After closing higher in each of the first four months of the year May brought volatility as the S&P 500 closed the month down about 6.5% amid fresh trade concerns. Bonds also flashed a warning sign as the yield on the 10-year US Treasury dropped to around 2.14% at the end of the month, the lowest levels since September, 2017. (Bloomberg).
February brought with it another strong month for stocks as markets continued to rally from the Christmas Eve lows. The S&P 500 finished the month roughly 3% higher which now leaves the index up about 11% for the year, and 18% from the lows in late December, but still about 5% from all-time highs (YCharts).
It never feels good when the stock market heads south, and that’s what happened last week. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500), Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq Composite all moved into correction territory, which means the indices have fallen 10 percent or more from their previous peaks.
2018 has been a challenging year for investors as volatility returned with a bang after being almost completely absent in 2017 when stocks roared higher by almost 20% as measured by the S&P 500 (YCharts). Through December 14th the S&P 500 is down almost 3% after enduring two corrections of 10%+ throughout the year (YCharts).