- The major U.S. equity indices all posted gains in March. The Nasdaq Composite increased 2.6%, the S&P 500 added 1.8%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1%. Coupled with the strong returns in the first two months of 2019, the S&P 500 posted its best first quarter performance since 1998.
- S&P 500 earnings growth ended 2018 on a strong note. Q4 earnings were up 14% year-over-year and for all of 2018 S&P 500 earnings increased over 20%. While revenues were strong, the robust earnings growth was aided by the corporate tax cuts signed into law at the end of 2017. With the anniversary date of the tax cut passing, 2019 first half earnings are expected to be flat year-over-year due to the difficult comparison.
- The IPO market is heating up. Five of the ten highest valued private U.S. companies are considering going public this year. Ride-sharing company Uber Technologies is expected to raise $10 billion in its IPO. Uber competitor Lyft Inc. began trading at the end of March and Pinterest Inc. is expected to launch later this month.
Disclosure: This commentary reflects the opinions of Welch & Forbes based on information that we believe to be reliable. It is intended for informational purposes only, and not to suggest any specific performance or results, nor should it be considered investment, financial, tax or other professional advice. It is not an offer or solicitation.
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