Think the global economy is slowing? The equity markets don’t think so. The S&P 500 rose 13.1% in Quarter 1 (January to March), the largest quarterly gain since 2009 and the best start to a year since 1998.
The technology heavy NASDAQ index gained 17% as the S & P technology sector gained 19.3% during the quarter. Apple and Microsoft both gained over 16% during the quarter.
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.
December was very volatile for the markets and 2018 turned out to be the worst year for the markets since the financial crisis of 2008. Globally, equity markets were down everywhere other than some exceptions like in India, the UAE and New Zealand.
November 2018 saw big falls for Oil with WTI down 22% and Brent down 20.8%. Equities turned largely positive after a disastrous October with the S & P 500 up 2% and NASDAQ 100 up 0.5% during November. Asia was positive too with the Hong Kong HSI Seng Index up 6.2% and the Japanese NIKKEI up 2%. European Stocks performed badly though with the German DAX down 1.7% and the Portuguese PSI down 3.1%. The biggest loser was Bitcoin, down 37% during the month.
What a month October 2018 has been for the global equity markets. The U.S. Equity market had its worst month since the financial crisis, with the S & P 500 falling most in a single month since February 2009 and the Nasdaq 100 falling most in a single month since October 2008.
We had a total of 15 posts (including this one) in September 2018, the fewest since January 2018 (the month this site launched). Hopefully, October 2018 will be different and we should post more often. We will also trail a new Monthly Highlights in October. Here are highlights from September 2018,