Investment insights from Capital Group
Global stocks rallied as many of the world’s largest economies reopened and government stimulus measures continued to fuel investor optimism. With COVID-19 vaccinations rolling out in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere, manufacturing activity and retail sales rose sharply, prompting some economists to raise their growth forecasts for the balance of 2021.
Information technology stocks led markets higher, gaining 11.5% in aggregate. Growth stocks reasserted themselves after two previous quarters where value stocks outshined their growth-oriented counterparts. Real estate stocks also rose as the outlook brightened for shopping mall operators that had been shut down during the pandemic.
Bond markets advanced despite widespread signs of higher inflation and concerns that the U.S. Federal Reserve might raise short-term interest rates earlier than expected. The European Central Bank — in contrast, noting lower European inflation — vowed to keep policy rates in negative territory and continue the pace of its massive bond-buying stimulus program.
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