A Month In Brief

While investors kept tariffs and trade disputes in mind in July, a new earnings season provided Wall Street with a lift. Blue chips especially benefited: the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 4.71% for the month. Broadly speaking, strong corporate profits and domestic economic data gladdened the bulls, even as question marks about global commerce flashed.1

LOOKING BACK… LOOKING FORWARD

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 managed to catch up a little versus the Nasdaq Composite in July. Blue chips rose 4.71%, the S&P advanced 3.60%, and the Nasdaq improved 2.15% for the month. The Russell 2000 was not far behind in terms of performance, rising 1.69%. If it seemed that July was not all that volatile, the CBOE VIX’s performance will confirm your assumption; Wall Street’s top gauge of market instability fell 20.26% across July to 12.83, but remained up 16.21% YTD.1,18

The Nasdaq, Dow, Russell, and S&P are all firmly in the green for 2018 at this date. As the closing bell rang on July 31, their year-to-date numbers were as follows: DJIA, +2.82%; S&P, +5.34%; COMP, +11.13%; RUT, +8.81%. When that trading session ended, the four benchmarks settled at these levels: DJIA, 25,415.19; COMP, 7,671.79; S&P, 2,816.29; RUT, 1,670.80.1,18

The second half of the year started with some promise: earnings and fundamentals largely came through and brightened the mood of investors contending with unanswered questions about global trade. July was the S&P 500’s fourth straight winning month, and 2018 is the twelfth year in the past 90 years in which the S&P has had an April-July win streak. In all previous 11 years featuring such a streak, the S&P advanced across the rest of the year. Will history repeat in 2018? Maybe not, but 11 for 11 is certainly encouraging. A strong finish to 2018 is by no means assured, as trade and diplomatic concerns, probable Federal Reserve rate hikes, and perhaps even a slowing U.S. business cycle cloud the horizon. The market will also exit earnings season this month, and that may leave less for investors to get excited about. Late-summer doldrums could certainly overtake Wall Street, but that does not rule out the possibility of a bullish fourth quarter.22



DISCLAIMER

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results.

CITATIONS:

1 - barchart.com/stocks/indices?viewName=performance [7/31/18]

18 - money.cnn.com/data/markets/russell [7/31/18]

22 - marketwatch.com/story/the-fate-of-the-stock-market-for-2018-could-rest-on-the-next-5-trading-days-2018-07-24 [7/24/18]


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