As the U.S. expansion draws closer to becoming the longest on record, a number of economic and political risks have emerged or intensified in recent months, leading to global equity market weakness.
It was a busy week in Washington with a highly anticipated midterm election followed by the Federal Reserve meeting. The results of both came in as expected although it seems the markets were not synced to that result.
As we expected at the beginning of the year, S&P 500 valuations have contracted year-to-date. Typically during an economic expansion, we see stocks move higher with earnings. Investors are willing to pay more for those earnings with the assumption that growth will continue.
On Wednesday this week the S&P 500 plunged by 3 percent on cumulative fears of slowing economic and earnings growth as well as concerns of a slowdown in China and the Federal Reserve being too aggressive in increasing short-term interest rates.
In recent weeks, the 10-year U.S. Treasury rose to three-and-a-quarter percent—a level not seen since 2011. In addition, the stock market sold off five percent from all-time highs, volatility has risen and the Chinese and European markets dipped. All this amid a backdrop of good corporate earnings and moderate-to-good economic news.
Global markets sold off sharply on Wednesday and Thursday as investors continued to wrestle with a diverse set of risks.
U.S. investors who enjoyed strong fourth quarter equity returns were dealt a change in market landscape this week. While history has demonstrated a low correlation between equities and U.S. government bonds – exactly the reason why Treasuries are such an important diversifier of equity risk -- this week proved to be an exception. Stock and bond prices both fell following news that the U.S. and Canada had reached agreement about modifying trade terms in North America.
2018 Market Letter Q4
It had been four years since ESPN College GameDay had been to Eugene. While the game last week between University of Oregon and Stanford was entertaining, Lee Corso’s pick of Ducks proved to be on the wrong side. In the spirit of the former coach and broadcaster, we use his infamous line, “Not so fast my friend,” when describing third quarter returns.
On Monday, the most widely followed U.S. equity index, the S&P 500, will re-arrange its sector classification system.
This week, the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) released their monthly measurement of inflation: Consumer Price Index (CPI), annualized 2.7 percent, was down 0.2 percent from the month prior.
As kids prepare to go back to school and families make plans for that last long weekend of summer vacation, investors enjoyed new highs for blue-chip stocks this week. Despite the ongoing uncertainty of trade policy, stocks continue to ascend a wall of worry, having digested another quarter of robust earnings growth in part the result of faster U.S. economic growth.
Peter Jones, CFA, shares insights on Ferguson Wellman’s strategy for clients, Global Sustainable Investing.
Earlier this week, The Eagles’ Greatest Hits surpassed Michael Jackson’s Thriller as the best-selling album of all time. I would argue that “greatest hits” albums should be excluded, but that’s neither here nor there. Also, this month, the S&P 500 set the record for the longest streak without a 20 percent decline, or bull market. This trend started in March of 2009 and has lasted over 3500 days. The previous feat was the 1990s bull market which finally ended with the burst of the Internet Bubble in 2001.
A currency crisis in Turkey and continued trade uncertainty resulted in a volatile week for equities. International stocks, specifically emerging markets, started selling off. U.S. commodities were also weak. This was offset by positive news on the China trade front.