After months of volatility, markets relaxed a bit last week. For the first time since October, the S&P 500 went 5 days without a 1% gain or loss.  The Cboe Volatility Index, or VIX, also fell to lower than 20 - in December, it spiked above 35. 
U.S. markets experienced more wild sessions last week before ending in positive territory as the recent turbulence continued. In fact, we are currently in the middle of some of the most volatile market performance in more than eight years.  For the week, the S&P 500 gained 1.86%, the Dow added 1.61%, and the NASDAQ increased 2.34%....
The close of the year provides an opportunity for investors to step back and consider the wider financial landscape. This week, we're reviewing some key issues that defined 2018, as well as some factors that may influence financial markets in the coming year.
Last week, domestic markets had some of their worst performance in 10 years.  The S&P 500 lost 7.05%, the Dow declined 6.87%, and the NASDAQ dropped 8.36%. All three indexes have now lost at least 8% in 2018.  On Friday, December 21, the NASDAQ entered a bear market, which means it's at least 20% below its last record high.
Last week brought more volatility to the markets. While domestic indexes had some rallies as positive trade news emerged earlier in the week, by Friday, December 14, they had erased any gains. The last time major U.S. indexes ended in correction territory was March 2016, meaning they are now at least 10% below their highs from the past year.
Markets went for another wild ride last week, as major domestic indexes swung back and forth. By Friday, December 7, markets had posted their worst weekly performance since March - and the S&P 500 and Dow both moved into negative territory for 2018.
U.S. markets ended a volatile month on a high note Friday. All three major indices posted impressive increases for the week, buoyed by news from the Fed Reserve and international trade.
Markets experienced more volatility last week, as perspectives on trade, tech, and retail pulled investor sentiment back and forth. Although domestic indexes were up on Friday, November 16, they still posted losses for the week.
Last week, markets experienced a 4-day winning streak before dropping on Friday, November 9. Despite those losses, domestic indexes posted gains for the week. The S&P 500 increased 2.13%, the Dow added 2.84%, and the NASDAQ was up 0.68%. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE had slight growth, ending the week up 0.20%.
From interest rates to corporate profits, investors had a number of topics to consider. In this update, we want to focus on two key details that drove markets: oil prices and midterm election results.
Markets posted strong gains last week after struggling for much of October. The S&P 500 had its best weekly performance since May, and the NASDAQ had its first positive week since September.