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Third Quarter Summary
U.S. stocks had their best third quarter since 2013, with the S&P 500 Index rising 7.7%. The two 10% corrections from the first quarter seem but a distant memory, with the S&P 500 up 10.6% on a year-to-date basis through the end of September. Strong earnings and a lessening of global trade tensions were among the catalysts for the gains. The successor to NAFTA, the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was officially announced on October 1st, although rumors of an agreement surfaced before the third quarter came to a close. Small-cap stocks continued moving upward, with the Russell 2000 increasing 3.6% over the third quarter and 11.5% on a year-to-date basis. International stocks remained laggards, partially due to the effects of a strong U.S. Dollar, with the MSCI World Index (ex-U.S.) up a modest 1.3% over the quarter and down 1.5% on a year-to-date basis.