"Market volatility experienced in the last week of 2018 has been described as something no one has ever seen before.  A 700-point decline in the Dow followed by a 1000-point rise the following day followed by a 600-point decline during the day only to end up 200 points above the prior close at the end of the day.  The result was a dizzying investment moment.  How to understand such persistent dramatic volatility?  Is cash ultimately the only safe asset?"

Markets As the quarter ends, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 indices, fueled by growth stocks’ appreciation, are at all-time historical highs, dominating the return from global investing.  While the MSCI ACWI rose more than 3.5% for the quarter and 2% for the year, the MSCI ACWI-ex US was flat for the quarter and declined more than 5% year-to-date.  In general, international equ ...

"Despite extreme international and domestic political risks, domestic equity volatility as reflected in the VIX, interrupted only by the prior quarter, was slightly below historical norms at levels that have persisted since March 2009 through the end of 2017.  The U.S. equity market continued to outperform many international indices.  It is a story very much associated with central bank policies..."

By New Frontier

"This quarter marked an inflection point in market volatility.  2018 brings the first negative quarter for the US or global markets since 2015.  These nine quarters of positive returns compare to the record 14 consecutive positive quarters for the S&P 500 ending in 1998.  January began the quarter with another month of rising markets and low volatility, albeit with the dollar falling and interest rates rising, but then the market environment changed..."