Investment Review – December 2018

December 12, 2018 Investment Review

  1. The stock market treated us to another volatile month in November. Indices squeaked to a positive close thanks to a rally in the last week. In November, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.7%, the S&P 500 gained 1.8% and the Nasdaq Composite rose .3%. Stocks are up this year through November month-end, although indices remain well off the year’s highs.

  2. Oil prices in November posted their biggest one-month percentage loss since October 2008, falling 22% during the month. Crude oil briefly slid below $50 a barrel for the first time in more than a year, hurt by concern about a potential supply glut as well as slowing global growth. U.S. crude oil production, by way of shale drilling, has rapidly increased since 2011 and rose 21% in the past year. U.S. stockpiles have risen for 10 consecutive weeks while production from major oil exporters has been strong.

  3. Cryptocurrencies are a highly speculative asset class. Bitcoin and its rival digital currencies such as Ripple and Ether have fallen sharply this year. Bitcoin traded at close to $20,000 late last year and has fallen to around $5,000 today. The total market value of cryptocurrencies reached a record high above $800 billion in January, and now stands at about $130 billion, according to research site CoinMarketCap. SEC regulation of issuance and trading of the coins is an evolving process.

key investment statistics for december 2018

Sources: Bloomberg LLC, U.S. Commerce Department, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Dow Jones Inc. MarketWatch, Standard & Poors, Federal Reserve Bank, FactSet

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.

If you would like to receive your copy of the Economic Outlook and Investment Review monthly in the mail, call Ed Sullivan, Vice President, at 617-557-9800, or email him at

Make sure to bookmark our Perspectives webpage so you can stay up to date with the most recent weekly Welch & Forbes insights, announcements, and content. To receive our monthly email digest, simply enter your email address in the banner on this page.

Access your complimentary Wealth Planning Suite

wealth planning suite

Includes your Initial Consultation Portfolio X-Ray© Estate Plan Review Financial Plan

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

*There is no fee for the Initial Consultation or Portfolio X-Ray© for prospective clients. Portfolio X-Ray© is a Morningstar product that Welch & Forbes maintains a license for its use. The Estate Plan Review and Financial Plan are provided only to clients.