In The Quarter
Stocks continued their upward rise through the second quarter of 2019. There were a few bumps (e.g., a weak May on trade threats towards Mexico) but for the most part the trends that have been intact since the beginning of the year held true. US stocks outperformed those of most other countries, large company stocks outperformed small, and growth continued to outperform value. TheUS-based S&P 500 was up 4.3% for the quarter and 18.5% for the first half of 2019, while the global MSCI All Country World Index rose 3.8% for the quarter and 16.6% year-to-date.
It’s been a notably strong year so far for US bond markets with the Bloomberg Barclays Aggregate Bond Index up 3.1% for the quarter and 6.1% year-to-date. Interest rates dropped through the quarter to a somewhat surprising degree, as investors increasingly anticipate an economic slowdown ahead. Indeed, bond markets around the world are facing stubbornly low interest-rate conditions. Economists see a number of drivers: aging populations especially in developed countries, commensurate slower spending, and a focus on investing for safety driving a willingness to accept low returns.
Read more here… Figure 8 Quarterly Commentary 2Q’19