Monthly Outlook: August 2018 Summer doldrums are apparently good for markets as most markets floated a little higher in July. U.S. stocks gained a respectable 3.3% while international stocks gained a similar 2.9%. Bonds, on the other hand, were flat, -0.04% to be exact. Although a gain is a gain, we need to point out that U.S. and international stocks trends have diverged and that is a concern. That is, while U.S. stocks continue to trend higher, international stocks tipped to a downtrend last month as we discussed in our last Outlook. And even though both markets enjoyed a robust month, our outlook is based on the prevailing trend. We remain positive for U.S. stocks but have trimmed back our exposure to the down-trending international stocks. For the year to date, U.S. stocks are now up 6.5% while international stocks are down 1.1%. Bonds are down 1.8%, YTD. As a result, balanced accounts are up low single digits held up only by U.S. stocks for now. FANGs Lose Their Bite As discussed above, U.S. stocks are the best performing major asset class this year. And within U.S. stocks, it’s really the technology sector that has been producing all the gains.