Market Update: January 2018

investment advisory services historical yield and indic rates January 2018  

Strong 2017 Market Returns

Equity and Fixed Income markets produced strong returns in 2017.  In equity markets, the US Total Market Index rose over 21% as global economies strenthened producing even larger gains outside of the U.S.  In the Fixed Income market, non-Treasury sectors outperformed during the year as risk premiums rallied significantly due to both stronger fundamental and technical factors. The US Aggregate Bond Index returned over 3.5% in 2017.  Government bonds as measured by the US Treasury/Agency Index performed well (total return of 2.42%) even as yields remain relatively low compared to historical levels.

Source: Bloomberg

Good Start to Holiday Shopping

Retail Sales beat expectations in November. Rising income, consumer confidence, strong financial markets and modest inflation are all credited for the stronger sales. Growth was not limited to online retailers as traditional brick-and-mortar retailers also saw improvement over the past year. Retail sector experts note that retailers have successfully employed strategies integrating the internet with the brick-and-mortar shopping approach. Altogether, sales were up 5.8% from a year earlier, the largest yearly November increase since 2011. The data suggests the U.S. is on track for robust growth in the fourth quarter.

Source: Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg

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