Blog Posts tagged "fiscal policy"

Income Report Card | December 2017

Author: Nathan Rowader
Date: December 19, 2017
Category: Asset Allocation, Financial Planning
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November is historically a strong month for stocks, which typically leads to the historically stronger month of December. Global stocks ended November with a gain of 1.94%, led primarily by U.S. and Japan, which increased by 3.07% and 2.99%, respectively. Europe and the emerging markets (EM) didn’t fare as well, increasing by 0.22% and 0.20%, respectively. Small-cap U.S. stocks posted a strong month, increasing by 2.88%. November ended on a high note with nearly every major stock market hitting all-time highs on or within a week of 11/30. Market breadth was also strong, indicating a healthy bull market, as the advance-decline lines of most major stock markets coincidentally hit all-time highs in line with stock prices.

Income Report Card | September 2017

Author: Nathan Rowader
Date: September 12, 2017
Category: Asset Allocation, Financial Planning
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Global stocks had a decent month with the MSCI All Country World Index ending the month of August with a gain of 0.44%. However, nearly all this advance can be attributed to the emerging markets (EM). The MSCI Emerging Markets Index gained 2.23% for the month of August while the S&P 500 Index gained 0.31%, the MSCI Europe Index gained 0.06% and the MSCI Japan Index lost -0.05%. Small-cap stocks continue to have a rough time, as the Russell 2000 Index declined by -1.27% on the month. Because of the strong August performance, the MSCI Emerging Markets is up 28.29% year-to-date, nearly three times the gain of the S&P 500, which is up 11.93% in 2017. Last month, we discussed the impact of currency and that much of the gains in foreign stocks and bonds can be attributed to the rise of the euro and yen relative the dollar. Since this has been a key macro event driving foreign assets, it should be no surprise that August’s lackluster returns for foreign stocks was accompanied by a decline in the U.S. Dollar Index, which fell -0.21% for the month.

Income Report Card | July 2017

Author: Nathan Rowader
Date: July 10, 2017
Category: Asset Allocation, Financial Planning
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June was a bit mixed for foreign stocks. Emerging market (EM) stocks led the way with a gain of 1.04% for the month followed by Japanese stocks, which increased by 0.96%. U.S. stocks pulled ahead of Europe this month, posting a gain of 0.62% while European stocks declined by -0.45%. Currency continued to play a vital role in performance as the U.S. dollar declined relative other major currencies. In fact, European stocks did far worse in their local currency, posting a decline of -2.53% in euro terms. Bonds had a wild ride in June with the 10-year Treasury beginning the month at 2.21% and gradually sliding down to 2.14% (a year-to-date low), but jumping back up to 2.31% in the final trading days of the month. The move pushes the yield back into an earlier trading range that, if sustained, may see rates increase as much as 0.30%. For the month of June, global bonds fell 0.09% because of the increase in rates, U.S. high-yield corporate bonds increased 0.14% and EM corporate bonds were flat.

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