Summer Slowdown Redux

July 1, 2011

Huge drama surrounding the debt morass in Greece, slowing economic growth in the U.S., weak equity markets in May and most of June. . . . What year am I describing?  2010.  But also 2011.  This year’s second quarter had many similarities with last year’s 2Q, with a number of the same concerns taking hold.

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Markets Resilient Ahead of Looming Challenges

April 1, 2011

Most people, if they had known in advance what events were to transpire in North Africa and Japan during the first quarter of 2011, would probably have expected global equity markets to be weak.  Yet despite the turmoil in the Arab world (and consequent sharp increase in oil prices during the quarter) and the horrific earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster in Japan, global markets posted solid performance in the first three months of 2011.

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U.S. Recovery Gaining Momentum

January 1, 2011

On December 31st the U.S. stock market and most foreign markets notched their second consecutive year of gains since they bottomed in March 2009 in the wake of the global financial crisis. The S&P 500 Index advanced 12.8% while overseas the majority of markets were up with the only two significant sore spots being Japan and China. Japan’s Nikkei lost 3% while China’s Shanghai Composite lost 14%. Yields on the ten-year U.S. Treasury note fell from 3.83% on January 1, 2010 to close at 3.3% on December 31st. The Federal Reserve’s efforts to keep rates accommodative throughout the year were successful.

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