Investment Review - December 2018
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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