Investment Insights

Monthly Markets Memo - April 2016

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski 

Markets Perspective

The rebound that began in the middle of February continued to March forward.  The move higher was broad and many U.S. indices crossed in to positive territory for 2016.  Lagging behind are the international developed markets who, despite a strong March, remain negative year-to-date.  The emerging markets are a notable exception, as they benefited from the stabilizing commodity markets and the U.S. central bank actions.  The move in emerging markets was not broad though and primarily benefited those countries closely tied to production of commodities, such as oil.  In the bond market, credit spreads continued to improve as fears of a U.S. recession slipped out of the spotlight.

Monthly Markets Memo - March 2016

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski

Markets Perspective

February was a wild ride as the volatility from January continued through February.  Starting on February 12th, almost in unison though, equity markets, credit markets, and the price of oil all began to trend higher to rally through the end of the month.  The last three weeks have seen many major global indexes trim losses from their year-to-date lows.  Oil prices have rebounded from their year-to-date lows as well, increasing nearly 40% in the past three weeks.  Credit spreads, while still elevated, have also begun to retrace their steps signaling that perhaps conditions are not as dire as the markets once perceived.   

Monthly Markets Memo - February 2016

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Markets Perspective

The large sell off in January has unfortunately continued into the first part of February. Investors, showing concerns that the global economy is slowing significantly, have sold shares across most of the equity markets. Many of the stock indexes are now down over 20% and many individual stocks are down 40% or more from the highs that were mostly made last year. At the time of this writing, the S&P 500 which has held up better than most is down about 13% from the peak last May.

Monthly Markets Memo - January 2016

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Markets Perspective

Unfortunately the lack of progress in the markets in December is an accurate reflection for 2015 given that many equity and bond markets produced negative returns for the year. However, the volatility that has greeted us in 2016 has allowed little time for yearend reflection.

Monthly Markets Memo - December 2015

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Markets Perspective

November showed mixed results in the equity and bond markets which reflected the mixed data from our global economy. So far in December we’ve seen some volatility in the markets as concerns about the high yield credit markets have surfaced. 

Monthly Markets Memo - November 2015

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Our thoughts and prayers go to the families affected by the terrorist attacks and for the people of France. It is always difficult to understand how some have such a lack of regard for human life. However, it is at times like these that we are grateful for the many good people who will stay enlisted in the effort to make our world safer.

Monthly Markets Memo - October 2015

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Equity Markets Perspective

Our perspective includes both bad news and good news.  The bad news is that the Developed and Emerging equity markets continued to drop through the month of September which resulted in the worst quarter of equity performance since 2011. The good news is that through October 16th, many of these same markets have climbed over 4% from their September lows. The pullback that occurred in the 3rd quarter was mainly prompted by a slowing global economy.

Monthly Markets Memo - September 2015

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Markets Perspective

In August, equity market volatility spiked to levels not seen since the financial crisis of 2008. The major equity indexes dropped between 6 to 9% for the month as uncertainty grew over the slowing global economy and concern that the U.S. central bank would begin raising interest rates. In the U.S., the S&P 500 fell more than 12% through August 25th from its May peak  which is its first drop of more than 10% since 2011. 

Monthly Markets Memo - August 2015

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Equity Markets Perspective

July was an interesting month, to say the least, as developed equity markets produced positive returns while the emerging markets equities dropped significantly. The month began with global macroeconomic concerns including the ongoing debt crisis in Greece but eventually the markets became calm once the Greek government showed that it would back down from its earlier resistance to creditors’ demands. Most developed equity markets then appeared to respond to corporate earnings that were generally better than expected.  The emerging markets however, moved significantly in the other direction reacting to concerns in the Chinese economy and markets.

Monthly Markets Memo - July 2015

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Equity Markets Perspective

The global equity investor fared well for the first half of the year but recent developments have caused the markets to become more volatile. Initially, markets became unsettled due to the news that came out of Europe when Greece demanded a change in debt structure with its creditors.  We then watched as the local Chinese equity markets took a tumble, dropping over a third of its market value from June 12th to July 8th.  As I am writing this, the urgency around Greece’s debt issue has been addressed though it doesn’t appear that this will be a long term solution.  

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