S & P 500 : HALFWAY through 2018, investing in Wall Streets S&P 500 stock index has been nothing to shout about.

The index of about 500 of the largest US corporations has risen 1.7 percent year todate, far short of the 8 percent increase in the first half of 2017, even as the  technology-heavy Nasdaq and Russell 2000 index of smaller companies touch record highs.

Including dividends, the S&P 500 compared with nearly 22  percent last year.

While newly enacted corporate tax cuts propelled a nine-year  bull market higher in January, fears of the  escalating trade war  between the United States and China have lately become a persistent counterweight denting investor sentiment.

Investor currently favor small-cap stocks because they are seen as benefitting more than large companies from the deepest overhaul of the U.S. tax code in over 30 years, with some on Wall Street also betting that smaller companies may be less at risk of the trade tariff.

The Russell 2000 index is up 7 percent year to date, while the Nasdaq has surged 9 percent buoyed by the tech sector's popularity with investment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 2 percent in the past six months, weighed down by double digit declines in 3M Co, Procter & Gamble Co, Caterpillar Inc, and General Electric Co, which in June was evicted from the group of  30 top shelf US corporations.

Market strategists polled by Reuters last month predicted on average that the S&P 500 would post an annual gain of 7 percent in 2018, more modest that 9 percent increase they predicted in a  February survey.

After the S&P 500 hit an all-time high on Jan 26, the index has fallen 5 percent, with declines in banks and consumer staples more than offsetting a recovery in technology stocks including Apple Inc and Facebook Inc, both up close to 10 percent in the past six months.

Financials which account for about 13 percent of the S&P 500, have been badly bruised on Wall Street's stumble, falling 11 percent since the index's record high.

Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sach's Group Inc, and Citigroup Inc have each fallen 15 percent or more during that time. 


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