Bulls in charge again in Q4

As the final quarter of the year looms, we look at the historical performance for key stock markets in the period.

Bulls stockmarket
Source: Bloomberg

US markets are at all-time highs, European indices have broken out from their summer downtrend, and of 25 major country exchange traded funds (ETFs), only Russia is in negative territory for the year. Admittedly, the FTSE 100 is under pressure, thanks to a shifting Bank of England (BoE), but even here the index remains 10% higher than it was before the US election.

So, what now? The S&P 500 has been remarkably quiet and resilient, going without a 2% drop for over 200 trading days, the longest period since 1996. Many continue to say that the bull market is getting old (it isn’t, on some measures it is four-year-old and in other ways the overall equity space endured steep losses in 2015 that effectively ended the post-2009 rally), arguing that excessively high valuations and a process of gradual tightening from the world’s big central banks will derail the equity surge.

However, in August we had hurricanes, fear of nuclear war and a host of other issues, and equity markets came through without heavy losses. While September is historically a weak month for equity markets, we are days away from its end and there is little sign of a major sell-off approaching yet.

And then we get into the fourth quarter (Q4). Over the past fifteen years, the FTSE 100, DAX and S&P 500 have all enjoyed their strongest quarter of the year in Q4. These can be seen in the chart below.

While this doesn’t rule out the possibility of a dip throughout the period, these should be seen as buying opportunities. This bull market has further to run, and Q4 2017 may be one of its great moments.

IGA, may distribute information/research produced by its respective foreign marketing partners within the IG Group of companies pursuant to an arrangement under Regulation 32C of the Financial Advisers Regulations. Where the research is distributed in Singapore to a person who is not an Accredited Investor, Expert Investor or an Institutional Investor, IGA accepts legal responsibility for the contents of the report to such persons only to the extent required by law. Singapore recipients should contact IGA at 6390 5118 for matters arising from, or in connection with the information distributed.

This information/research prepared by IGA or IG Group is intended for general circulation. It does not take into account the specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any particular person. You should take into account your specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs before making a commitment to trade, including seeking advice from an independent financial adviser regarding the suitability of the investment, under a separate engagement, as you deem fit. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. In addition to the disclaimer above, the information does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. Any views and opinions expressed may be changed without an update.

See important Research Disclaimer.

Find articles by writer