World Markets Review
WORLD MARKETS REVIEW | January 2018
Global stocks rose amid strong corporate earnings growth, improving world economic data and a fourth-quarter surge in merger-and-acquisition activity. Political events also helped propel markets higher as investors cheered a $1.5 trillion tax cut in the U.S. and the re-election of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Japan.
Information technology stocks provided the largest gains, supported by investor enthusiasm for Apple’s new iPhone and other popular consumer tech products. Basic materials stocks also rallied on a brighter outlook for global economic growth. Heath care, utilities and telecommunication services stocks lagged the overall market.
WORLD MARKETS REVIEW | October 2017
Stocks rose amid a brighter outlook for the global economy and better-than-expected corporate earnings. Several key market indexes reached record highs during the quarter, despite increasing tensions with North Korea and the start of a particularly destructive hurricane season. European stocks and emerging markets outpaced U.S. equities.
Economically sensitive stocks generally provided stronger returns than defensive sectors. Information technology, energy and materials stocks led markets higher. Financial stocks also advanced on expectations for rising global interest rates. The consumer staples sector fell, weighed down by a sharp decline in the shares of tobacco companies.
WORLD MARKETS REVIEW | September 2017
Global stocks finished August roughly where they started as investor optimism over improving world economic growth was tempered by rising geopolitical risk. Developed markets in the U.S., Europe and Japan moved sideways as tensions rose over international disputes with Russia and North Korea. In contrast, emerging markets stocks rose on stronger metals prices and a weaker dollar.
Information technology and utilities stocks enjoyed the best gains, supported by strong corporate earnings growth. Energy stocks declined the most, weighed down by falling oil prices amid over-supply concerns. Financial stocks also fell as many investors appeared to take profits from what had been the highest returning sector in developed markets since the November U.S. elections.
WORLD MARKETS REVIEW | August 2017
Global stocks posted modest gains amid healthy corporate earnings reports and an improving outlook for global economic growth. U.S. stocks hit a series of new record highs and European equities enjoyed significant inflows. A weakening dollar and rising commodities prices supported a strong rally in emerging markets.
Telecommunication services and basic materials stocks led markets higher, supported by signs of a broad-based recovery in the global economy. Information technology stocks also rallied on solid earnings growth from tech giants Apple, Facebook and Microsoft. Health care and consumer staples stocks lagged the overall market.
WORLD MARKETS REVIEW | July 2017
Global stocks advanced amid accelerating economic growth in the U.S. and Europe, coupled with signs of diminishing political risk in the euro zone. Investor sentiment improved markedly as political newcomer Emmanuel Macron defeated Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election, largely erasing concerns that France may attempt to leave the European Union.
Health care stocks experienced strong returns as the U.S. Senate proposed a new industry-friendly plan to reform the nation’s health care system. Emerging markets also rallied amid improving global economic data and a weaker dollar. Energy stocks declined sharply, hurt by persistent oversupply concerns that continued to drive oil prices lower.
WORLD MARKETS REVIEW | June 2017
Global stocks rose amid signs of improving economic growth and healthy corporate earnings. Several key indexes hit record highs as pro-European Union candidate Emmanuel Macron won the French presidential election. However, persistent questions about political stability in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere tempered those gains.
Information technology stocks led markets higher, supported by surging share prices for U.S. tech giants Apple and Google parent, Alphabet. The utilities sector rallied amid rising demand for dividend-paying stocks. Emerging markets stocks also advanced, despite a brewing political scandal that sent Brazilian markets tumbling.
WORLD MARKETS REVIEW | May 2017
Global stocks rose modestly, supported by improving world economic growth and diminishing political risk. Investors cheered better economic data in the U.S., while breathing a sigh of relief over the results of the first round of France’s presidential election. French stocks rallied on poll results showing that a centrist, pro-European candidate is likely to win the May 7 runoff election.
Cyclical stocks generally outpaced defensive areas of the market, led by gains in the industrials and consumer discretionary sectors. Information technology stocks also moved higher amid strong earnings reports from bellwether tech companies. Energy stocks declined, following oil prices lower for the month.
WORLD MARKETS REVIEW | April 2017
Global stocks rallied amid strong corporate earnings growth and improving economic data in the United States, Europe and Japan. Several key market indexes hit a series of new highs, fueled by expectations that newly elected U.S. President Donald Trump would deliver business-friendly policies, including tax cuts and regulatory reductions.
Economically sensitive stocks led markets higher, highlighted by a 12% gain in the information technology sector. Health care stocks rose sharply as U.S. lawmakers failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, reducing uncertainty surrounding the legislative overhaul. Emerging markets stocks also rallied on brighter prospects for China’s economy.
WORLD MARKETS REVIEW | March 2017
Global stocks advanced amid signs of improving economic growth in the U.S., Europe and Japan. Strong corporate earnings in some sectors and mergers-and-acquisitions activity also helped to support stock prices. Investor sentiment remained optimistic despite rising political uncertainty as election season approaches in Europe.
Defensive stocks generally outpaced economically sensitive sectors. Health care stocks enjoyed particularly strong gains, rebounding from depressed levels as U.S. political leaders debated sweeping changes to the nation’s health care system. The consumer staples sector also moved higher, driven in part by M&A. Energy stocks declined on disappointing earnings, flat oil prices and oversupply concerns.
WORLD MARKETS REVIEW | February 2017
Global stocks rose modestly, supported by strong corporate earnings and signs of improving economic growth in the U.S., Europe and Japan. Gains were tempered by political uncertainty around the world, including investor worries about upcoming elections in Germany and France. Emerging markets enjoyed the best returns, boosted in part by higher prices for raw materials.
Economically sensitive sectors generally outpaced defensive stocks, underscored by significant gains in the information technology and materials sectors. Consumer discretionary stocks also advanced amid healthy growth in inflation and consumer spending. Energy stocks declined as oil prices slipped on reports of a substantial rise in U.S. crude oil inventories.
WORLD MARKETS REVIEW | January 2017
In a year marked by volatility and political upheaval, global stocks rallied on signs of improving U.S. economic growth and aggressive central bank stimulus measures around the world. U.S. stocks led developed markets higher, particularly late in the year as investors cheered Donald Trump’s unexpected victory over Hillary Clinton in the U.S. presidential election. Emerging markets also enjoyed strong returns, supported by rising commodity prices and political reform efforts.
WORLD MARKETS REVIEW | January 2017
Global stocks ended the year on a high note, boosted by investor enthusiasm for U.S. political change and expectations for an improving world economy. U.S. stocks drove markets higher even as a strong dollar threatened to weigh on corporate earnings. Financial stocks soared as the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for just the second time in a decade. High-grade bonds declined and the dollar rallied against the euro, the yen and most other currencies.
WORLD MARKETS REVIEW | December 2016
Global stocks rose amid market optimism for Donald Trump’s ascendancy to the U.S. presidency and signs of accelerating U.S. economic growth. Several key indexes hit record highs on expectations of market-friendly policies under the new administration. Financial stocks rallied as global interest rates moved higher. Bonds fell sharply and the dollar advanced against the euro, the yen and most other currencies.
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