February 7th, 2019
2018 was an even more challenging year in the market than what was indicated by the headline declines in the indices. Sentiment began the year at elevated levels, only to be rattled in February by a sudden storm of volatility, leaving most unable to assign a cause. That drop was eventually recovered by most of the major market averages, but after such a long stretch of a rising market with very few wobbles, the sudden drop in February was a helpful reminder that markets do not always go up. From our seats, there were fewer ways to win or keep pace as the indices recovered through the 2nd and 3rd quarters. The largest and the growthiest stocks had led the market for the past two years, but after Facebook (FB) fumbled in July the market began to feel different. Finally, in the 4th quarter, the market took most everyone lower, and while there were serval factors at play, again part of the drop can be pinned on another giant taking a fall; this time the Goliath was Apple (AAPL).