- All three major U.S. stock indices continued their upward trend in February. The S&P 500 gained 2.9%, the Dow Jones Industrials gained 3.4%, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 3.7%. Non-U.S. stocks also rose. The MSCI EAFE Index rose 3% and the MSCI Emerging Markets index rose 1%.
- Treasury note yields rose slightly and across maturities in February maintaining a relatively flat but still positively sloped yield curve with the 2-10 year note spread widening by 2 basis points (0.02%) to 20 basis points (0.2%).
- The CBOE Volatility Index or VIX continued to trend down in February falling one point and ending the month at 15. The VIX began the year at 25, having recently peaked December 24, 2018 at 36. The VIX, often referred to as the “fear gauge”, is a popular measure of the stock market’s expectation of volatility. The VIX has averaged 14 over the past 3-year period.
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