News events have an uncanny power to shift markets. Particularly in uncertain times such as these, each heavyweight news story seems to have a life of its own – and when they come about, other influences seem to vanish.
The week began with the last trading day of 2018, which was a roller coaster of a day, not unlike much of 2018 itself! SPY opened at 249.56 and proved to be highly volatile through the day. Despite some heavy losses, the bulls came through and brought SPY over the 250 mark to close out a turbulent year on a high note.
We got right back to the trading on Wednesday morning after a quiet day off to ring in the new year. The US-China trade dispute and continued partial shutdown of the US government painted a woeful picture at the beginning of the day, but investors were eager to prop up the markets. SPY closed the gap on its premarket losses before profit taking to close out the day.
Thursday’s trading was dominated by news that, in a letter to shareholders, Apple had lowered its revenue expectations for the fourth quarter of 2018. Further comments about the strength of the Chinese market and health of the global economy was enough for investors to hit the sell button and bring SPY back down to the low-244’s.
By Friday, Apple’s woes were all but forgotten. Federal Reserve Chairman Powell spoke at an economic conference in Atlanta and assured of stability and patience when setting interest rate policy. This put a smile on investors faces and sent SPY climbing through the day, gaining about $5 and closing off the week in the mid-252’s.
As turbulence characterized the US markets in 2018, investors are looking toward 2019 with cautious optimism. The bullish wave we have been riding since 2009 has come to an end and no one can tell what the future has in store.