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Market Updates

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December 21, 2020

We examine why traditional equity valuation metrics have trended higher in recent decades, indicate why we believe portfolios should maintain long-term exposure to key industries in wealthy consumer markets, and consider the risk of negative corporate bond returns.

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January 13, 2020

Catalysts in Focus for 2020
The powerful rally in equities to close out 2019 was a mirror image to the precipitous selloff to end 2018. Headwinds ranging from tight monetary policy, to fears of an earnings recession, to trade uncertainty and slower global growth all began to fade as U.S. equities rallied to new all-time highs in what was the strongest year for the S&P 500 since 2013. While we remain bullish, there are plenty of catalysts this year that could create risk to the upside or downside. Here we outline some of the major catalysts for investors to watch.

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January 6, 2020

The Path of Least Resistance
Although a wall of worry continues to cast shadows over the global economic outlook into the new year, we believe that, with inflation contained and the Federal Reserve (Fed) out of the way, the economy is likely to slowly accelerate from here. Basically, if past experience is any indication, more accommodative central-bank policy around the world and a steady-to-lower dollar, courtesy of increased Fed liquidity, should help global manufacturing and trade growth turn positive in 2020. The improvement appears slow, however, as diminishing drags from the German and Chinese motor-vehicle sectors, seriously damaged by the introduction of tight emissions standards in 2019, will in part be offset by ongoing difficulties related to the Boeing 737 Max production disruptions and high news-based uncertainty levels.

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December 16, 2019

UK Election: What the Result Means for Markets
Last week’s general election in the United Kingdom produced a big victory for the ruling Conservatives. The party won a total of 365 parliamentary seats, well in excess of the 326 needed for a majority, and will now form the government for a new term of up to five years. The response from investors was positive, with the local UK equity market rising on the result and the pound building on its gains of the past two months. UK markets had been buoyed by the rising odds of a Conservative majority in the lead up to the vote, given the party’s pro-market policy agenda and the narrowing of the range of possible outcomes around Brexit. And the unexpected size of the Conservative victory gives the party a strong mandate to pursue both.

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