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Mid Year Market Commentary
Here at the mid-point of 2016 it is worth noting the remarkable turn of events, both inside and outside of the financial world in which we, as professionals, occupy. The last six months have been “bookended” by great (more or less) market tumult: first with plummeting energy prices and confidence in Chinese markets in the first quarter calling into question the direction of US and Global economies, and second, by the stunning vote of British citizens to divorce themselves from the union they’ve shared with the 27 other members of the European Union for the last 40 years.
First Quarter Market Commentary
In mid-January we felt compelled to send out a blast-email to our clients based on the volume of calls and concerns related to the bouts of volatility which roiled stock markets the first few weeks of the year. We certainly empathize with our clients’ very real concerns. Our empathy stems from the fact that in today’s hyper-connected world with media outlets “screaming” headlines to attract eyeballs, it is nearly impossible to separate fact from narrative.
Second Quarter Market Commentary 2015
Over a year ago in our January 2014 Outlook commentary, we cited European markets as attractively priced relative to the US equity markets. Most market observers at the time were expecting a nascent recovery from the 2012 EU recession to get a boost from the European Central Bank (ECB). We even boosted our non-US developed market (and European-specific) allocation—though cautiously—in anticipation. Please note that we still think these markets are most attractively valued.
In our office we frequently make sport of the countless headlines we encounter on a daily basis from various media outlets across the web. These headlines are often splashed across the home pages of market or financial sitesthough often across mainstream news outlets, or the business sections of Sunday newspapers as well.
US equity markets have seen what we would describe as mild volatility over the last few weeks, mostly attributed to geopolitical tensions emanating from the Ukraine-Russia belligerence. For the first quarter, the S&P 500 rose 1.30%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the NASDAQ composite were both down slightly.
It cost $0.32 to mail a letter, unemployment was 4.9%, O.J. Simpson was found liable in a civil suit, Hong Kong was returned to Chinese rule, Timothy McVeigh was sentenced to Death, Green Bay defeated the Patriots in the Super Bowl, Titanic came crashing into movie theatres, and Dolly, the first genetically engineered lamb was unveiled to the public; the year was 1997.
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