3rd Quarter Market Recap
The third quarter of 2015 has come to a close. Let’s take a look at how the markets performed during the period.
Volatility returned to the equities markets in the third quarter, impacted by economic stress in China (the world's second largest economy) and Greece, coupled with underwhelming corporate earnings reports and falling energy stock prices. While some economic sectors, such as housing and unemployment, offered favorable news, others, including exports and wages, showed little in the way of positive movement. As a result, the Federal Open Market Committee once again declined to raise interest rates, noting that inflation still had not reached the committee's preferred target rate of 2.0%.
Despite a closing rally in the major market indexes, the third quarter ended a tumultuous period in negative territory. The Dow closed the month of September down 243.33 points for the month and 1,334.81 points for the quarter. The S&P fell 6.94% from the close of the second quarter and 6.74% for the year. The Nasdaq dropped 7.35% for the quarter, but only 2.45% for the year--markedly less than the other major indexes. The Russell 2000 and the Global Dow suffered the biggest percentage losses for the quarter, falling 12.22% and 10.58%, respectively.
U.S. Treasuries were not immune to the economic tumult that befell the third quarter. The yield on U.S. 10-year Treasury bonds fell 31 basis points for the quarter. Oil prices (WTI) dropped from $59 per barrel during the second quarter to $46.36 per barrel at the end of the third quarter. Gold, meanwhile, also felt the effects of the global economy, finishing the third quarter at roughly $1,114.50 an ounce compared to $1,172 an ounce at the end of the prior quarter. Finally, not all falling values are necessarily bad, as the average retail price of a gallon of regular gasoline fell $0.48 to $2.322 at the end of this quarter.
Notes: The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighted index composed of 2000 U.S. small-cap common stocks. Market indexes listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.
Portions of this market recap were provided by Forefield Financial Communications.
The performance quoted represents past performance, which does not guarantee future results. This summary represents the views of the portfolio manager as of May 31, 2015. Those views may change, and the Funds disclaim any obligation to advise investors of such changes. The Azzad Funds are self-distributed and available by prospectus only. A free copy of the prospectus, which contains information about the Funds’ risks, fees, and objectives, and other important information, is available at www.azzadfunds.com or by calling 888.350.3369. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighted index composed of 2000 U.S. small-cap common stocks measuring the performance of those Russell mid-cap companies with higher price-to-book ratios and higher forecasted growth values. The stocks are also members of the Russell 1000 Growth index. The Dow Jones Sukuk Index is designed to track the performance of global Islamic fixed-income securities, also known as Sukuk. The index includes U.S. dollar-denominated, investment-grade Sukuk that have been screened for Shari’ah compliance.