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.
Last week did nothing to dispel October's reputation as a tough month for the markets. The S&P 500 lost 3.94%, the Dow declined 2.97%, and the NASDAQ dropped 3.78% during what was one of 2018's most volatile weeks so far.
Stock performance was mixed last week as investors considered the impact of interest rates, international affairs and corporate earnings.
Volatility was back in full force last week. The three major domestic indexes posted several days of losses before experiencing wide swings on Friday. By week's end, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), which investors use to help measure fear in the markets, had increased by approximately 70%. The VIX also reached its highest point since February.
Although new data continued to show strength in the U.S. economy, markets stumbled across the globe last week.
Friday, September 28, was the last trading day in 2018's 3rd quarter, and the S&P 500 posted its strongest quarterly return in nearly 5 years.
Last week brought new tariffs and data, and another look at changes coming to equity classifications.
Domestic markets fell last week due to negative trade news and declining tech stocks, with the S&P 500 and Dow both breaking their multi-week winning streaks.
Trade continued to dominate the news last week and cause market volatility as investors monitored discussions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and tension with China.
Last week marked a noteworthy milestone in our economy: On Wednesday, August 22, the bull market entered its 3,453rd day, the longest such run in U.S. history.