroeconomic theory first proposed by Keynes and Samuelson during the 30s and 40s.
The quarter was a good one for investors, overcoming fears of an all-out U.S.-China trade war. The S&P 500 index rose roughly 4% for the quarter and was up ~17% for the year. It was the market’s best first half performance since 1997 and extended the more than decade long bull market.
U.S. stocks experienced their biggest quarterly gains in nearly a decade. The S&P 500 completed its best quarter since 2009, gaining 14%, while the S&P MidCap 400 and S&P SmallCap 600 gained 14% and 12%, respectively.
The last quarter of 2018 marked the dramatic end of the longest bull market in financial history, nine-and-a-half-years (115 months) of generally rising U.S. stock indices. December was the worst performing month since the Great Depression and the year was the worst since 2008.
As the quarter ends, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 indices, fueled by growth stocks’ appreciation, are at all-time historical highs, dominating the return from global investing. While the MSCI ACWI rose more than 3.5% for the quarter and 2% for the year, the MSCI ACWI-ex US was flat for the quarter and declined more than 5% year-to-date.
The second quarter was marked with market volatility from geopolitical tensions, the president’s tweets, and “America first” rhetoric.