Major stock indices fell in August for the first time since May, in which indices lost in excess of 6%. In August, the S&P 500 declined 1.8%, falling to 2,926.46, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), Nasdaq, and Russell 2000 each declined 1.7%, 2.6%, and 5.1%, respectively. The month was characterized by excess volatility, as each index counted 10 or more days of 1%-or-greater swings.
Major stock market indices advanced in July, building upon a strong year for market returns. The Nasdaq advanced the most, gaining 2.1% to 8,175.42, while the S&P 500 gained 1.3% to 2,980.38. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Russell 2000 also closed the month in positive territory. Only the Russell 2000 has a negative return through the last twelve months.
The stock market rebounded strongly in June from a weak May performance, with major indices increasing approximately 7% on the back of increased hope for a trade truce with China and signals from the Federal Reserve that a rate cut may come this year. The month closed out the best first half market performance since 1997
Stock markets dropped in May due to the on-going trade tensions with China. The S&P 500 dropped 6.6% to 2,752, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ, and Russell 2000 each declined 6.7%, 7.9%, and 7.9%, respectively. May marked the first month of broad index declines for the year, though returns are still up considerably year to date.
Stock market indices increased 2.6% or more in April, as earnings season continued with generally positive results and economic news. The S&P 500 marked its best four-month stretch in nearly nine years, increasing 3.9% to 2,945.83. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), NASDAQ, and Russell 2000 also increased 2.6%, 4.7%, and 3.3%, respectively. Year to date, these indices are up 14% or more.
Stocks ended a volatile month with mixed results, with the S&P 500 index registering a 1.8% gain in March, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ, and Russell 2000 closed the month with 0%, 2.6%, and -2.3% returns, respectively. It was the strongest quarter for the S&P 500 since the second quarter of 2009.
The stock market continued to rebound from its weak performance in December, as the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), Nasdaq, and Russell 2000 all climbed 3.0% or more in February. Year to date, the indices are up more than 11.0%. Small stocks appeared to outperform larger stocks, as the Russell 2000 rose 5.1%, outperforming its larger index peers during the month.
The stock market ended deeply negative in December, with the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), NASDAQ, and Russell 2000 each losing over 8%. The worst market performance in December since 1931 sent the S&P 500, DJIA, and NASDAQ into negative territory for the year, with the S&P 500 down 6.2%, the DJIA down 5.6%, and NASDAQ down 3.9%. The Russell 2000 was down 12.2% in 2018. The year accounted for the worst market performance since 2008.
Stocks finished strong on the last day of November, helping major indices move further into positive territory. The S&P 500 closed up 1.8% to 2,760.17, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) ended up 1.7% to 25,536.46, and the NASDAQ closed up 0.3% to 7,330.54. Rumors of easing trade tensions with China on Friday helped the NASDAQ move into positive territory for the month. Only the Russell 2000 is in negative territory for the year.
US equities rallied on the last day of the worst month for the S&P 500 since September 2011. The S&P 500 closed the month down 6.9%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed down 5.1%, the NASDAQ ended down 9.2%, and the Russell 2000 finished down 10.9%. Before the last week of the month, both the DJIA and S&P 500 entered negative territory for the year.