In sharp contrast to 2018, equity markets advanced in 2019 with gains not seen since 2013. Technology, financials, and communications were the leading S&P 500 sectors in 2019. Total stock market value increased $7.5 trillion for the year.
The equity market rebound from its topple in December 2018 was unexpected by many analysts, as 2019 began with expectations of a recession and further market downturn. International markets also advanced broadly in 2019, with gains in the developed and emerging markets.
Global bond markets have been favorable for stocks as historically low rates during the past decade incentivized governments and companies worldwide to borrow, boosting growth in expansion and capital investments globally.
The price/earnings ratio for the S&P 500 Index ended 2019 at 18.3, up from 15.6 at the end of 2018. Analysts view this ratio as an indicator as to how fairly valued the equity market is.
Sources: Bloomberg, S&P
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