June 18, 2018 – Trade and Interest Rates
Last week stocks showed mixed results as political headlines continued to dominate the news. The Dow lost 0.89% and the S&P 500 was almost flat with a 0.02% gain. The NASDAQ, on the other hand, reached a record high on Thursday and ended the week up 1.32%. Both the S&P 500 and NASDAQ experienced their 4th week of gains in a row. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE lost ground, posting a 0.52% decline.
Two Key Perspectives From Last Week
1. Trade tension continued.
Spats with U.S. allies – including Canada – and ongoing threats of a trade war with China captured investors’ attention last week. On Friday, equities briefly stumbled when the U.S. pledged new tariffs on Chinese goods, and China responded by promising the same level of tariffs on the U.S. A true trade war could slow global economic growth, but the current tariff tension may be little more than negotiation tactics.
2. Interest rates increased.
On Wednesday, June 13, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rates for the 2nd time this year. Fed Chairman Powell said, “…the economy is doing very well. Most people who want to find jobs are finding them and unemployment and inflation are low.” The Fed believes economic growth will continue at a faster rate than they last predicted. They also project that unemployment will fall to 3.6% by the end of 2018. The Fed may raise rates twice more this year.
Getting caught up in the news cycles and international headlines is easy, but they often provide little perspective on what may actually lie ahead for investors. Instead of trying to predict market performance, we encourage you to focus on the data.
This week, we’ll gain new perspectives on the housing market, as well as employment. The insight will continue to help us build a picture of where the economy is today-and how to help our clients make the most of their opportunities.
Monday: Housing Market Index
Tuesday: Housing Starts
Wednesday: Existing Home Sales
Thursday: Jobless Claims
Notes: All index returns (except S&P 500) exclude reinvested dividends, and the 5-year and 10-year returns are annualized. The total returns for the S&P 500 assume reinvestment of dividends on the last day of the month. This may account for differences between the index returns published on Morningstar.com and the index returns published elsewhere. International performance is represented by the MSCI EAFE Index. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.
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Diversification does not guarantee profit nor is it guaranteed to protect assets.
International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. The DJIA was invented by Charles Dow back in 1896.
The Nasdaq Composite is an index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market and is considered a broad indicator of the performance of stocks of technology companies and growth companies.
The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) that serves as a benchmark of the performance in major international equity markets as represented by 21 major MSCI indexes from Europe, Australia and Southeast Asia.
The Dow Jones Corporate Bond Index is a 96-bond index designed to represent the market performance, on a total-return basis, of investment-grade bonds issued by leading U.S. companies. Bonds are equally weighted by maturity cell, industry sector, and the overall index.
The S&P US Investment Grade Corporate Bond Index contains US- and foreign issued investment grade corporate bonds denominated in US dollars. The SPUSCIG launched on April 9, 2013. All information for an index prior to its launch date is back teased, based on the methodology that was in effect on the launch date. Back-tested performance, which is hypothetical and not actual performance, is subject to inherent limitations because it reflects application of an Index methodology and selection of index constituents in hindsight. No theoretical approach can take into account all of the factors in the markets in general and the impact of decisions that might have been made during the actual operation of an index. Actual returns may differ from, and be lower than, back tested returns.
The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are the leading measures of U.S. residential real estate prices, tracking changes in the value of residential real estate. The index is made up of measures of real estate prices in 20 cities and weighted to produce the index.
The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
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Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
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