Brad McMillan, Commonwealth’s CIO, discusses the markets and economy in July. Both domestic and international markets had a strong month. Improving fundamentals, including job growth and consumer spending, helped boost investor confidence. Still, economic growth in the first half of the year was disappointing, mainly due to lower levels of spending in the business sector. Can the Fed's more optimistic risk outlook and improvements in service and manufacturing turn things around in the second half? Stay tuned to find out. Follow Brad at blog.commonwealth.com/independent-market-observer.