April saw the S&P 500 advance 0.27% as a new earnings season unfolded – one in which investors grew uneasy about rising Treasury yields, protectionism, and privacy concerns involving tech giants. While the financial media largely focused on those anxieties, good news also appeared.
In March, stocks faced another significant challenge. The Trump administration’s sudden plan to institute tariffs on imports sent a shudder through the bulls. All three major Wall Street benchmarks fell more than 2.5% during the month as investors around the world considered the prospect of trade wars involving American, Chinese, and European products.
Investors certainly received a wake-up call in February. A correction hit Wall Street for the first time in nearly two years, and benchmarks overseas were also challenged. Two weeks later, though, the S&P 500 had gained back more than half of what it had lost in the dive.
Bulls took charge of Wall Street as 2018 began: the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 5.79% in the first month of the year, even with a mild selloff on the verge of February.
Congress reformed federal tax law to a degree unseen since the 1980s, the Federal Reserve raised the benchmark interest rate, and bitcoin took its investors for a wild ride.
In November, the S&P 500 gained 2.81% and advanced for a thirteenth straight month – an unprecedented milestone in the index’s long history.