We believe the stock market’s 10% decline from the September 20th high is due to a confluence of three major fears for investors. First is the fear of rising interest rates and the Federal Reserve Bank’s monetary policy. Second is the fear of slower corporate earnings growth. Third is the fear of trade wars, especially with China. We believe that recent stock market weakness reflects temporary risks and is NOT a precursor to deeper economic problems.
The year is half over and despite the stock market’s ups and downs, the total performance for the year is neither too good nor too bad. As of June 30th, U.S. markets were up, with the S&P 500 up 2.65% year to date. International stocks gave up some of last year’s gains, dropping roughly 5% year to date. And emerging markets, which had a stellar 2017 (being up 37%), gave back about 8% this year, primarily due to an appreciating dollar.
By Dan Lear
Our lives include many types of recognition rituals, from the light-hearted—such as proms and school graduations, to the more serious—for observing coming of age, marriages, births and deaths. As a society we also designate entire months to acknowledge important values, commemorate historical issues, or address ongoing problems or concerns.