Equity Markets Flat, Bonds Falter During the Quarter
Monday, July 13, 2015
- Large U.S. stocks edged higher by 0.3% in an uneventful quarter of trading. Smaller U.S. stocks and international equities were quiet as well, as both finished with a less than 1% gain to maintain their year-to-date lead on the S&P 500 Index.
- Momentum driven, low-yielding stocks were in favor as opposed to higher quality, dividend-paying value stocks that our portfolios are intentionally tilted towards.
- The larger story for investors in the second quarter was the struggle of the bond market. The Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index fell 1.7% last quarter and is down 0.1% for the year. Fixed income losses for the quarter for our clients, however, were mitigated by two factors; 1) shorter maturities in high-quality bonds and 2) our inclusion of high yield bonds, which finished positive for the quarter.
- Though the U.S. economy has improved enough for the Fed to move rates off of the emergency policy 0% level, the Fed seems committed to continued dovish policy, and investor concerns ofrising rates may be overblown in our view.
- We compare and consider the parallels between today’s investment environment and those of the mid-1950s, which was the last time the Fed had held rates this low for this long.
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