After the worst December for stocks in decades, global equity markets bounced back in January. In December, the S&P 500 fell 9.18% (its worst December since 1931) and entered bear market territory. Since Christmas, the S&P 500 has risen over 15% with a 7.9% jump in January alone, its best January performance since 1987.
Crude Oil was up around 18% during the month and Brent up around 14%. The Baltic Dry index was down about 40%. The Baltic Dry Index is a trade indicator that measures shipping prices of major raw materials and is often seen as a global growth indicator. Is that a sign that growth and trade further slowing?
Iron Ore was up around 20% during January and could be a small sign of improving economic conditions. U.S. job growth during the month remained robust too.
Here’s what we wrote about in January,
2019, a year that will be different
Did the global economy slow significantly at the end of 2018?
U.S. Corporate profits have been growing well and have hit a record high
UK household credit growth remains robust despite Brexit as outstanding household debt hits 80% of GDP
Eurozone Q4 2018 GDP up by 0.2% and European Union Q4 2018 GDP up by 0.3%; 2018 annual GDP growth at 1.8% for the Eurozone and 1.9% for EU; Italy in Recession
Looking back at 2018
Ten Recommended Reads from 2018
Individuals now consistently contribute over 80% of all U.S. federal taxes
Rising benchmark interest rates in the United States are having little impact on mortgage and saving interest rates as well as interest margin of banks
Here are UK household spending insights
Delinquency and Charge-off rates across banks in the United States remain low (January 2019 edition)
The growth of E-Commerce in the United States in three charts
Here are the minimum wage levels across the European Union
Healthcare has displaced Retail as the largest employer in the United States
Europe’s aging population is set to cause huge economic challenges
The U.S. total wage bill to corporate profitability ratio throws up several questions