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MARKETS GO NOWHERE IN 2015, REFLECTING MEDIOCRE GROWTH. Global equity markets were mostly negative in the month of December and ended 2015 with little, if any, gains. The tug-of-war between signs of economic strength and economic weakness continued to baffle investors. The Fed raised interest rates in December on the strength in the employment and housing markets. However, manufacturing in the U.S. continued to shrink and estimates for fourth quarter U.S. GDP growth have come down to around +1.5%. U.S. equities posted negative returns across market cap sectors for the month while international equities were also down. Although job growth has remained consistently strong and personal income has seen recent gains, it has yet to translate into steady consumer spending. U.S. manufacturing remains weak due to headwinds from a stronger dollar and general weakness in overseas markets.

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