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So far, October has been a forgettable month for equity performance. Internet and technology companies — once the darling of this rally — have been among the hardest hit, as many investors appear to be taking profits as signs of slower earnings and economic growth have started to appear. Meanwhile, industrial companies have also been hit hard, as trade war rhetoric continues to grow between China and Washington, and China’s GDP growth was its weakest since the financial crisis. Through Wednesday, the materials, energy, industrials, and technology sectors all are in correction territory, with the following losses:
Not surprisingly, volatility — as measured by the VIX index — has skyrocketed as equities have sold off.
More generally, October’s sell-off has been related to the health of the global economy; investors appear concerned about rising U.S. interest rates, a strong U.S. dollar, slowing global growth and trade wars. Only time will tell if October is part of a larger sell-off in global markets and the end of a nine-year bull market in the U.S., or just an anomaly. Going forward, investors will dissect third quarter earnings and be focused on company guidance going into 2019. If growth prospects for 2019 look tepid, many expect this sell-off to continue into year-end and the VIX to remain elevated.
The opinions expressed herein are those of Marquette Associates, Inc. (“Marquette”), and are subject to change without notice. This material is not financial advice or an offer to purchase or sell any product. Marquette reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies and techniques based on changing market dynamics or client needs.
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