The economy and earnings grabbed headlines last week; with a sharp acceleration in real GDP growth, and concerns about earnings thanks to Facebook’s face plant.
Many (if not most) people think about retirement in terms of saving for the day they leave the workforce and won’t be collecting a paycheck any longer. The prospect of outliving one’s savings is therefore a top source of stress, along with being able to pay escalating health care costs.
The price of bitcoin surged above $8,000 on Tuesday for the first time since May after the Group of 20 (G20) meeting in Argentina concluded last weekend with little urgency to take regulatory action on cryptocurrencies. In a communiqué, finance ministers and central bank governors expressed confidence that the technology underlying alt-coins “can deliver significant benefits to the financial system and the broader economy.”
Since we are necessarily in the predictions business, this letter offers our expectations for equity market returns. We admit our crystal ball is typically cloudy when it comes to what markets will do in the near term. While nothing is ever for certain, we can better view the potential for longer-term stock market returns from a couple of perspectives.
As stated in our fourth quarter 2017 commentary, we believed the tax cuts would benefit small-cap stocks. This benefit has been the case for some names following recent results, but not all companies.
The past quarter has had its fair share of market moving events, including another Federal Reserve (Fed) hike, a flattening yield curve, geo-political events and potential tariff wars. As we wrote last quarter, separating the signal from the noise remains challenging, but we feel it is the key to keeping perspective.
Master limited partnership (MLP) investors received some good news last week. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a final ruling that clarifies and softens a previous order issued in March, which would have disallowed a long-standing policy enabling MLPs to earn an income tax allowance in their pipeline rates.
We calculate statistics for all developed and emerging equity markets around the world. For our mid/large cap indexes, we take the top 85% of all stocks in a given region or country and convert all prices into US Dollars.
Despite plenty of news, there was little market reaction. In a summer week including many vacations, we have a modest economic calendar but plenty of earnings news.
With fears of a trade war looming over global large-cap stocks, the small-cap factor emerged as the clear winner of the second quarter. Specifically, small-cap low volatility/high dividend was the best-performing factor, followed by the small-cap versions of value, growth, equal weight and momentum.