Oct. 1, 2017
This was one of the least volatile Septembers in history. It was a continuation of dull trading with a nice upward bias. The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ advanced to record levels, buoyed by gains in technology stocks, while each of the major indexes closed out the quarter with solid gains.
The S&P and NASDAQ closed at record highs and the benchmark S&P index posted its sixth straight month of gains. As the president continues his search for a new chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, rates and equities have priced in the current Fed regime continuing, which is a relatively sanguine path for the economy. Any deviation from that path - or the suggestion that Yellen may not be re-appointed may cause the market to reconsider this presumption and reprice valuations.
Rising expectations for another interest rate hike by year-end and Trump's tax-cut plan have dominated markets. Data showed U.S. consumer spending barely rose in August but the report did little to change expectations that the central bank would raise interest rates again in December. Another report showed the Chicago purchasing management index, which gauges factory activity, came in better than expected for September.
Year to date the Dow was positive 13.37 percent; the S&P 500 and NASDAQ were both up 12.53 and 20.67 percent, respectively. The 10 year Treasury is currently yielding 2.33 percent.