[Friday, November 30, 2018]
Markets got off to a slow start this last trading day of the month but managed to finish higher across the board. It was a choppy session with stocks moving between gains and losses until mid-afternoon when shares turned higher in a steady climb to session highs. As world leaders gathered in Argentina for the G20 summit market participants remain most concerned with trade, specifically the US-China relationship, and appear hopeful of some near-term progress. At the close the S&P 500 was up +22.41 to 2,760.17, the Dow moved +199.62 to 25,538.46 and the Nasdaq Composite added +57.45 to 7,330.54. The Russell 2000 gained +7.88 to 1,533.27. It was a solid week of gains following the punishing losses endured earlier in the month. The Dow had the best weekly return in 2 years and the broader S&P 500 enjoyed its best 5-day run in 7 years. Despite the gains the most watched indices are only modestly higher for the year, the Nasdaq Composite just above even. Among the major sectors all groups save Energy were higher for the day. Utilities led while Energy continues to suffer the drop in crude prices. Oil is hovering around $50 a barrel with a glut of global oversupply. Gold slipped fractionally to close at 1,222 an ounce. Government yields were lower. The 10-Year Bond dropped to offer 3.01% Volatility moved with the day’s gains and losses; the VIX eventually settling lower, closing at 18.07.