A look at the first quarter of 2017.
- Another strong quarter. U.S. stock markets posted another strong performance in the first quarter, but foreign markets decided to take a turn at the punch bowl as well. The S&P 500 returned 6.1% in Q1 with the NASDAQ rising a little more than 10%. Technology was the best performing sector in the S&P. Developed markets rose 7.4% and emerging markets also outpaced the S&P appreciating 11.5% and emerging markets are seeing a positive turn in economic growth.
- Back to normal. As abnormal as the world may seem right now, in the U.S. a normal business cycle is breaking out. Falling unemployment, rising wages, higher consumer confidence and many other statistics suggest a sustainable improvement in economic conditions.
- Diversity. The S&P 500 has outperformed a broadly diversified portfolio for the past five years. Top-performing asset classes tend to vary widely from year to year, and we feel strongly that it is time to “re” embrace the merits of a globally diversified portfolio.