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Market Recap: 1st Quarter 2019

April 8th, 2019 | Written by

First Quarter 2019 Market RecapThe stock market bounced back rapidly after the steep losses last quarter, showing the importance of staying invested after downturns.  In fact, it was the best quarter in nearly a decade for U.S. stocks with the S&P 500 up 13.65% and smaller U.S. stocks up 14.58%.  Technology and real estate were the best performing sectors, while health care was the worst.  International stocks posted strong gains too, with both developed international and emerging markets up around 10%.  Volatility returned to lower levels.  The rebound was fueled by optimism for a trade deal with China and by the Federal Reserve softening its position on future interest rate hikes.

In response to signs of a global growth slowdown, the Federal Reserve shifted course and indicated that further interest rate increases will probably not occur this year.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell from 2.69% to 2.41% by quarter-end, causing an inverted yield curve, which occurs when short-term bond yields are higher than longer-term bond yields.  This yield drop helped bonds post positive returns of 2.94% for the quarter.

Index Performance

Index1st Quarter 2019Year-to-date
Dow Jones 3011.81%11.81%
S&P 50013.65%13.65%
Russell 200014.58%14.58%
Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Agg Bond2.94%2.94%
MSCI EAFE Index10.13%10.13%
MSCI EM Index9.95%9.95%

Sources: Y Charts and J.P. Morgan Asset Management

Figures as of March 31, 2019. Past performance cannot guarantee future results.

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