Stocks hit the ground running to start the second half of 2018. All three major segments of the global equity market pushed higher in July amidst cooling trade war rhetoric, rising global interest rates, and reports of strong economic growth. With its fourth consecutive positive monthly return and its best since January, the S&P 500 increased its year-to-date return to 6.5% The relatively low equity market volatility in June extended into July as positive news outweighed the negative, pushing stocks gradually higher. Equity market volatility gradually increased in the first half of the month only to recede during the second half. The yield curve made a nearly parallel shift up in July.