July's stock market history & a look at the first half of 2018

July's stock market history & a look at the first half of 2018 

Bottom Line: We're halfway through 2018 – let that sink in for a minute – and our mid-year scorecard looks like this for stocks. Here's the year to date performance for the major indexes: 

  • Dow: -1.8% 
  • Nasdaq: +8.8% 
  • S&P 500: +1.7% 

A very mixed bag. If you've generally been heavy with industrials – you've probably not had a good run this year. If you've been heavy with technology – it's probably been a glorious first half of a year. This is endemic of a strong economy that's evolving and has created very specific stories that have changed considerably in the rising interest rate environment. It's been ten years since interest rates were as high as they are today and they're still on the move as the economy continues to grow. Here's what July has brought us over the years... 

Since 1950 here's the scorecard:  

  • Positive years: 38  
  • Negative years: 30 
  • Average rate of return...+.9%  

So, on average stocks are higher 56% of the time this month and have produced a healthy rate of return (10.8% annualized) that's slightly above average overall. July's performance averages being the fifth best of the year. We've had a three-year winning streak in July as 2014 was the last negative year for stocks during the month.  

The best July was in 1989 with an 8.8% return and the worst was in 2002 with a 7.9% loss. What will it hold this year? Until next month...   

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