Market Commentary 9/30/18

Riding in the West

We had the great fortune of spending our vacation on a week-long bike tour in the western portion of South Dakota.  Together with my wife, Anne, we rode our tandem bicycle through Badlands National Park, the Black Hills Forest to Mt. Rushmore, and northward to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming.  We covered a lot of ground, and struggled up more than a few long climbs, but our efforts always seemed to be rewarded with another magnificent view of the amazing western landscape.

After subjecting investors to some ups and downs during the first half of the year, the stock market rewarded us with strong performance in the 3rd Quarter.  The S&P 500 generated a total return of 7.7%, the best 3rd quarter performance since 2010.  With year-to-date return for the index at 10.5%, most of the return this year occurred in just one quarter.  But this strong performance was not distributed evenly, as growth stocks once again outperformed value stocks, and large-cap stocks outperformed small-caps.  This divergence is a continuation of market action in the first half of the year when market returns were driven by a small group of high-valuation stocks in the technology sector, a topic that we covered in our previous market commentary.


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