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Third Quarter in U.S. Stock Funds: Pressing On, Regardless

Major U.S. market indexes reached all-time highs even as threats loomed.

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U.S. stocks fended off various challenges in 2018's third quarter, bolstered by the strength of the domestic economy.

International stocks, especially in emerging markets, struggled in the third quarter because of tariff tiffs, currency moves, and political and economic disruptions. Back home, however, the story was different. The S&P 500 closed at an all-time high on Sept. 20 and spent much of the quarter in record-high territory. The index posted a solid 7.4% total return for the quarter. Investors showed their love for good growth stories by driving  Apple (AAPL) and  Amazon.com (AMZN) to $1 trillion valuations. Even so, there were some brutal reminders of growth stocks' limitations. Elon Musk considered taking  Tesla (TSLA) private only to back away (the SEC sued over the matter in late September), giving Tesla's stock a wild ride for the quarter. Theranos, the once-promising Silicon Valley startup that tried to disrupt the blood-testing market, faded into oblivion.

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Tony Thomas has a position in the following securities mentioned above: INGN. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.