Last week closed out one of stocks' top January performances in years. In fact, both the S&P 500 and Dow posted their best January results in at least 3 decades.  For the week, major domestic indexes were also up. The S&P 500 gained 1.57%, the Dow added 1.32%, and the NASDAQ increased 1.38%.....
For the first time in months, U.S. markets experienced little movement last week.  The Dow and NASDAQ did have their 5th week of gains in a row, but their increases were small: 0.12% and 0.11%, respectively.
U.S. markets were up again last week, as major domestic indexes posted their 4th weekly gains in a row.  In fact, the S&P 500 was no longer in correction territory at Friday's close - and was in the middle of its best yearly start since 1987. 
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.