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).
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.
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 have a wide array of options when it comes to saving and growing their money.
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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.