Trade wars, midterm elections, and market volatility highlighted 2018 for investors.
November proved to be a very volatile month for stocks.
October truly was a scary month as stocks closed the month well below their end-of-September values.
The third quarter proved to be very strong for domestic stocks
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Favorable economic indicators and encouraging corporate earnings reports helped propel stocks forward in July.
The second quarter of the year can be called a lot of things, but boring isn't one of them.
Despite a sell-off on the last day of the month, equities held enough of their gains to post mostly positive month-over-month returns.
April was marked by the impending tariff war between the United States and China.
The first quarter of 2018 began as the fourth quarter of 2017 ended: with strong market gains.
Despite some positive economic signs, rising consumer confidence, and favorable corporate earnings reports, February marked the end of the 10-month winning streak for the benchmark indexes listed here.
Equities pulled back off of their record-setting gains at the end of January, but not enough to forestall a month of significant gains.
The Dow soared over 300 points on the last day of November to close above 24,000 for the first time in its history.
Despite continuing drama in the White House and the fury of Mother Nature, stock growth remained steady for much of October.
Stocks rebounded last week as each of the indexes listed here posted week-over-week gains.
Riding the momentum following the presidential election, stocks surged for much of the first quarter of 2017. Buoyed by the anticipation of tax cuts and policies favorable to domestic businesses, the benchmark indices listed here reached historic highs throughout the quarter.
Equities continued their positive trend in April, spurred by favorable corporate earnings reports, proposed federal tax cuts and positive economic signals overseas.
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The last day of July saw each of the indexes listed here post gains over their June closing values.
A drop in energy shares is keeping the large cap indexes of the S&P 500 and Dow in check, although both benchmarks posted moderate weekly gains.
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Equities in August saw many peaks and valleys throughout the month, finally rallying at the end of the month.
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The stock indices listed here posted a strong week of gains as the Dow, S&P 500, and NASDAQ each achieved record highs.
The year 2016 likely will be remembered for the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States and the Brexit vote.
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The second quarter provided a bumpy ride for investors. Following the upheaval caused by the Brexit vote in June, July kicked off the third quarter by ending the month in favorable fashion, as each of the indexes listed here posted month-to-month gains, led by the Russell 2000 (5.90%) and the Nasdaq (6.60%).
With no Federal Open Market Committee meeting and little news to jar the markets, the lazy, hazy days of August seemed to lull investors into a state of lethargy.
Following an initial downturn largely in response to June's Brexit vote, equities rebounded during the month of July.
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Following an up-and-down path similar to what occurred in April, the indexes listed here ultimately closed the month of May higher (except for the Global Dow).
Despite a poor close to the month, the indexes listed here improved in April (with the exception of the Nasdaq) compared to their March closing values–but not by much.
The first quarter of 2016 started with a whimper as equities suffered several weeks of losses. However, as March came to a close, several of the indexes listed here recovered enough to finish the quarter in positive territory.
Following steep declines in January and a rocky start to February, equities rebounded by the end of the month to finish close to their ending values from the prior month.
In the world of equities, the second quarter of the year was anything but dull. April saw the large-cap S&P 500 and Dow make marginal gains, with the small-cap Russell 2000 and the Global Dow leading the way for the month.
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When you place an order to buy or sell securities, you may get more or less than you expect. In some cases, a price quote may not exactly match what you pay for securities. Quotes may be delayed. Trades take time to execute. In highly volatile markets, millions of shares can trade in microseconds, causing price swings.
The start of 2016 for the equities markets may be described as rocky at best. Stunted by receding oil prices and a plummeting Chinese stock market, January began with stocks hitting the skids in a big way.
Volatility may best describe the equities markets for the majority of 2015, as they were impacted by economic stress in China and Greece, coupled with underwhelming corporate earnings reports, falling oil prices and terrorist attacks here and abroad.
November saw equities markets follow October's gains, although not nearly at the same pace. Amid favorable jobs reports, moderate GDP growth, and increased consumer income, coupled with an apparent easing of economic concerns in China, conditions appeared ripe for a strong November in equities trading.
October proved to be a month filled with highs and lows in the equities markets. But in the end, all of the indexes listed here posted gains over their closing values in September.
Despite favorable economic news later in the month, the U.S. stock market was unable to recover all of its losses and closed in negative territory compared to July. Key factors in the downturn include fear that China's economy is weakening, the steep drop in the price of oil, lackluster corporate earnings reports, and the potential for an imminent interest rate hike. Each of the major market indexes listed here dropped between 6% and 7.50% for the month.
As winter weather finally lost its chokehold on the U.S. economy, investors grew increasingly comfortable with the Federal Reserve's slow-and-steady approach to determine when to raise short-term interest rates.
Despite a generally sluggish economy, some mundane corporate earnings reports, the Greek debt crisis, and China's stock market upheaval, the stock markets posted moderate gains, for the most part.
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Investors seemed to take their emotional cue from a spate of mixed earnings results and economic data, waffling between enthusiasm and caution throughout the month. The Nasdaq finally recouped the losses it incurred during the technology crash 15 years ago, hitting a new record high during the third week of April.
Volatility continued to rule the domestic equities markets. After losing ground in January, the major indices had a strong February. March saw early losses, then solid gains, with the Dow industrials, S&P 500, and Russell 2000 all hitting closing highs, and the Nasdaq closing above 5000 for the first time in 15 years, just shy of its all-time high.