Market Month: November 2018
The Markets (as of market close November 30, 2018)
November proved to be a very volatile month for stocks. By the third week of the month, the benchmark indexes listed here had given back just about all of the gains accumulated during the year. However, a spurt during the last week of November helped push stocks higher by the end of the month. Each of the indexes listed here outperformed their October end-of-the-month closing values, led by the large caps of the S&P 500 and the Dow, followed by the Global Dow and the small caps of the Russell 2000. The technology stocks of the Nasdaq edged higher by the close of November, and that index still maintains a sizeable lead year-to-date among the indexes listed here.
Nevertheless, investors head into the last month of the year anxiously, as fears of a slowing economy and growing international trade tensions will likely temper expectations for steady stock gains moving forward. Energy stocks have been hit by falling oil prices, and the yield on 10-year Treasuries fell below 3.0% as bond prices rose after the Federal Reserve chairman intimated that interest rates may not be increasing as aggressively as previously thought.
By the close of trading on November 30, the price of crude oil (WTI) was $50.72 per barrel, down from the October 31 price of $64.95 per barrel. The national average retail regular gasoline price was $2.539 per gallon on November 26, down from the October 29 selling price of $2.811 and only $0.006 more than a year ago. The price of gold rose by the end of November, closing at $1,227.80 on the last trading day of the month, up from its price of $1,220.80 at the end of October.
Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.