The first quarter of 2017 is behind us now and if you are looking solely at the markets, you are a happy camper. However, we all know that being myopic, especially about the economy, can lead to bad decisions. There are so many other issues that affect market performance or produce market jitters.
Volatility returned to the markets in the 1st quarter, albeit not as dramatically as had been seen in the not too distance past. With emotions running hot in Washington, and the markets looking for any excuse to move, the degree of uncertainty brought to the table by the politicians has experts on edge.
That being said the quarter ending 3/31/2017 had nothing but positives to report. All (yes I said “all”) of the major indices were positive for the quarter . . . even international indices.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 4.56% and the S & P 500 rose as well, upping the ante to 5.53%. The NASDAQ and the Russell 2000 also had good quarters increasing 9.82% and 2.47% respectively. The NASDAQ hit it out of the park, as investors flocked to technology issues in anticipation of a heating up economy.
Bonds even returned positive performance for the quarter with the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index producing a 0.82% return and the 3-month treasury rate rising 0.15%.
International, as measured by the MSCI / EAFE Index, was up 7.25% for the quarter, an increase the likes of which we have not seen in a long while from the foreign sector. The big question is can that level of appreciation be sustained, especially in light of the upcoming elections in Europe, and the ongoing Brexit process.
The “flies in the ointment”, so to speak, relative to the positive feel in the air are many. Think . . . .
Elections (France / Germany / Netherlands)
Swan songs in the retail s
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For our Individual Clients: With the summer quickly approaching, give us a call to set up a meeting to go over your investments.