Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Investor Quarterly Market Commentary and Investment Perspectives


Global capital markets continued their amazing advance in the fourth quarter of 2017. The S&P 500 Index, a proxy for the US equity markets, was up +6.18% for the fourth quarter, and that Index has now delivered a record fourteen consecutive months of positive returns. A synchronized global economic expansion fueled market optimism, and U.S. markets cheered the U.S. Tax Reform Bill passed by Congress, and signed by President Trump just prior to the Christmas holiday. Unlike the previous three quarters of 2017, the U.S. equity markets weren’t the best performing equity markets in the quarter ending December 31st. Singapore, up +9.28%, Japan, up +8.53%, Australia, up + 7.43%, and Hong Kong, up +6.31%, all outperformed the S&P 500 Index for the period. Several developed European equity markets bucked the global advance, declining during the quarter, with Sweden, down (-2.90%), Italy, down (- 2.12%), Finland, down (-1.80%), Spain, down (-1.02%), Belgium, down (- 0.95%), and Portugal, down (-0.06%) for the fourth quarter. (1) Emerging Market equities continued to dominate their developed counterparts in the fourth quarter, with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index rising +7.40% for the quarter, and finishing the year up +37.28% for all of 2017. (2)

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