Global Market Summary

Markets around the world ended the quarter on a high note, with the S&P 500, MSCI EAFE, and MSCI Emerging Markets Index appreciating 3.1%, 6.1%, and 6.3%, respectively. Investors’ appetite for risk assets continued and volatility reached record lows as they shrugged off concerns about politics, equity valuations, and lingering debt issues. In the US growth remained steady. There were incremental improvements in employment and earnings. Additionally, small business sentiment...

In the first quarter, almost all major markets posted gains; the S&P 500, MSCI EAFE (USD), MSCI EM (USD), and Merrill Lynch High Yield Bond Index appreciated by 6.1%, 7.2%, 11.4%, and 2.7%, respectively. Global markets appeared to be buoyed by an unflappable sense of optimism with regard to future growth; persistent concerns such as the Brexit, political uncertainty, diverging monetary policy, and stagnant growth gave way as investors chose...

After experiencing one of their worst Januarys in recent memory, US equity markets staged an impressive recovery that accelerated during the last few weeks of the year. Questions concerning a deceleration of growth, particularly in the emerging markets, gave way as the year progressed; economic data improved and “animal spirits” appeared to rekindle as investors took a positive view of President-elect Trump’s campaign promises. The year proved to be a...

In the third quarter, risky assets rallied across the globe; almost all major markets posted gains. Year to date, the S&P 500 has risen over 7.8%, the MSCI EAFE (USD) Index is up 1.7%, the MSCI EM(USD) Index is up 16%, and the Merrill Lynch High Yield Bond Index has appreciated 15.3%. Positive economic data, particularly in the US and China, a reprieve from new macroeconomic challenges, and broad investor...

In the second quarter of 2016, equity markets and investors’ expectations were rocked by the results of the UK’s vote to exit the European Union. Prior to the Brexit, the markets seemingly scaled a wall, overcoming obstinate, lingering concerns about lackluster global growth. The IMF projects that global GDP will grow 2.4% this year – a positive number, but one which leaves some market participants uneasy given the extraordinary stimulus...

US equity markets ended the first quarter of 2016 with a modest gain of 1.3% after recovering from their worst start in modern market history. Equity indices were battered in early January; market turmoil abroad, specifically in China, sparked a global move out of risk assets. Uncertainty surrounding the continued drop in oil prices, the health of the financial sector, and concerns over decelerating global growth held even the most...

In 2015, the S&P 500 Index posted a small gain while most global equity benchmarks ended the year in the red. Fixed income markets acted similarly, with lower risk securities flat for the year while their higher risk counterparts declined. For the first time since 2006, the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates, kicking off a new era in monetary policy. While the rate hike was hardly a surprise, it...

During the third quarter, volatility returned and risk assets around the globe declined dramatically as investors’ appetite for risk evaporated. The S&P 500 held up relatively well, declining by 6.4%, while the MSCI EAFE lost 10.2%; emerging markets fared the worst, with the MSCI EM Index declining by 17.8%. Investors’ uneasiness was bolstered by uncertainties surrounding the amount and timing of interest-rate hikes in the US and the prospect of...

Equity markets ended the quarter with modest gains as investors’ attention shifted between crises in Greece, China, and Puerto Rico. During the month of June the aforementioned captured headlines on a nearly daily basis, while discussions about the timing and amount of the Federal Reserve’s first rate hike took a back seat. Undoubtedly, each of these crises has its own set of extenuating circumstances and risks, but long term investors...

Following a familiar story, major central bankers’ accommodative monetary policies continued to flood the global markets with cheap capital to cajole investors into maintaining sufficient confidence to contribute to stable, healthy economic growth which occurs in part through acquisition of risk assets. Declining commodity prices and inflation expectations have allowed for even more fiscal interventions across Europe and Asia. Globally, an impressive 17 stock indexes set fresh highs, and another...