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Fourth Quarter 2017 - Market Update

What a year! A prosperous, boring year. There was plenty of domestic and international news and political uncertainty in 2017, but with the economy on sure footing, global markets held their noses and continued to march higher. In the US, the S&P500 returned 21.8%, with the strongest performance coming in the fourth quarter. Volatility has also remained muted as the VIX was range-bound between 10-12% for most of the year. In fixed income, despite three rate hikes, the 30-year Treasury ended the year lower, and the 10-year bond essentially flat.

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Third Quarter 2017 - Market Update

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, all major asset classes have remained steadfast in their climb higher through the summer, unfazed by geopolitics, quantitative tightening, and the wrath of Mother Nature. In the current environment of low rates and equity valuations priced to perfection, we recognize that relatively modest weakness in earnings can reverberate across business supply chains, balance sheets, and capital markets suddenly and unexpectedly.

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Second Quarter 2017 - Market Update

The second quarter continued to march in a similar vein to the first this year with muted volatility and international markets outpacing domestic markets. Highlights in the period include another 25bp increase in rates on Fed Funds, but more notably the Fed’s announcement for plans to reduce its balance sheet, likely to begin later in 2017.

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First Quarter 2017 - Market Update

The world has entered a period of greater political instability with the surprise outcomes of Brexit, the US Presidential Election and a number of heated elections across Europe in 2017. Growth prospects across the globe are therefore mixed. Nonetheless, the forecasted global GDP has been revised upward by the IMF to 3.4% for 2017. The drivers behind the revision are fiscal stimulus and policy changes in the US.

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Fourth Quarter 2016 - Market Update

The fourth quarter of 2016 was not short on news, primarily focused on the dramatics associated with the US Presidential Election. The world reacted to a surprise win by now President Trump over Hillary Clinton, OPEC made positive progress, and the ECB announced plans to continue their quantitative easing for another nine months.

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Third Quarter 2016 - Market Update

After a dramatic spike in volatility in the second quarter following news of an unexpected Brexit announcement, markets largely rebounded without major interruption throughout Q3. Nevertheless, macro uncertainty remained high with the familiar refrains of divergent central bank policies, geopolitical tensions, and sluggish global growth continuing to loom large.

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