Market Data Bank

1Q 2018


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CORRECTION, RECOVERY, FRACTIONAL LOSS

The S&P 500 suffered a 10.2% correction in early February before recovering to post a 0.8% loss in the first quarter of 2018. The fractional loss followed a 6.6% gain in the fourth quarter of 2017, 4.5% in the third quarter, 3.1% in the second quarter and 6.1% in the first quarter of 2017. Volatility reappeared after a two-year lull.


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STOCKS NEARLY DOUBLED IN FIVE YEARS

Over the 10 years shown, $1 invested in the S&P 500 grew to $2.48. From the low on March 9, 2009, $1 in stocks grew to $4.72 -- a 372% return! What makes America exceptional among all nations has been unfolding in plain sight for 10 years, but it is always difficult to recognize it the moment it is happening.


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SECTORS SHOW GROWING APPETITE FOR RISK

The technology sector was again the standout in the 12 months ended March 31, 2018. The laggards -- telecom, consumer staples, energy, and utilities -- are considered more defensive. This is a sign of a gradual shift in sentiment toward riskier assets.


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INDEXES TRACKING 13 ASSET CLASSES

The S&P 500 index's total return of 87% in the five years through March 31, 2018, was more than double the 40% return on the S&P global stock index excluding U.S. stocks. For the first time in years, global growth accompanied the long U.S. expansion, boosting returns of a portfolio broadly diversified across the globe.


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APPROACHING THE LONGEST BOOM

At 107-months old, this is the second-longest expansion in modern U.S. history, surpassing the 106-month long expansion of the 1960s, and just 13 months shy of the 120-month boom of the 1990s -- the longest ever. With fundamentals strong, this is likely to become the longest in post-War America.


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FED PLANS INTEREST RATE HIKES

After hiking rates in March, the Fed said three more quarter-point hikes would follow in 2018. Interest rate cycles are slow. The most recent 24 years were marked by falling rates, while rates fell the previous 24 years. A new rising recently began. Rising bond yields often coincided with bull markets in stocks in the past.

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