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First Quarter Summary
The remarkable calm that characterized the U.S. stock market over the past two plus years ended with a bang, or more accurately, two. The S&P 500 experienced 10% corrections in both February and March, more than erasing its January surge. All told the S&P 500 fell a modest 0.8% in Q1, its first quarterly drop since the third quarter of 2015. The catalysts for the decline were a rise in interest rates, driven by fears of runaway inflation, as well as the threat of potential trade war with China, Europe, and much of the rest of the world. Long time market leaders, such as Facebook, Tesla, Alphabet (Google), and Amazon.com, also received a dent in their respective armors. It’s too soon to tell at this juncture, but the possibility has been raised that the FANG stocks, which have led the market rally over the past several years, may be losing some of its bite.