In this month’s video, I look at the overall trends in global stock markets with particular emphasis on the U.S. dollar impact. Chart review includes analysis of U.S. stocks, international stocks, interest rates, oil prices, and volatility. Observations of risk and reward are noted throughout, with an emphasis on trend following and sensible portfolio management strategies. Recorded on July 26, 2017.
Emerging market stocks have been the perennial underdog for the last half decade. Their persistent underperformance has been blamed on commodity fluctuations, currency woes, and a host of other fundamental headwinds. Nevertheless, these regional stocks are making a bold statement in the first quarter of 2017 that may ignite further interest in their ongoing growth potential.
A screen of the top performing, non-leveraged or inverse exchange-traded funds through the first three months of the year reveals a pointed theme. Brazil, China, India, Argentina, and other emerging market indexes mounted the strongest returns of all asset classes. Of those nations, smaller company shares were the biggest standouts.
Emerging market bonds were one of the few bright spots across the fixed-income landscape in 2016. This category trailed only U.S. high yield debt by total return metrics despite some meaningful volatility in the aftermath of the U.S. election. Investors also took notice of this outperformance and the favorable yields to boot. Read more
Investors who have held onto their U.S.-focused dividend ETFs have been rewarded in both income and capital appreciation during the breadth of this bull market. The combination of relative momentum, low volatility, and steady accumulation of quarterly distributions have been the hallmarks of this steady trade.
Yet, those who study market history know that price performance that outstrips company fundamentals comes at a cost. Namely higher statistical valuation measures, alongside slowly decreasing yield for new investors. As a result, dividend stocks that looked attractive several years ago are now starting to rise into the expensive zone relative to other global opportunities.
Investors are likely feeling emboldened by the strength of stocks as we close out the final month of 2016. Bullish enthusiasm can be infectious and now the race is on to determine which sectors or regions will be the top-performing areas of the market in 2017. While there is no way to know where the winner will be ahead of time, there is one noteworthy area that has piqued my interest – emerging markets. Read more