Weekly Comic: S&P Almost Back To All-Time Highs Despite Plethora Of Bearish Factors

Aug 09, 2018

The S&P 500 was marginally higher on Thursday, putting it just half a percent away from the all-time high it reached it January, testifying to the strength of the world's biggest economy and corporate sector.

If the index breaks above 2,872.87, it would notch its first record high since Jan. 26.

The Nasdaq was also less than 1% away from a record while the Dow remained 3.9% below its all-time high.

Against this backdrop, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), often viewed as a gauge of anxiety in financial markets, fell to a seven-month low of 10.17.

Investors have wrestled with trade worries over the past several weeks, but tensions between Washington and Beijing have mostly taken a back seat to a bevy of corporate results that have helped underpin stocks.

Wall Street has reached the tail end of the latest corporate earnings season.

Nearly 90% of S&P 500 companies have released their calendar second-quarter results so far. Of those companies, around 77% have reported better-than-forecast quarterly profits, according to FactSet.

Those earnings have helped to bolster the belief that a steady U.S. economic expansion will continue, despite heightened tariff skirmishes with China.

However, looking ahead, autumn could bring a reality check to markets in the form of slower U.S. growth indicators, U.S. mid-term elections and - above all - the risk of a full-blown global trade war.

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