Top three market headlines: Market Rebound of 2019, U.S. Consumer Sentiment on the Rise, U.S. First Quarter Economic Growth Rebounds
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Market Rebound of 2019: On Tuesday April 23rd, the S&P 500 hit a record close of 2,933.68; surpassing the previous record that occurred on September 20, 2018. U.S. stocks have done well since the start of 2019, which can be largely credited to the Fed backing off of the possibility of additional rate hikes. This also comes on the heels of a tumultuous end to 2018 with the S&P 500 falling 13.52% in the fourth quarter. Investors pulled approximately $84 billion from U.S mutual funds and ETFs in Q4, with $75 billion of that amount leaving in December due to fears of another recession. The end of 2018 marked the worst performance for most major indexes since the financial crisis 10 years ago. As of Tuesday April 23rd, the U.S. market had recovered all of those losses with the S&P 500 up 17% and the NASDAQ gaining 22% since the beginning of the year.

U.S. Consumer Sentiment on the Rise: The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, a measure of consumer sentiment, rose to 60.8 from 60.3 in the week ending April 20th. The Index climbed to a five-week high, which demonstrates the confidence Americans have in the rising stock market, sustained wage growth, and the Federal Reserve’s signals it will hold interest rates steady. The Index measures were split, however, among the four regions in the United States with sentiment decreasing in the Northeast and West, while increasing in the Midwest and South.  

U.S. First Quarter Economic Growth Rebounds: The Commerce Department Bureau of Economic Analysis announced on Friday that the first quarter saw an annual GDP growth rate of 3.2%, according to the “advance” estimate, beating the consensus economists’ estimate of 2.5%.  This was the best GDP first quarter number since 2015, despite the lengthy government shutdown that ended in January. The growth was mainly due to an increase in exports and a decrease in imports, as well as more investment by companies in inventories, buoying against declining growth in consumer spending and overall business investment. This marks a dramatic change from earlier in the year when the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow tracker estimated first quarter GDP growth at only 0.3%. 

As of April 26, 2019

Week

Quarter-To-Date

Year-To-Date

One-Year

MSCI All Country World

0.43%

3.14%

15.69%

4.80%

S&P 500

1.21%

3.83%

18.00%

12.46%

Russell 2000

1.67%

3.43%

18.51%

3.58%

MSCI EAFE

-0.17%

2.44%

12.67%

-3.17%

MSCI Emerging Markets

-1.30%

1.98%

12.10%

-3.48%

FTSE NAREIT

1.60%

-0.10%

16.22%

21.06%

Bloomberg Commodity

-1.10%

-0.22%

6.09%

-7.62%

Barclays Aggregate

0.38%

0.02%

2.97%

5.62%

WSJ 4/18/2019, 4/18/2019, 4/18/2019, 4/26/2019 Bloomberg 4/25/2019: Data from Morningstar Direct. Returns for periods greater than one year are annualized. Investment advisory, named and independent fiduciary services are offered through Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Adviser. Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC does not express an investment opinion regarding any specific commodity, sector or individual security. Unless otherwise expressly noted, the contents of this communication do not constitute securities or investment advice, nor should this communication be construed as an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment. Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC is a single-member, limited-liability company, with Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc. as its single member. Neither Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC nor their affiliates provide accounting, legal or tax advice. The information provided cannot take into account all the various factors that may affect your particular situation, therefore you should consult your Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors consultant before acting upon any information or recommendation contained herein to discuss the suitability of the information/recommendation for your specific situation.