Sources: Sources for data in tables: Equity Market and Fixed Income returns are from JP Morgan as of 07/13/18. Rates and Economic Calendar Data from Bloomberg as of 07/16/18. International developed markets measured by the MSCI EAFE Index, emerging markets measured by the MSCI EM Index. Sector performance is measured using GICS methodology.
Global equity markets rallied for the second consecutive week as we enter into the early innings of 2nd quarter 2018 earnings season, a sign that investors are again optimistic about what lies ahead. In the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average led the way followed by the NASDAQ and S&P 500 Indexes, posting gains of 2.32%, 1.79%, and 1.55% respectively. The one exception for the major averages was the small-cap Russell 2000 Index, which retreated 0.39% over the course of the week, although, the index is still up an impressive 10.58% year-to-date (YTD). We would not be surprised to see Small Cap continue to outperform over the course of 2018 as companies with smaller capitalizations stand to benefit more from corporate tax rate cuts (repatriation aside) and are generally less exposed to potential trade war fallout than companies with larger capitalizations. However, we also anticipate seeing some selective Large Cap performance resurgence once some positive momentum on the trade negotiation front is reported.
With respect to fixed income, U.S. Treasuries continue to trade in a relatively tight range. Investors remain concerned about the flattening of the yield curve. We contend that although this is a valid concern, the Federal Reserve also has the tools to potentially affect the longer end of the curve (i.e. the assets on their balance sheet). We will be keeping an eye out on Tuesday morning as Fed Chair Powell delivers the Fed’s semi-annual monetary policy report to the Senate Banking Committee. This may give us a glimpse into the Fed’s rate hike trajectory and their balance sheet plans for the remainder of the year in addition to their current economic outlook.
As previously mentioned, second quarter earnings season is underway. Investors are expecting another quarter of solid numbers bolstered by tax-cuts and a healthy economic backdrop. Look for financials and tech to lead the way. Financials, namely banks, highlighted the early earnings releases with both JP Morgan and Bank of America beating earnings estimates. Goldman Sachs also reported on Tuesday morning, exceeding past analyst estimates in both earnings and revenues. Other interesting news out of Goldman was the formal announcement of the departure of Lloyd Blankfein as CEO. Finally, Morgan Stanley is set to report on Wednesday before the market open.
Outside of company earnings, we will continue monitor economic data releases and geopolitical events. On the U.S. economic front, investment by businesses has continued to grow at a healthy rate, consumers appear to be comfortable borrowing and spending, and job reports are generally positive. On the geopolitical front, President Trump met with Russian President, Vladimir Putin, on Monday and we would not be surprised to see more tariff and trade related uncertainties over the short term. There are many different factors that may affect the performance of an investment portfolio and we continue to urge investors to consider a strategy that is well-diversified and, as always, takes their specific investment objectives, timeframe and risk tolerance into consideration.
Important Information and Disclaimers
Disclosures: Hennion & Walsh is the sponsor of SmartTrust® Unit Investment Trusts (UITs). For more information on SmartTrust® UITs, please visit www.smarttrustuit.com. The overview above is for informational purposes and is not an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any SmartTrust® UITs. Investors should consider the Trust’s investment objective, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. The prospectus contains this and other information relevant to an investment in the Trust and investors should read the prospectus carefully before they invest.
Investing in foreign securities presents certain risks not associated with domestic investments, such as currency fluctuation, political and economic instability, and different accounting standards. This may result in greater share price volatility. These risks are heightened in emerging markets.
There are special risks associated with an investment in real estate, including credit risk, interest rate fluctuations and the impact of varied economic conditions. Distributions from REIT investments are taxed at the owner’s tax bracket.
The prices of small company and mid cap stocks are generally more volatile than large company stocks. They often involve higher risks because smaller companies may lack the management expertise, financial resources, product diversification and competitive strengths to endure adverse economic conditions.
Investing in commodities is not suitable for all investors. Exposure to the commodities markets may subject an investment to greater share price volatility than an investment in traditional equity or debt securities. Investments in commodities may be affected by changes in overall market movements, commodity index volatility, changes in interest rates or factors affecting a particular industry or commodity.
Products that invest in commodities may employ more complex strategies which may expose investors to additional risks.
Investing in fixed income securities involves certain risks such as market risk if sold prior to maturity and credit risk especially if investing in high yield bonds, which have lower ratings and are subject to greater volatility. All fixed income investments may be worth less than original cost upon redemption or maturity. Bond Prices fluctuate inversely to changes in interest rates. Therefore, a general rise in interest rates can result in the decline of the value of your investment.
MSCI- EAFE: The Morgan Stanley Capital International Europe, Australasia and Far East Index, a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure developed-market equity performance, excluding the United States and Canada.
MSCI-Emerging Markets: The Morgan Stanley Capital International Emerging Market Index, is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure the performance of global emerging markets of about 25 emerging economies.
Russell 3000: The Russell 3000 measures the performance of the 3000 largest US companies based on total market capitalization and represents about 98% of the investible US Equity market.
ML BOFA US Corp Mstr [Merill Lynch US Corporate Master]: The Merrill Lynch Corporate Master Market Index is a statistical composite tracking the performance of the entire US corporate bond market over time.
ML Muni Master [Merill Lynch US Corporate Master]: The Merrill Lynch Municipal Bond Master Index is a broad measure of the municipal fixed income market.
Investors cannot directly purchase any index.
LIBOR, London Interbank Offered Rate, is the rate of interest at which banks offer to lend money to one another in the wholesale money markets in London.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is an unweighted index of 30 “blue-chip” industrial U.S. stocks.
The S&P Midcap 400 Index is a capitalization-weighted index measuring the performance of the mid-range sector of the U.S. stock market, and represents approximately 7% of the total market value of U.S. equities. Companies in the Index fall between S&P 500 Index and the S&P SmallCap 600 Index in size: between $1-4 billion.
DJ Equity REIT Index represents all publicly traded real estate investment trusts in the Dow Jones U.S. stock universe classified as Equity REITs according to the S&P Dow Jones Indices REIT Industry Classification Hierarchy. These companies are REITs that primarily own and operate income-producing real estate.