Fourth Quarter 2014 – “Pulling Ahead”

Fourth Quarter 2014 – “Pulling Ahead”

The US equity markets continued their upward trajectory in 2014, with the S&P 500 posting a gain of 13.7% for the year. This is the sixth consecutive year of gains for large-cap US equities in what has become the longest bull market since the 1970’s. The US economy has exhibited remarkable resiliency over the last six years, while Europe and Japan have struggled with how to reinvigorate their economies; US GDP now exceeds its pre-crisis peak by 8.1%, while the Eurozone and Europe are more than 1% below their peak. Even emerging markets, which initially weathered the credit crisis better than their developed market peers, seem to have slowed, as structural issues have proved difficult to overcome. In the US, an improving employment picture, fiscal outlook, federal deficit, and low inflation have given economists a high level of confidence that US GDP growth will persist, even as the Federal Reserve moves toward a more neutral monetary policy…