In this month’s video, I look at key trends developing in global stock and bond markets. Chart review includes analysis of large-cap, small cap, emerging market, high yield, interest rates, and gold prices. Observations of risk and reward are noted throughout with an emphasis on caution for new money at this phase of the rally in stocks. Recorded on March 7, 2017.
The strength of broad domestic stock market indices in 2017 has been the dominating story in global financial markets. The expectation of new government policies, coupled with the lack of risk asset volatility, has many investors feeling confident in a continuation of the bullish trend.
As of last week, ETFs trading in the United States have accumulated over $75 billion in fresh capital inflows since the start of the year. The majority of that money has gone towards stock-focused index funds such as the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY).
A simple screen for the year’s top-performing unleveraged ETFs reveals the unabashed strength of natural resource stocks as a standout group. Much of this momentum can be attributed to a combination of the rebound in commodities paired with an extremely beaten down industrial complex. In a year where the unexpected has become the norm, this sector has risen to the top despite its skeptics and also experienced some volatile bumps along the way.
As we head into the final stretch of 2016, the strongest ETFs are primarily made up of companies with a metals and mining focus.
It feels like we have almost packed a full year’s worth of stock market price action into just the last two weeks. With so many diverging market sectors and overall fluctuations, I thought it would be prudent to do an examination of some key charts.
Taking a closer look at these categories can help frame macro views as well as determine areas of strength and weakness. Read more
The fear trade has been one of the most successful avenues for investors to take part in this year. Treasury bonds, gold, utilities, consumer staples, and REITs have all been a big contributor to outsized gains versus a traditional basket of diversified stocks and bonds. These sectors are well-known defensive plays that tend to perk up during periods of duress in stocks or as interest rates fall. They are also beloved by income investors as a meaningful pickup in yield versus a conventional Treasury bond or S&P 500 Index fund. Read more