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Quarterly Market Review

Quarterly Market Review

Quarterly Market Review: July – September 2019

The Markets (third quarter through September 30, 2019)

The third quarter was full of ups and downs for stocks, much like the second quarter. Stock values moved in response to the rhetoric from the participants in the trade dispute between the United States and China. The Federal Reserve lowered interest rates two times during the quarter. More new jobs were added, but at a reduced rate, while wage growth continued. Manufacturing and industrial production remain muted, influenced, in part, by the waning global economy. Nevertheless, consumers were undaunted by economic developments, spending at a steady rate throughout the quarter.

July kicked off the third quarter in a somewhat lackluster manner, as the benchmark indexes listed here posted gains over June’s respective closing values. The Nasdaq gained over 2.0% for the month, followed by the S&P 500, which rose 1.31%. The Dow and Russell 2000 inched ahead by less than one percent, while the Global Dow dipped by almost half a percent. The Federal Open Market Committee reduced short-term interest rates 25 basis points, which sent stocks reeling. However, strong corporate earnings reports, low unemployment, and higher wages helped ease investors’ concerns by the end of the month.

August started with President Trump’s threat to impose additional tariffs on Chinese imports, which sent stocks plummeting. Throughout the month, each of the benchmark indexes listed here continued to lose value. Even a final-week push couldn’t save stocks from posting month-over-month losses. The small caps of the Russell 2000 were hit particularly hard, falling over 5.0% in August. The Global Dow lost almost 3.5%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped more than 2.5%. The large caps of the Dow and S&P 500 also fell close to 2.0%. Oil and gas prices at the pump fell in August, while long-term bond yields plunged as prices soared.

September saw each of the benchmark indexes listed here post solid gains, led by the Global Dow, which rode a solid close to the month on encouraging economic data from China. The Russell 2000 climbed almost 2.0% ahead of its August closing total, while both the Dow and S&P 500 exceeded their respective August closing marks by respectable amounts. The Nasdaq gained about half a percent on the month. The Federal Open Market Committee once again lowered interest rates 25 basis points in September following July’s 25-basis-point cut (the FOMC did not meet in August). By the close of trading on September 30, the price of crude oil (WTI) was $54.37 per barrel, down from the August 30 price of $55.16 per barrel. The national average retail regular gasoline price was $2.654 per gallon on September 23, up from the August 26 selling price of $2.574 but $0.190 lower than a year ago. The price of gold dropped by the end of September, falling to $1,479.30 by close of business on the 30th, off from $1,529.20 at the end of August.

For the third quarter, large caps performed better than small caps. The Dow and the S&P 500 each finished 1.19% above their respective second-quarter closing values. The tech stocks of the Nasdaq broke about even for the quarter, while the Russell 2000 and the Global Dow lost value. For the quarter, the price of crude oil (WTI) was $3.79 per barrel lower than its June 28 price. Gold closed the third quarter $66.00 higher than its second-quarter closing price. And the national average retail regular gasoline price, at $2.654 per gallon on September 23, did not change from its average price at the end of the second quarter.

Market / Index 2018 Close As of 9/30 Month Change Quarter Change YTD Change
DJIA 23327.46 26916.83 1.95% 1.19% 15.39%
NASDAQ 6635.28 7999.34 0.46% -0.09% 20.56%
S&P 500 2506.85 2976.74 1.72% 1.19% 18.74%
Russell 2000 1348.56 1523.37 1.91% -2.76% 12.96%
Global Dow 2736.74 3021.34 2.31% -1.73% 10.40%
Fed. Funds 2.25%-2.50% 1.75%-2.00% -25 bps -50 bps -50 bps
10-year Treasuries 2.68% 1.67% 17 bps -33 bps -101 bps
Market/Index DJIA
2018 Close 23327.46
As of 6/28 26916.83
Month Change 1.95%
Quarter Change 1.19%
YTD Change 15.39%
Market/Index NASDAQ
2018 Close 6635.28
As of 6/28 7999.34
Month Change 0.46%
Quarter Change -0.09%
YTD Change 20.56%
Market/Index S&P 500
2018 Close 2506.85
As of 6/28 2976.74
Month Change 1.72%
Quarter Change 1.19%
YTD Change 18.74%
Market/Index Russell 2000
2018 Close 1348.56
As of 6/28 1523.37
Month Change 1.91%
Quarter Change -2.76%
YTD Change 12.96%
Market/Index Global Dow
2018 Close 2736.74
As of 6/28 3021.34
Month Change 6.45%
Quarter Change -1.73%
YTD Change 10.40%
Market/Index Fed. Funds
2018 Close 2.25%-2.50%
As of 6/28 1.75%-2.00%
Month Change -25 bps
Quarter Change -50 bps
YTD Change -50 bps
Market/Index 10-year Treasuries
2018 Close 2.68%
As of 6/28 1.67%
Month Change 17 bps
Quarter Change -33 bps
YTD Change -101 bps

Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.