Click here to view the full newsletter, including recent news, important dates, financial tips & tools, and more.
Market Highlights Q4 2019
2019 was a solid year for investors with stocks ultimately closing the year with several record highs. But getting there wasn’t a particularly smooth ride. The first yield curve inversion since 2007, a slowing economy, and the ongoing trade war with China each caused its own bit of angst. Still, investors found a way to stay on course, ultimately pushing stocks to their best year since 2013.
Tech stocks of the NASDAQ led the way, gaining more than 35.0%. The large caps of the Dow (23.34%) and the S&P 500 (28.88%) also fared well. The small caps of the Russell 2000 began the year on a tear, ending February up almost 17.0%. And though the small-cap benchmark index pulled back in March, it gained steadily throughout the year, closing 2019 about 24.0% ahead of where it started, while the Global Dow gained about 19.0% on the year.
A strong stock market and solid economic growth have already buoyed the start of 2020, but there are a few storm clouds on the horizon. The SECURE Act went into effect on January 1, bringing some of the biggest changes to retirement planning and saving in decades. (Read more about the SECURE Act and its impact on your retirement portfolio on page 3). The Treasury budget deficit is precariously high; it topped $98 billion for fiscal 2019 (October 2018-September 2019), up 26% compared to 2018.
While China’s just-announced stimulus has clearly eased investor fears for the moment, even if the US “wins” the trade war, the economic impact will continue for some time. 2020 will also bring us the Senate impeachment trial and November’s presidential election. And as I write this, I am reading the news of the escalation of tensions with the US and Iran. Yes, 2020 promises to be an interesting year!