The market convulsions of the past two months have been unusual by any standard. Only twice before, in 1929 and 1987, have investors experienced comparable volatility.
Global financial markets enjoyed an exceptionally strong year in 2019, with positive returns from every asset class.
Stock markets were mixed in the third quarter, with US equities up slightly and international stocks losing ground.
The current US economic expansion is now 120 months old, vying with the 1991-2001 period as the longest in post-war history. Stock markets recovered from their May sell off and inched higher by the end of June.
Financial markets rallied sharply in the first quarter of 2019, despite signs of slowing global growth. Investors responded positively to signals from the US Federal Reserve Bank that the incremental rate hikes of the past several years may be coming to an end, and that going forward monetary policy is likely to be more neutral, and therefore supportive of markets and the economy.