July's Stock Market History & A Look At 2018

We're halfway through 2018, let that sink in for a minute, and our mid-year scorecard for stocks is ready. Here's the year to date performance for the major indexes: 

  • Dow: -1.8% 
  • Nasdaq: +8.8% 
  • S&P 500: +1.7% 

A very mixed bag. If you've generally been heavy with industrials, you've probably not had a good run this year. If you've been heavy with technology, it's probably been a glorious first half of a year. This is endemic of a strong economy that's evolving and has created very specific stories that have changed considerably in the rising interest rate environment. It's been ten years since interest rates were as high as they are today and they're still on the move as the economy continues to grow. Here's what July has brought us over the years.

This is the scorecard since 1950:  

  • Positive years: 38  
  • Negative years: 30 
  • The average rate of return+.9%  

So, on average, stocks are higher 56% of the time this month and have produced a healthy rate of return. About 10.8% annualized, that's slightly above average overall. July's performance averages being the fifth best of the year. We've had a three-year winning streak in July as 2014 was the last negative year for stocks during the month.  

The best July was in 1989 with an 8.8% return and the worst was in 2002 with a 7.9% loss. What will it hold this year? We'll see next month.

Photo by: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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