The first trading day of 2018 saw the S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average close at 2,695 and 24,824 respectively. US equity markets were reaching new heights, buoyed by a 2017 that inundated with an unending stream of positive data. The year also saw the passage of President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which slashed business taxes and paved the way for a procession of stock buybacks in corporate America.
But what a difference a year can make.
The first trading day of 2019 brought more of the gloom that US traders have grown accustomed to over the latter part of 2018. The Dow lost 1.6% to settle at 23,345, and the S&P hit 2,472 following a 1.4% drop.
Though the difference between the 2018 and 2019 totals is hardly alarming in and of itself, especially when compared to the meteoric plunges of the Great Recession, they do appear indicative of a downward trend that’s likely to continue into 2019 and even beyond.