With little domestic news on either the policy or economic front, U.S. equities were virtually unchanged last week. The S&P 500 did close fractionally higher but failed to push above its 200-day moving average. Not helping matters were reminders from the White House that trade talks with China were far from any agreement, and from Europe concerning its ongoing economic slowdown and the challenges for monetary policy of Brexit uncertainty. While investors await further developments on these issues, the dearth of market-moving news resulted in the VIX index ending the week at 15.7, well down from the 36.1 reading of Christmas Eve.
Read more here: Investors Await Developments on Trade Negotiations and Brexit
The post-Christmas rally in stocks resumed last week, after a one-week interruption. The S&P 500 rose 1.6 percent, for its fifth gain in the past six weeks, and has risen 15.1 percent since it hit bottom on Christmas Eve. In the process, the S&P 500 has pushed above the 50-day moving average, after spending a month and a half below it. On Friday, it flirted with the 100-day moving average but ended the day fractionally short. It has been almost four months since the index closed above the 100-day moving average. It remains 7.6 percent below its September peak.
Read more here: Investors Turn their Attention to Trade Negotiations
The rally in U.S. equities that began on the day after Christmas continued last week, as the S&P 500 climbed 2.5 percent, bringing the total for the rebound to 10.4 percent. Stocks have risen on nine of the twelve trading days throughout this period. Each of the eleven sectors in the index has advanced, but it has been cyclical groups that have led the way, including energy, consumer discretionary, communication services, industrials and technology.
Read more here: Can the Latest Rally Continue? Investors Look to Earnings for the Answer
Ameriprise Financial (NYSE: AMP) is ushering in 2019 with new advertisements that bring to life the personalized experience the firm and its approximately 10,000 financial advisors deliver to clients.
Read more here: Ameriprise Financial Launches New Ads Showcasing the Brilliant Experience It Delivers to Clients
The bounce in U.S. equities off the Christmas Eve low now amounts to an impressive 7.7 percent, although the move has certainly been vertiginous, as a 2.5 percent down day in the S&P 500 last Thursday was followed by an almost 3.5 percent gain on Friday. But at week’s end, stocks had climbed 1.9 percent. The big move on Friday came after Federal Reserve Chairman Powell said the Fed would be patient in normalizing monetary policy, temporarily relieving the anxiety of the more skittish Fed watchers.
Read more here: Investors Embrace Some Good News
In fact, take four hikes. And with that, the Federal Reserve took its parting shot at 2018 and went home for the year, presumably not to be heard from at all in the new year, if markets are to be believed. We are not so sure. Expecting economic growth to remain above trend in 2019, we think the Fed will be back in the picture for 2019, taking two more rate hike shots at investor expectations.
Read more here: Take a Hike, 2018