Global financial markets posted mixed results during the second quarter of 2018 as investors balanced strong earnings, an improving labor market and better economic growth here in the U.S. with political turmoil in Europe and deteriorating trade relations worldwide. We present a few highlights from the 2Q18 below: Despite heightened geopolitical rhetoric, the S P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite continued to trade near record highs amid positive economic data and strong corporate earnings. On the economic front, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 25 basis points in June to a range of 1.75% to 2%, and upgraded their assessment of U.S. economic growth. Consequently, the FOMC now anticipates raising interest rates four times in 2018. Developed international equity markets produced mixed results during the second quarter on political turmoil in Spain and Italy, and rising trade tensions with the U.S. Gains came out of Europe, while
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Its difficult to predict the market over the short term, and 2016 has proven that point. Here are a few things that surprised the markets this year. Interest rates remain mainly unchanged for the year. In December 2015 the Fed increased interest rates for the first time in 9 years, and indicated plans to raise rates slowly in 2016. Due to concerns about less than robust economic growth, rates have remained at historic lows. Only post-election have interest rate sensitive sectors moved in response to anticipated rate increases in 2017. Late year rising bond yields during the quarter resulted in outright declines in bond-proxy sectors, such as utilities, staples, and real estate. In 2015 the China stock market declined, setting off global market declines and a return to volatility, but by late year that was all behind us or so we thought. 2016 started with another steep sell-off in the Chinese stock market which in turn caused global markets to sell off. World markets also tumbled after