Markets Advance on Strong Earnings and Geopolitical Updates

Market Overview


Sources: Sources for data in tables: Equity Market and Fixed Income returns are from JP Morgan as of 10/25/19. Rates and Economic Calendar Data from Bloomberg as of 10/25/19. International developed markets measured by the MSCI EAFE Index, emerging markets measured by the MSCI EM Index. Sector performance is measured using GICS methodology.

Happening Now                   

Markets finished higher for the week driven by strong third quarter earnings thus far as well as optimism surrounding U.S. – China trade. In the U.S., the S&P 500 Index rose to a level of 3032, representing a gain of 1.23%. The index hit an all-time high mid-week and continues to push higher to kick off this week. The Russell Midcap Index advanced 1.13% while the Russell 2000 Index, a measure of the Nation’s smallest publicly traded firms, gained 1.53%. On the international equities front, developed and emerging markets returned 1.27% and 1.17% respectively. In fixed income, the 10 year U.S. Treasury yield increased to 1.80%.

Investors will be focused on earnings and the Federal Reserve (“Fed”) in the week ahead. Earnings to date offered treats vs. tricks and we hope the trend continues through Halloween. According to FactSet as of October 25th, 40% of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported results. Of those, 80% have reported a positive earnings per share (“EPS”) surprise and 64% have reported a positive revenue surprise. Results within sectors have been a bit mixed, however, as a whole, Consumer Staples, Communication Services, and Information Technology have reported the highest percentage of earnings beats. On the flip side, Energy, Industrials, and Real Estate have the lowest percentage of positive earnings surprises, although all still above 55%. This isn’t too surprising, particularly within Industrials as several companies may have been impacted by, and have provided tepid forward guidance on, trade and tariff uncertainty.

As previously mentioned, investors will be eyeing the Fed this week with the expectation that they once again cut the Federal Funds target rate by 25 basis points, which will leave the rate in a range of 1.50% – 1.75%. According to the CME group, the market is currently pricing in a 95% probability of a rate cut. We’ve stated many times that we don’t believe further rate reductions are warranted, regardless, an accommodative Federal Reserve, a President who appears increasingly motivated to work with China on the next phases of a trade deal, and eased tensions regarding Brexit with an extension on the way may lead to further market gains.

With that said, we caution investors not to get complacent as the days of heightened volatility are not behind us. It remains increasingly important for investors to stay disciplined and focused on their longer-term goals, which is why we encourage investors to work with experienced financial professionals to help manage their portfolio through various market cycles within a well-diversified framework that is consistent with their objectives, time-frame, and tolerance for risk.

Important Information and Disclaimers

Disclosures: Hennion & Walsh is the sponsor of SmartTrust® Unit Investment Trusts (UITs). For more information on SmartTrust® UITs, please visit 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.