Summertime is one of the big times of the year for blockbuster movies. This seems somewhat ironic, since summer is also a great time to get outdoors. Nevertheless, if we were to give the last quarter a movie title, the one that comes to mind is “Twister.”
Event recording from January 28, 2019.
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 Marc Usem
The recent plethora of hurricanes are expected to put the economy and the Fed in check. The storms have wreaked havoc with record breaking rainfalls of as much as 50 inches in Texas, and one the largest hurricanes on record engulfing the entire state of Florida. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people and communities affected by the destructive storms. The human toll is tremendous, with millions of people affected. The true economic costs have yet to be tallied, but will likely be the most expensive ever on a combined basis exceeding $250 billion in damage.