Fall 2016 Commentary
It has been a tough year so far, encountering a 13% correction in stock prices, oil price swings between $26 and $50/barrel, Brexit, fears of a hard economic landing in China, earnings declines in the U.S., and a difficult U.S. election between two unpopular candidates (and, of course, the deaths of David Bowie, Glenn Frey and Prince). Despite those issues, U.S. equities are up a reasonable 6% for the year, briefly hitting new highs. However, the new highs were only meager increases of 3% over 2015; the Dow first crossed 18,000 in December 2014, and on November 4th, it sat at 17,900. There has not been much joy in the market advance since plenty of uncertainty remains. Such an environment can test an investor’s patience, and this far into a bull stock market, investors are typically more optimistic about the future; however, it is still difficult to shake the memory of the financial crisis that is now over seven years in the past.