Market Update – April 2019
Global stocks rallied 3.3% during April resulting in a 16% year-to-date return. Markets that led with some of the strongest returns during the month were Germany (+7.0%), South Africa (+8.1%), and Sweden (+6.1%). Short- and intermediate-term bonds rose 0.2% for the month. Alternatives generally pulled back during April with the exception of managed futures (+0.5%).
- The Consumer Price Index rose to 1.9% in the latest report, while unemployment fell to 3.6%.
- The Consumer Confidence Index jumped five points in April, which should support consumer spending in the coming months.
- The first quarter 2019 U.S. GDP data surprised investors with a 3.2% annualized rate, up from a rate of 2.2% in the fourth quarter.
- The S&P 500 gained 4.0% while U.S. small stocks followed with a 3.4% return. Growth stocks continued to outperform value stocks. Sector strength came from financials, technology, and communication services.
- Returns across international stock markets ranged from 2.1%-3.2% during the month. Year-to-date, returns are in the double-digit positive range as are those for the U.S.
- Bond returns were modestly positive in April, with the exception of international bonds (-0.1%).
- Corporate bonds were the bright spot during the month as well as year-to-date periods. The 10-year U.S. Treasury ended the month at 2.5%, not far from its starting yield.
- REITs, commodities, and reinsurance struggled during April with returns slightly in the red. Managed futures, however, benefited from positive stock and bond trends ending with a positive 0.5% return.
This is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, investment or financial advice. Please consult your legal, investment and financial professionals regarding your specific circumstances.