Wealth Management Since 1971

Markets & Economy

monthly and quarterly summaries

The Linscomb & Williams Investment team generates both monthly and quarterly summaries that provide an overview of the market’s performance. Click the links below to read a more detailed report.

Monthly Reports

Market Comments:

The Economy: April 2021
Markets surge higher in April, as business and economic restrictions in the U.S. are rapidly being l...Read More
Markets surge higher in April, as business and economic restrictions in the U.S. are rapidly being lifted as the risk from coronavirus recedes. The S&P 500 rose 5.34% bringing the year-to-date gain to 11.84% already. Interest rates, which had risen quickly throughout the 1st quarter, moved slightly lower in April. The Federal Reserve reiterated its commitment to low short-term rates though they did expect a pickup in inflation over the coming months.
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Market Comments:

The Economy: March 2021
follow up fiscal stimulus package was signed into law in March, and direct payments are already bei...Read More
follow up fiscal stimulus package was signed into law in March, and direct payments are already being distributed to qualifying people. Stockmarkets were pleased with the news, as the S&P 500 rallied 4.38% for the month, bringing its year-to-date gain up to 6.17%. Interest rates are beginning to reflect a stronger economy as the year progresses. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield rose to 1.75% by March's end.
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Market Comments:

The Economy: February 2021
It is increasingly likely that a further round of fiscal stimulus out of Washington will be signed i...Read More
It is increasingly likely that a further round of fiscal stimulus out of Washington will be signed into law, in the very near future. Stocks rebounded as investors began to price in the nearly $2 trillion in additional funding. Bond yields also continued rising, with the 10-Year U.S. Treasury yield ending the month at 1.46%, up from 1.09%.
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Market Comments:

The Economy: January 2021
Rising interest rates led to late month volatility in stock markets, pushing the S&P 500 down 1....Read More
Rising interest rates led to late month volatility in stock markets, pushing the S&P 500 down 1.01% in January. Small cap stocks, however, kept right on rolling with the Russell 2000 gaining 5.03%. Emerging markets also fared well, up 3.07%, aided by a weakening U.S. dollar.
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Market Comments:

The Economy: December 2020
Stocks ended the year on a high note, as positive momentum following multiple optimistic coronavirus...Read More
Stocks ended the year on a high note, as positive momentum following multiple optimistic coronavirus vaccine reports carried on through December. The S&P 500 rose 3.84% for the month, bringing its gain up to 18.40%. The Russell 2000 Small Cap Index capped off an historic quarter, in which it rose 31.37%. Interests rates had been little changed for most of the second half of 2020, but began to trend higher later in December.
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Market Comments:

The Economy: November 2020
There was a lot for investors to like in November. Though not finalized, election results suggest a ...Read More
There was a lot for investors to like in November. Though not finalized, election results suggest a likely dividend government, which has historically been positive for financial markets. Following that, we received two doses of good news over the following weeks, with both Pfizer and Moderna releasing vaccine efficacy results that surpassed most expectations. Together these events provided the catalyst for the best month for U.S. stocks since 1987, with the S&P 500 rising 10.95% in November. Not to be outdone, international stocks fared even better, gaining 15.50%.
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Market Comments:

The Economy: September 2020
After a historic run off of March’s low, stocks finally took a bit of a breather in September. The...Read More
After a historic run off of March’s low, stocks finally took a bit of a breather in September. The S&P 500 briefly traded more than 10% off of its recent high, meeting the technical definition of a market correction. Investors have been expecting a follow up fiscal stimulus package out of Washington, and while its likely one eventually gets passed, the timing seems to have been pushed further into the future.
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Market Comments:

The Economy: August 2020
Technology stocks surged higher in August, with the NASDAQ gaining 9.70%. This brings its year-to-da...Read More
Technology stocks surged higher in August, with the NASDAQ gaining 9.70%. This brings its year-to-date return to an improbable 32.07%. The more diversified S&P 500 rose a still impressive 7.19% over the past month. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell signaled his intent to keep rates low as the Fed moves toward an average inflation targeting regime, in which periods of below 2% inflation can be “made up for” by letting price increases run above that level for a period of time.
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Market Comments:

The Economy: July 2020
Stocks marched higher in July as the global economy continued to recover and further fiscal stimulus...Read More
Stocks marched higher in July as the global economy continued to recover and further fiscal stimulus is likely upcoming. The European Union (EU) agreed to a coronavirus recovery package worth over $1 trillion Euros in total. And, for the first time, it will be funded using debt collectively backed by all EU members. Emerging market stocks were the top performing asset class, up nearly 9%.
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Market Comments:

The Economy: June 2020
While the global economy is by no means out of the woods yet, stock markets continued to price in a ...Read More
While the global economy is by no means out of the woods yet, stock markets continued to price in a recovery through the end of June. In fact, the S&P 500 posted its best quarterly return since 1987, rising 20.54%. Small caps fared even better, rising 25.42%. Second quarter GDP and corporate earnings are bound to look unpleasant. Some of the more-high frequency economic indicators began to show a relatively quick rebound, beginning in late May and extending through last month.
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Market Comments:

The Economy: May 2020
The stock market rebound continued through May. The S&P 500 was up another 4.76% and is down jus...Read More
The stock market rebound continued through May. The S&P 500 was up another 4.76% and is down just over 10% from its all-time highs in mid-February. Small cap stocks also performed well, rising 6.51%. The expectation of economies reopening combined with the surge in global fiscal stimulus has investors looking past ugly current economic data, and towards potential recovery in the second half of this year.
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Market Comments:

The Economy: April 2020
Stocks rallied strongly in April off of deeply oversold levels at the end of the prior month. In fac...Read More
Stocks rallied strongly in April off of deeply oversold levels at the end of the prior month. In fact, the S&P 500 had its best month in decades, rising 12.82%. Technology shares did even better, up 15.49%. Both indices are technically no longer in bear market territory after having retraced a significant portion of earlier declines. While economic data has been expectedly poor, investors received more clarity on various fiscal and monetary stimulus measures both in the U.S. and around the world.
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Market Comments:

The Economy: March 2020
The coronavirus outbreak, and the ensuing broad economic shutdown, sent global stocks plunging last ...Read More
The coronavirus outbreak, and the ensuing broad economic shutdown, sent global stocks plunging last month. The S&P officially entered bear market territory, down over 20% from its highs in February. In response, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates to 0% and restarted an unlimited quantitative easing program. The federal government also passed a $2.2 trillion dollar aid package in order to tide over businesses and individuals who will inevitably lose their jobs.
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Market Comments:

The Economy: January 2020
Though stocks started off the year hot, they sputtered late in January, as the coronavirus outbreak ...Read More
Though stocks started off the year hot, they sputtered late in January, as the coronavirus outbreak in China weighed on investor sentiment. The S&P500 ended the month down 0.04%. Emerging market assets, which tended to be more directly exposed to the potential consequences of the virus, were off 4.66%. The global economy appears to be growing steadily, though, and the effects of similar health scares historically have been transitory.
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Market Comments:

The Economy: December 2019
A strong December capped off a great year for global stock markets in 2019. The S&P 500 finished...Read More
A strong December capped off a great year for global stock markets in 2019. The S&P 500 finished at +31.49%, its best year since 2013. Technology shares led the way, with a better than 50% increase. Earnings are likely to show little growth, though, so it appears investors are pricing in a better profits picture in 2020. Outside of the U.S., international and emerging market equities also fared well, rising 22.01% and 18.42%, respectively.
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Market Comments:

The Economy: November 2019
Stocks march higher in November, as better-than-expected earnings and thawing trade tensions put inv...Read More
Stocks march higher in November, as better-than-expected earnings and thawing trade tensions put investors in a better mood. The S&P 500 hit a new all-time high late in the month, and is up 27.63% for the year. Interest rates generally rose and yield curves steepened, with the Federal Reserve signaling that it is unlikely to cut interest rates further in the near future.
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Market Comments:

The Economy: October 2019
Stock markets continued to move higher in October, with the S&P 500 hitting a new all-time high ...Read More
Stock markets continued to move higher in October, with the S&P 500 hitting a new all-time high near month’s end. While it may be a natural instinct to want to “sell high” when stocks hit new highs, this is usually a poor strategy, as recent strength historically begets further strength going forward. In fact, in the post-WWII era, stock returns are positive six months after an all-time high nearly 75% of the time, and in a correction (down more than 10%) only 5% of the time. International and emerging markets rallied in October as well, up 3.59% and 4.22%, respectively.
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Market Comments:

The Economy: September 2019
Stock markets ended September with positive returns, but there was a lot of movement underneath the ...Read More
Stock markets ended September with positive returns, but there was a lot of movement underneath the surface. Investors rotated out of recent winners, mainly U.S. large cap growth stocks, and into asset classes like small cap, international, and value stocks. The Federal Reserve cut the federal funds rate 0.25% as expected, but longer-term interest rates rose slightly thanks to continued strong consumer spending and hopes of new monetary and fiscal stimulus measures in Europe and China.
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Market Comments:

The Economy: August 2019
It was a tough month for stocks as escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China led to furth...Read More
It was a tough month for stocks as escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China led to further tariff increases from both sides. The S&P 500 was off 1.58% for the month, and the MSCI EAFE Index of international stocks fell 2.59% over that same time period. Also, the 2-year U.S. Treasury yield briefly rose above the similar 10-year security’s yield. This “inversion” as it is commonly referred to, is often a harbinger of economic weakness, but generally needs to persist for a number of months, rather than just a few days.
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Market Comments:

The Economy: July 2019
U.S. GDP growth slowed to a 2.1% rate in the 2nd quarter but came in better than expectations thanks...Read More
U.S. GDP growth slowed to a 2.1% rate in the 2nd quarter but came in better than expectations thanks to strong consumer spending. Domestic stock markets continued to trend higher in anticipation of the interest rate cut delivered by the Federal Reserve late in July. The year-to-date gain on the S&P 500 is now 20.24%. Global manufacturing surveys do point to somewhat weaker growth internationally, and both the MSCI EAFE and MSCIE Emerging Markets indices were down just over 1% last month.
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Market Comments:

The Economy: June 2019
A temporary truce with China and the Federal Reserve signaling a potential cut in interest rates at ...Read More
A temporary truce with China and the Federal Reserve signaling a potential cut in interest rates at its July meeting helped global stock markets rebound from their May swoon. The S&P 500 gained 7.05% bringing its year-to-date return to 18.54%.  Not too shabby for six months of work. Long-term bond yields continued their decline, with the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield ending the month at just 2%.
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Market Comments:

The Economy: May 2019
Stocks may have gotten a little ahead of themselves early in the year, setting up for a broad pullba...Read More
Stocks may have gotten a little ahead of themselves early in the year, setting up for a broad pullback in May. The S&P 500 was off 6.35%, as a break down in trade talks with China along with concerns about monetary policy caused investors to head for the safety of fixed income investments.  The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield hit its lowest level in over a year, closing out the month at 2.14 %. International stocks held up better, falling 4.80% for the month.
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Market Comments:

The Economy: April 2019
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