Wednesday, 15 January 2020
Investors of all varieties received a generous Holiday gift from the markets in 2019 as almost all markets generated positive returns. US Stocks led the pack once again as the S&P 500 Index earned 31.5%. It was an interesting year where Bonds also performed well, which isn’t always the case. Key drivers of performance in 2019 included support from the Federal Reserve which reversed course by cutting interest rates to support growth in the US along with moderate earnings growth and easing Trade War tensions. The Trade War between the US and China is on a path to resolution, calming a significant theme of uncertainty. International Stocks also performed well, up 21.5%, with optimism that a calmer foreign trade environment should be helpful for foreign companies plus what appears to be a Brexit resolution. Finally, the positive economic and investment landscape led to the first US decade without a recession as we turn the clock forward into the 2020s.