Looking back, 2018 certainly felt like a roller coaster ride for investors. After a fantastic nine year run where US stocks returned an annualized 15.44%, you can see why 2018’s results came as a surprise for many. Coming off their 4th best year since 2000, domestic stocks, as measured by the Russell 3000, had their first calendar year decline since 2008. The volatility in the equity markets seemed unusual given recent data, but in many ways 2018 provided a return to historical normalcy that we hadn’t seen yet this decade.
While in 2018 US stocks have well outpaced international stocks, that is not always the case. Just last year international stocks outpaced US stocks by 6.4% and so far in the fourth quarter emerging markets have topped the US by 1.8%.
After rising back above 3% in September, the 10-Year Treasury yield has now climbed to 3.20% in early October reaching the highest level since July of 2011.
The bull market reached a record in August becoming the longest running US bull market in history. Stocks have risen more than 300% since early March 2009 without seeing a decline of 20%. The stretch surpasses the previous longest ever bull market that ended in March 2000 with the technology bubble.