Up the Stairs, down the Elevator By: Gabriel PotterMBA, AIFA® 2018.10.15

There is a funny old adage– markets take the stairs up and the elevator down.  When you look at the recent market activity – a full week of consecutive down days and almost 1800 points of loss – market analysts have started to question if we’ve reached our market top of a 10 year bull market.  There are a variety of factors for the October sell off – China tariff threats, Italy’s populist budget impasse, recent tension with Saudi Arabia, and old-fashioned profit taking.  While forward-looking market indicators may be focusing on future issues (US debt, trade tensions, global slowdowns), a new set of backward looking quarterly results might reorient investors into the near term.  It is earnings season after all.  Over the next two weeks, attention should shift from macro-economic tensions to company-specific earnings.  While there are assuredly a few earnings surprises waiting in the next batch of data, the overall data still suggests (for the US, at least) relative stability in terms of what we had already experienced during the third quarter, which suggests a near term softening of recent volatility.  Of course, Wall Street analyst consensus of a US GDP slowdown - not a recession, just a slowdown - in the second half of 2019 coupled with one of the aforementioned potential negative catalysts could send the market spiraling downward at any moment.  Nobody can predict the markets; we’ll just have to wait and see.

Gabriel Potter

Gabriel is a Senior Investment Research Associate at Westminster Consulting, where he is responsible for designing strategic asset allocations and conducts proprietary market research.

An avid writer, Gabriel manages the firm’s blog and has been published in the Journal of Compensation and Benefits,...

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