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Market Attributes: U.S. Equity Indices Get Howard Silverblatt's take on the latest monthly performance of the U.S. equity market.
BY Howard Silverblatt

• The S&P 500® was up 1.72% in September, bringing its YTD return to 18.74%.


• The Dow Jones Industrial Average® gained 1.95% for the month and rose 15.39% YTD.


• The S&P MidCap 400® increased 2.89% for the month and was up 16.38% YTD.


• The S&P SmallCap 600® returned 3.15% in September and 12.16% YTD.


MARKET SNAPSHOT

Just when you thought it was safe to turn your TV back on for the new season (after the political coverage of late spring and early summer), the fall season seems to be filled with a B-rated remake drama from 1998 and 1974 (strange how my views have changed since then). Guess it’s time to dig up that Nixon countdown poster, as issues that lie in the balance include legislative initiatives (both USMCA and prescription drugs are in doubt), government spending and taxing policies (budget and appropriations), as well as trade and tariffs (China—weaker hand or ace-in-the-political-hole?) The unfortunate reality is that the past two years of media and politics may seem like an opening band for the upcoming Altamont Speedway concert (translation: public politics could get worse)


Recently (as seen on a public station near you), the House of Representatives’ (controlled by the Democrats) Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat) announced a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump. While the “discussion” of an inquiry over several events has been ongoing, the trigger appeared to be a July phone call with Ukraine’s President Zelensky. The formal process starts with a sub-group in the House, then could proceed to the full House for a vote; if a majority approves, the president would be impeached—similar to being indicted. It would then go to the Senate (similar to a trial; controlled by the Republicans) for the necessary two-thirds vote to remove Trump from office. In U.S. history, two presidents have been impeached: Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998, with both being acquitted by the Senate; Richard Nixon, in 1974, resigned to avoid being impeached. The market moved down on the news but recovered, as the process could dominate the legislature, with the first short-term result being no passage of the USMCA. The true horror show, however, might have been an investor in the WeWork action who put in a Peloton system, as they adjusted their SmileDirectClub braces due to all the meat they love, while they shorted Beyond Meat (translation: IPO’s ain’t hot).

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