November 21, 2018—We can’t help but appreciate the irony of the stock market’s recent activity heading into the Thanksgiving holiday. As we sit around the dinner table on Thursday, the stock market may not be on many people’s “things-to-be-thankful-for” list, at least based on the past few weeks. As of Tuesday, U.S. equity indices had erased their annual gains, after the S&P 500 was up as much as 10% for the year through September.
The price of oil (as measured by West Texas Intermediate crude) has fallen over 27% since its early-October highs, well into “bear market” territory. The decline was arrested on Wednesday, halting the longest stretch of daily declines for oil since the 1970s. Some investors are seeing flashbacks of oil’s most recent collapse, when it fell over 75% from mid-2014 to February of 2016, to a price of just $26/barrel.
November 7, 2018—Tuesday’s election delivered the result largely expected by us and the markets: a split Congress, with the Democrats wresting control of the House but Republicans retaining the majority in the Senate. Voter engagement was extremely high, with a record turnout for a midterm election.