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Category: Markets

Q2 2018: Economic Commentary

Posted By Lineweaver Financial Group
April 02, 2018 Category: Q2 Newsletter, Economic Commentary, Markets

Global financial markets posted mixed results during the first quarter of 2018 amid a spike in volatility on concerns surrounding higher interest rates and rising inflation expectations. Meanwhile, the Trump Administration’s tariff announcement on steel and aluminum led to heightened geopolitical tensions with several U.S. trading partners, sparking concerns of a trade war. We present a few highlights from 1Q18 below: • U.S. equity markets sold off sharply in late January and early February, resulting in the first correction (10% drawdown) since early 2016. Stocks moved mostly higher for the remainder of the quarter in volatile and choppy trade, with large intra-day moves the norm. Despite the volatile environment, the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite managed to hover near their all-time highs. On the economic front, preliminary estimates indicate fourth quarter GDP slowed slightly more than initially thought due to slower inventory growth. • Developed international equity markets produced mixed results during the first quarter on worries that a strengthening U.S. economy may lay the groundwork for a more aggressive Fed. Gains came out of the Pacific region, while Europe lagged. On the political front, the populist movement was back in focus as disenchanted Italian voters opted for anti-establishment parties in an election that yielded no outright winner. In the emerging markets, returns were propelled

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