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In observance of Memorial Day, all Peapack-Gladstone Bank locations will be closed on Monday, May 28, 2018.


The Weekly Economic & Market Recap    

May 19, 2018  

The equity markets were an absolute roller-coaster in the first quarter. Since the S&P 500 made a double-bottom at the 2580 level in early April, the broad market index has established a trading range between 2625 and 2780. Within the trading range, the S&P 500 has been volatile, and leadership appears to be more dispersed and less well-defined. The S&P 500 is down 5.6% from its January high. Lost on many investors is the underlying strength in the small cap stocks which made a new all-time high on Friday. Small cap stocks are benefiting from a handful of macro tailwinds. First, the Trump administration has placed significant emphasis on reducing regulation. The cost of meeting arduous regulatory mandates is disproportionally burdensome for smaller companies that have a lower revenue stream to support the added costs. Second, the tax reform bill should be more helpful to smaller companies. Generally, smaller cap companies are less able to shelter earnings from taxes. Finally, smaller companies that have less critical international business operations are more insulated from the uncertainty created by recent trade negotiations. Although valuations are not overall compelling for the small cap segment of the market, the divergence between small caps and their large cap brethren could continue for a while. Historically, small cap stocks have typically outperformed after the economic cycle has bottomed and during the initial phase of rising interest rates.

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