Glass Half Empty

Choppy markets continued in April. After all the large swings, the S&P 500 ended with a modest gain of 0.4% for the month, leaving the index down 0.4% for the year. Developed international markets beat domestic stocks with the MSCI EAFE index gaining 2.4% in April. Emerging market equities, feeling currency pressure and geopolitical tensions, pulled back in April but show small gains for the year.

Double Whammy

Stocks gave back a large part of their gains from January. The S&P 500 ended February down 3.7% after briefly pulling back 10% from the highs reached in January. Interest rates increased for the sixth straight month, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury finishing at 2.87%, the highest since 2013.

Jubilant Start, Shaky Finish

After an enthusiastic start to the year driven by an accelerating global economy and optimism about a large corporate tax cut, the stock market gave back some of its gains last week. The S&P 500 finished January with a 5.7% advance, including dividends. After a shaky finish, January’s returns were still one of the best starts for stocks since our firm’s founding in 1987.