February brought with it another strong month for stocks as markets continued to rally from the Christmas Eve lows. The S&P 500 finished the month roughly 3% higher which now leaves the index up about 11% for the year, and 18% from the lows in late December, but still about 5% from all-time highs (YCharts).
Texas Legacy Wealth Management Blog
It never feels good when the stock market heads south, and that’s what happened last week. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500), Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq Composite all moved into correction territory, which means the indices have fallen 10 percent or more from their previous peaks.
2018 has been a challenging year for investors as volatility returned with a bang after being almost completely absent in 2017 when stocks roared higher by almost 20% as measured by the S&P 500 (YCharts). Through December 14th the S&P 500 is down almost 3% after enduring two corrections of 10%+ throughout the year (YCharts).
We’re off to a slow start.
December is usually the best month of the year for the stock market. It has been since 1950, according to Randall Forsyth of Barron’s, but not so far this year.
Two issues made investors particularly uncomfortable last week which helped trigger a sell-off that pushed major U.S. stock indices lower.
How are you feeling about financial markets?
Some votes are still being counted but investors appear to be happy with the outcome of mid-term elections. Major U.S. stock indices in the United States moved higher last week, and the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) Sentiment Survey reported:
Stocks recovered some ground last week and then stumbled over unemployment.
Major U.S. stock indices faltered Friday after the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on a popular ‘lagging’ economic indicator – unemployment. (Remember, lagging indicators describe what has happened in the past.) The BLS reported:1, 2, 3