The first quarter of 2019 was eventful, as equities markets rebounded from a weak end to 2018. Fueled by an increasingly dovish Federal Reserve, the current US bull market in equities hit its 10th anniversary, making it officially the longest bull market in history. Despite lingering concerns over economic growth, Eurozone equities also recovered, supported by central banks backing away from tighter monetary policy. Emerging markets, led by China, also posted strong returns in Q1.
Geopolitical concerns, including Brexit and US-China trade disputes continue to drive market volatility and inversion of the short end of the yield curve has created recession concerns. However, most forecasts assume that a data-driven Fed policy will result in stable rates for the balance of the year and, while vulnerable to exogenous shocks, near-term recession risk remains low. At the start of April, with 6% of companies in the S&P 500 reporting quarterly results, 83% have reported a positive EPS surprise, but 80% issued negative EPS guidance for Q2. It’s likely that this quarter will mark the first year-over-year earnings decline since Q2 of 2016.
As always, we emphasize the importance of having a financial plan and maintaining a globally diversified portfolio tailored to fit your individual goals and risk tolerance. A disciplined approach to investing is the most reliable path to achieving long-term success.
View our Q1 2019 Market Review.
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