Friday, September 28, was the last trading day in 2018’s 3rd quarter, and the S&P 500 posted its strongest quarterly return in nearly 5 years.[i] The Dow also showed impressive returns by beating expectations for the quarter, while the NASDAQ notched record highs against 2017 numbers. For the quarter, the S&P jumped 7.2%, the Dow increased 9.3%, and the NASDAQ moved up 7.1%.[ii]
As we learn more about the 3rd quarter, some details from last week offer perspectives on where we stand today.
What We Learned About the 3rd Quarter Last Week
These numbers suggest healthy consumer outlooks, positive economic attitudes, and possible trends in increased spending.10
If this trend involving exports and imports continues, the U.S. dollar may take a hit.16 Meanwhile, on September 24, President Trump added tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, and China responded with its own tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. products. Though negotiations between the two countries have stalled, we will monitor the situation.17
The Federal Reserve remained optimistic last week about the economy, raising the interest rate from 2% to 2.25%. The 3rd increase this year is no surprise but does suggest confidence in a growing economy and low unemployment numbers, and that a 4th quarter hike is highly probable.18
With new data coming in, we’ll deepen our understanding of the economy’s performance in the 3rd quarter. If you have questions about how this may affect you or your financial life, contact us today; we’re ready and happy to help.
Monday: PMI Manufacturing Index, Construction Spending
Wednesday: PMI Services Index
Thursday: Jobless Claims, Factory Orders
Friday: Employment Situation, International Trade
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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.
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