For the full quarter ending September 2015 the U.S. stock market did something it hasn’t done in three years – it went down. Specifically, in the third quarter of 2015 the S&P 500 index declined by about 6.4%, the first decline since the 4th quarter of 2012, and the largest decline since the 3rd quarter of 2011. In the last five years, the three quarters where the stock market fell were each followed with robust gains the following quarter – 11.6%, 6.3% and 10.5% respectively. So far in October, this pattern is staying true as the market has erased nearly all of the third quarter decline, adding about 5% so far in October. Still, for the year, the market is generally flat, though some sectors of the stock market and some foreign markets are down significantly.
David A. Pace, CFA
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