Year to date, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index has returned 1.8%, ahead of both the developed international equity benchmark, which has returned 0.5%, and the S&P 500 Index, which has lost 0.6%.
It's still unclear if announced tariffs will be imposed, and there is no doubt risk of market disruption from a trade war with China is still present. However, even the higher total value of tariffs (estimated at $81 billion) pales versus the potential $800 billion in stimulus being put into the U.S. economy in 2018 via tax cuts, deficit spending, and the return of overseas cash.
Further evidence of a tight labor market was this week's jobless claims report, as applications for unemployment benefits fell 9,000 to 230k. The unemployment rate (4.1%) and underemployment rate (8.0%) are both at cycle lows.
Fear Friday the 13th? Although this is totally random, Friday the 13th has had weaker performance for stocks than your average Friday. The average gain on Friday the 13th (since 1928) for the S&P 500 has been only 0.02%, versus the average Friday gain of 0.05%. Not to mention, the last time there was a Friday the 13th during April was in 2012, when the S&P 500 dropped 1.25%--for the worst Friday-the-13th drop going back 15 years. (LPL)
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.