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The first quarter of 2018 began as the fourth quarter of 2017 ended: with strong market gains. With Nasdaq leading the way in growth, the employment sector remaining strong and personal income rising.
However, through February and March volatility returned to the markets. This caused investor concerns over rising inflation and interest rates. Concerns were also brought on by the threats of a trade war with China.
The Dow, Global Dow, S&P 500, Russell 2000 and treasuries all fell, fueled by a turbulent February and March. Despite this volatility, Nasdaq still posted modest gains over Q1 and the employment sector remained strong with increased wages and job growth, a decrease in unemployment insurance claims, and the unemployment rate holding steady at 4.1 percent.
Moving to the second quarter of the year, the economy is expected to maintain its course of relative strength. However, if news out of Washington continues to concern investors, market volatility is likely to prevail.
Read the Quarterly Market Review report covering the state of the market indexes, the latest economic news and a view to Q2.