TradeStation’s Market Insights blog launched in early 2018. It was a great year to write about the markets, thanks to broad volatility, economic changes and geopolitical turmoil.
Today as 2019 gets underway, it’s a good time to review some of last year’s big stories. Our coverage was often ahead of the curve, alerting clients to trends long before other news outlets. Thanks to our readers, and expect even better things over the next 12 months!
- Rising interest rates were a focal point last year. They outrank other items like market moves because they caused a lot of the volatility. Market Insights spotted the trend on January 11, and anticipated its reversal 11 months later.
- Trade wars and geopolitical change were second on the list of major stories in 2018. Most people know about President Trump’s trade war with China, but there were plenty of other big transitions. Turkey had a currency crisis after clashing with the White House. Brazil and Mexico followed the recent trend of electing presidents from outside the established parties. OPEC also struggled for relevance (see items 4 and 5 below).
- Growth stocks and the Nasdaq hit a wall. Trade jitters didn’t help, but this was mostly an organic slowdown. Years of runaway expansion and gains at Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB), Amazon.com (AMZN) all seemed to get tired.
- Oil shot to a three-year high as the U.S. re-imposed sanctions on Iran. Market Insights helped guide investors to key turns in the commodity at several points along the way.
- Oil ran out of gas near those peaks. It then reversed lower and had its worst month in at least two decades. Suddenly everyone realized the U.S. has become a major producer.
- China slowed, another big reason why oil fell off a cliff. Yesterday, Beijing reported its worst manufacturing numbers in almost three years, but Market Insights delivered this story to clients all the way back in July.
- A key trend line running below the S&P 500 since 2016 provided support after the February selloff, only to fail in October.
- The U.S. economy had a great year as manufacturing came back. Unemployment and job openings are also at historic levels.
- The 2008 financial crisis had its 10-year anniversary.
- Tesla (TSLA) survived corner-office turmoil and manufacturing difficulties. Its market cap is almost the same as General Motors (GM) and Ford Motor (F) combined. Will Elon Musk’s electric-car disruptor move back into the fast lane this year?