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Investments: Q2 2018 in Review

Q2 2018 in Review - Market Summary through June 30, 2018 

  • U.S. Equity (S&P500): 3.9% Q2, 2018, 3.2% YTD 
  • International Equity (MSCI EAFE): -2.6% Q2, 2018, -3.8 % YTD 
  • U.S. Fixed Income (BC Aggregate): -0.2% Q2 2018, -1.6% YTD 

  • US stock market ended the second quarter up 3.9% which is near the gain for the year through and soared in January up more than 6% before giving up all gains and finished the quarter slightly negative.  While the S&P 500 domestically was slightly down, Growth stocks were up on average 1.4% and value stock were down by 2.8% thus continuing a growth bias from 2017.  
  • Global equities showed similar patterns as the US.  The other note of global equities showed that Emerging Markets continues to lead developed countries in performance as was the case in 2017.  Emerging Markets measured by MSCI EM was up 1.47% YTD through 3/31/2018 versus developed international markets MSCI EAFA listed above at -1.41% through 3/31/2018).
  • Oil prices continued to climb and finished the first quarter at $64.91, up from $60.42 at the beginning of 2018 and up from $54 at the beginning of 2017.  While OPEC reaffirmed its lowered output, the US continued to increase its production but overall demand globally increased.  
  • Federal Reserve raised interest rates again in March by 0.25% for a fifth time in six quarters to a level of 1.75% with the Fed citing a continuing improving economy.  
  • Unemployment remained at 4.1% during the first quarter, its lowest level in 17 years. 
  • Volatility in the markets is back after a very steady stock market in 2017.  We have seen more 1% up/down days so far this year than we had all of 2017. Trade war talks, Korea, and rising interest rates have all contributed to the volatility.