Stock prices closed out the year with a surge, leaving investors with exceptionally high returns for the calendar year. Global stock indexes advanced over 3% in December and nearly 9% for the quarter … a welcome rebound for investors who suffered through last year’s decline. U.S. and international stocks ended the calendar year with returns of 31.01% and 21.51%, respectively. Declining yields also gave bond investors solid returns during 2019. The 10-year U.S. Treasury currently yields 1.9% … well below the 2.7% yield to begin the year. It’s rare to see both risky and safe assets with such strong performance, and the extent of these gains hasn’t been seen in over 35 years.
Pew Research Center, after polling nearly 15,000 residents worldwide, found 73% on average see China in an unfavorable light … China’s worst score since the survey began. The survey also found 78% of respondents had little or no confidence in President Xi Jinping.
While global equities declined approximately 3% in September, investors were still able to register gains in excess of 8% for the quarter. Over the past six months, U.S. stocks values have soared more than 30% … finishing their best two-quarter performance since 2009. After the steep first quarter plunge, stocks have clawed their way back to modest year-to-date gains.
August was yet another great month for stocks. Global equities advanced over 6% for the month and are now up 33% in just the past five months. The S&P 500 has returned nearly 58% since the market lows reached back on March 23. The technology heavy Nasdaq Composite has skyrocketed over 72% during the same period.
Global stocks advanced for the fourth straight month with returns of just over 5% during July. Since the 21% decline in the first quarter, global stocks have now rebounded more than 25%, marking their best four-month percentage gain in over 20 years.
The care for over 60% of nursing-home residents is subsidized by Medicaid, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Few private insurers cover long-term care because Medicaid is relatively easy to obtain. It is estimated that Medicaid “crowds out” 70% of long-term care insurance.
Domestic stocks returned just over 2% for the month of June, ending their best quarter in over 20 years. During the first two quarters, U.S. stock performance reflected an almost perfect mirror image … gaining 22% during the second quarter, after losing nearly 21% during the first three months of the year.
Global stocks ended the week 2% higher as investors struggled to reconcile the benefits of economic recovery against the rising rate of coronavirus infections. Oil prices closed just shy of $40 per barrel, for their highest close since March.
The week started well, but ended on a down note for stocks. The Dow Industrials lost 1500 points, as the broad U.S. market declined 5% for the week. Global equities are now down nearly 8% year-to-date.
Stocks had yet another huge week. Global stock markets advanced nearly 6% over the past five days and are now up over 22% quarter-to-date. U.S. stocks have now erased most of their “coronavirus losses” and are now down less than 1% for the year.