This year’s January is quite the contrast to last year. As many of you may recall, last year, the U.S. stock market started the year with its worst decline in history falling close to 8% for the first 2 weeks, before recovering some in the second half of the month to “only” finish down 5.0% for the month of January. Compare that to this year as the U.S. stock market reached record highs with the Dow Jones Industrial Average moving past the 20,000-point milestone for the first time in history. For the month of January this year, the S&P 500 was up 1.90%. 

Internationally, stock prices did even better with the MSCI EAFE Developed Market Index up 2.9%, the MSCI Emerging Market Index up 5.5% and the MSCI EAFE Developed Small Cap Index up 3.5%. 
 

So overall, I think we would all agree a much better start to the year than last year. However, with stock prices near or at record highs, is that cause for concern? In our next segment of this newsletter, we will address this in more detail.
 

On the bond side, there was not a lot of movement during the month. The 10-year government bond yield ended the month at 2.45%, which was the same yield at yearend. For the month, the Barclay’s Aggregate Bond Index was up 0.20% and the S&P National Muni Index was up 0.47% for the month, while the Barclay’s High Yield Index was up 1.45%.

Capital Updates image associated with this months blog post.

David can be reached at 314-889-1096 or through email at David.Presson@fbol.com