10 Years Bull Market Reckoning with Records

Despite numerous headwinds, 2019 is gearing up to be a celebratory year with record-breaking achievements on many financial and economic fronts. In particular, in the United States we just toasted the S&P 500 as it celebrated the ten-year anniversary of the secular bull market in March.

Feel good

If anyone out there was predicting that January 2019 would be the strongest performance month for global equity markets in over seven years, I would be grateful if they could be pointed out to me as I would like to shake their hand.

2019 Outlook

If you had to sum up why world, ex-US, financial markets typically underperformed during 2018 then economic growth, currency movements, and trade talk uncertainties would be the three most influential headwinds. Simply put, U.S. economic growth surprised on the upside whilst other major economies did not, the dollar appreciated against most other currencies, and concerns about essential future trading relations impacted the more export-focused European and emerging markets last year. In order for international markets to gain momentum over the U.S. in 2019, these concerns need to be quelled.

It is good to talk

I realise the title above sounds a little like a famous advert from the 1990s (other telecoms operators are available) but, at least during the last month, the world’s political and economic leaders have continued to talk. And talking is just what they need to do. Of course making a few decisions is even better… so thank goodness the season of perpetual hope is almost upon us. More on the global financial markets Christmas presents wish list later.

Budget Newsletter

A Budget in October is unusual, but there are two main reasons why the Chancellor’s performance marginally pre-empted Halloween this year. The first is that we are now in the new cycle of Autumn Budgets and Spring Statements, the première of the latter having been made on 13 March.

Hot, hot, hot!!!

Despite the usual weather downers such as the tennis at Wimbledon or the start of the school holidays, July was a warm month pretty much anywhere you looked in the northern hemisphere. Global stock markets were hot too, led by the out-of-favour emerging markets and Continental Europe. Funny how all throughout June and July the aggregate investment flow data was profoundly negative for both regions…