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The markets are soaring. How should investors play it?

Things are looking good on Wall Street.The S&P 500 ...

Posted: Oct 3, 2018 2:36 AM
Updated: Oct 3, 2018 2:36 AM

Things are looking good on Wall Street.

The S&P 500 rose by more than 7% in the third quarter, which ended Friday. That's the strongest quarter for the index in nearly five years.

The Dow spiked 9%, while the Nasdaq climbed 7%. All three major indexes are near record highs.

History suggests the growth could continue. Since 1945, the S&P has risen an average of 3.8% in the fourth quarter after it makes gains in the third quarter, according to Sam Stovall of CFRA Research.

In midterm election years, the fourth-quarter rally is even larger: 7.1% on average, as long as there's growth in the previous quarter.

How should investors make the best of the current climate?

Howard Marks, co-chairman of Oaktree Capital, thinks they should proceed with caution.

"Investors should favor strategies, managers and approaches that emphasize limiting losses in declines," he wrote in a recent memo to Oaktree clients.

Marks will join CNNMoney editor-at-large Richard Quest on "Markets Now" on Wednesday to discuss how the average investor should bet in this market. He'll also talk about his recent book, "Mastering the Market Cycle: Getting the Odds on Your Side."

"Markets Now" streams live from the New York Stock Exchange every Wednesday at 12:45 p.m. ET. Hosted by CNNMoney's business correspondents, the 15-minute program features incisive commentary from experts.

You can watch "Markets Now" at CNNMoney.com/MarketsNow from your desk or on your phone or tablet. If you can't catch the show live, check out highlights online and through the Markets Now newsletter, delivered to your inbox every afternoon.

— CNN's Matt Egan contributed to this report.

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