The first quarter of 2019 is officially over and goes down as the best quarter since 2009. It's also the best first quarter since 1998. You may remember that from January 2 to January 3, the S&P 500 sold off 2%, which has only happened five other times in the S&P 500's 90-plus year history. After the December selloff and the weak start to the year, many investors didn't have a favorable outlook for 2019.
For the quarter, the Nasdaq 100
Sector-wise, big tech
Just for fun, if you want to look around the world for the best performing markets, you'd come across China. But we keep hearing that China is falling apart, right? Almost every market in China is at the top of the best performers list. China
Another area where the media may have you concerned is in the UK. There's no doubt that Brexit is a mess and seems to have no real resolution in sight, but that hasn't stopped them from a 12.47% gain on the year. Surely they could have enjoyed more growth if there wasn't concern over the final Brexit decision.
So what can we expect going forward? Well, it depends on what data you want to use. If you look back over the last 10 years, the second quarter offers the lowest odds of being a positive quarter. Only 60% of the time did it finish positive, with an average gain of 1.4%. If you look back over the life of the markets, you'd find slightly better odds, with a positive Q2 following a positive Q1 62% of the time. Average gains in the second quarter - when it does finish positive at all - are typically 1.9%. Historically, the third quarter is the weakest of the year.