April 2016 Commentary
The first quarter of 2016 followed a familiar script from last summer. August and September of 2015 saw a 12% stock market decline that was reversed by a sharp rally in October. In 2016, investors were greeted with the worst start to a year in the history of the U.S. stock market. The market slid by 13%, reaching a bottom on February 12th. The subsequent rally through March erased the decline, and U.S. stocks ended the first quarter with a small positive return.
This has been a challenging environment for investors. After the 2008 financial crisis, stocks rallied for six years. The last 18 months have been different, as the S&P 500 has been stuck in a range between roughly 2100 and 1800.