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Morning Matters:

Stock & Bond Returns For April & YTD
by Geoff Garbacz

May 2, 2018

Most stock indexes were up slightly for April with returns of between 0.04% and 0.81%. The exception was the S&P 400 Index known as the Mid Cap Index and it lost -0.35%. For the year the S&P 500 has fallen -0.96%. The Russell 2000 is up 0.41% and is finally starting to outperform the S&P 500 after lagging for much of 2017.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen the most with a drop of -2.25%. The NASDAQ 100 and the NASDAQ Composite bucked the trend of weakness for equity indexes gaining 3.27% and 2.36% respectively in 2018.

The bond market struggled as Treasuries via the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund ETF (TLT) lost -2.30% for the month and year to date now stands with a loss of -6.12%. Investment grade bonds via the iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond Fund ETF (LQD) returned -1.85% for April and year to date down -5.22%.

High yield bonds via the iShares IBOXX $ High Corporate Bond Fund ETF (HYG) returned 0.07% for the month and -1.79% for the year and continue to more closely track equities than either TLT or LQD. The inability of high yield bonds to break is another clue that perhaps equities are finally ready to start a meaningful run.

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