An economy that remains solid, if not strong, coupled with record low volatility spelled another good quarter for the markets. Equities tacked on another several percentage points pushing year-to-date gains into the double digits in several sections of the market. In the second quarter, the Dow (DIA) added 3.3%, the S&P 500 (SPY) gained 2.6% and the Nasdaq was up 3.9%. Smaller stocks continued to lag their large cap counterparts. The S&P 400 MidCap Index (MDY) was up 1.6% while the S&P 600 SmallCap Index (SLY) added just 1.4%.
Through the first half of 2017, equities continue to deliver solid and steady gains with very little in the way of interruptions. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq have been no more than about 3% off their 2017 highs at any point during the year.
^DJI data by YCharts
The first quarter earnings season was a huge success. According to FactSet, the S&P 500 delivered nearly 14% year-over-year earnings growth, the highest growth rate since 2011, finally supporting some of those outsized valuations with 75% of companies exceeding their earnings expectations. Analysts are again forecasting double digit growth in the second quarter.
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