U.S. equity markets continued to markedly outperform foreign markets
as financial conditions eased in the U.S., despite more tightening from
the Federal Reserve. Advanced economies outside the U.S. recognized
tightening financial conditions as did emerging markets, most notably.
Some variance in economic indications between the U.S. and the rest of the
world was a key factor in driving global equity markets in the second
quarter. GDP expectations for the U.S. (positive) versus developed foreign
economies (negative), and emerging markets (flat), seem to now be trending
in different directions.
Navigating-the Changing Market Environment
Equity markets endured a long-overdue stumble in Q1. After recording its 15th-straight month of gains in January, a record, the S&P 500 Index closed sharply lower in February (-3.69%) and March (-2.54%). The Index finished the quarter down 0.76%.
The close of 2017 brought an end to an unprecedented year in financial markets, on many fronts. New equity market highs were met with record volatility lows to cement an equity momentum pattern rarely witnessed. In 2017’s wake was a series of equity performance records and scarce occurrences.
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