Despite the economic carnage afflicting the global economy since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, by the end of the first quarter, the stock market had already plumbed its greatest depths, with March 23 marking a nadir. Over the course of the second quarter, while not recovering all the lost ground from the February peak, the market roared back...Continue reading . . .
Looking at the 18.54% total return for the S&P 500 through the first half of the year, the 14.49% return for the MSCI EAFE Index (non-US developed world), or the 10.58% gain for the MSCI Emerging Markets ETF, one could be forgiven for believing world economies have entered a Golden Era of buoyant confidence, linear expansion, and wisely benign governance. If only we were so lucky.Continue reading . . .
The first quarter of 2019 presented a sea change from the fourth quarter of last year. The S&P 500 index was down -13.52% in the fourth quarter of 2018, but it saw a double digit rebound in the first quarter of 2019, returning 13.65%. This change in sentiment (or animal spirits) between the fourth quarter and the first had to do with two main issues.Continue reading . . .
Just when 2018 was shaping up to be the third consecutive year of excellent stock market performance, the fourth quarter arrived, volatility reappeared, and major indices surrendered their gains for the year. The S&P 500 Index, which had been up over 9% through September, plummeted -13.52% in the fourth quarter, leading to a full year loss of -4.38%.Continue reading . . .