This mid-year 2018 stock market review provides an update on the state of the markets and what might be coming up in the second half. There’s also information on planning for retirement and resources to keep learning.
It’s hard to believe that 2018 is already halfway over. Amid all the fun and excitement that summer brings, it can be easy to put off thinking about your finances.
The mid-year can serve as a reminder to check in on your financial plan, get an idea of where you’re at in relation to your goals, and evaluate if there are any changes you want or need to make.
To help you get started, I talked to several TD Ameritrade associates for their perspectives on the state of the markets and what investors might want to consider keeping an eye on in the second half of the year. On top of that, they also shared some great information about planning for retirement and where to find resources you can use to continue building your financial knowledge. I hope you find these insights helpful and informative.
The first half of the year was probably a lot better than people were expecting after the rapid pullback in January/February. Most of the major indices, such as the S&P 500 (SPX) and Russell 2000 (RUT), are still at, or not too far off, all-time highs.
Consistent growth in the U.S. economy is one of the big factors that has helped support stocks. First quarter GDP dipped a little to 2%, but most analysts and economists have said they are expecting 2.7% to 3.1% for the full year.
The labor market is also still strong. Unemployment’s at 4% and wages have been increasing steadily. Also, consumer sentiment is still on the high end according to the latest reports. So there are a lot of positives going for the economy right now. The question is how long can it keep going.
I think what was most surprising in the first half of the year was the lack of higher interest rates for U.S. Treasuries. At the start of the year, there were a lot of people expecting the 10-year Treasury yield to be past 3.25% by now. Instead, it’s been struggling to make a sustained move past 3%.
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