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Quarterly Market Review: Q4 2019

January 17, 2020

 

 

The Power of (Hindsight) 20/20 Vision  

 

Before we dive into 2020, let’s take ourselves back in time, to the start of the last decade. Imagine: It is early January 2010 and you are reading about the financial markets. Investors have been on a roller coaster over the past three years, living through the stress of the global financial crisis and market downturn of 2008-2009, then experiencing the recovery that began in March 2009 and has been going strong since then.

 

Investors who rode out the market’s slide are beginning to be rewarded, but the rebound is only 10 months old, and markets have a long way to go to reach their previous highs. Opinions are mixed about what might unfold in the coming year. A December 2009 headline in the Wall Street Journal underscored the uncertainty: “Bull Market Shows Signs of Aging.” The publication pointed out that, although stocks have rallied and indices are on the rise, worries are mounting in some quarters that the market is running out of steam.

From the vantage point of early 2010, it may not seem like the market has actually recovered, or will continue to recover. Uncertainty (and speculation) abounds.

 

Now, fast forward to where we are today. January 17, 2020. Consider what the global equity markets delivered to investors who have stayed the course. On a total return basis, global stocks more than doubled in value from 2010-2019, as shown in the graph below. When you add in large and small cap stocks in developed and emerging markets, the 10-year annualized return has been 8.91%. From a growth-of-wealth standpoint, $10,000 invested in the stocks in the index at the beginning of 2010 would have grown to $23,473 by the end of 2019.

 

Growth of Wealth

MSCI All Country World IMI Index, January 2010–December 2019

Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

 

Over the past decade, global fixed income also posted returns that may have surprised some investors. In 2010, investors looking at historically low interest rates may have expected rising rates as financial markets and economies recovered from the crisis. But over the decade, short-term rates increased while long-term rates decreased.

 

In 2010, it would have been hard to imagine what the next ten years would bring – not only to the markets, but to the world. The decade brought technological advances in electronic commerce and cloud computing, the global embrace of the smartphone and social media, increased automation and enhanced artificial intelligence, and new products like electric cars and early iterations of self‑driving cars.

 

In hindsight, it seemed as though investors faced ever-present uncertainty arising from a host of events, including an unprecedented US credit rating downgrade, sovereign debt problems in Europe, negative interest rates, flattening yield curves, the Brexit vote, the 2016 US presidential election, recessions in Europe and Japan, slowing growth in China, trade wars and geopolitical turmoil in the Middle East – just to name a few. And yet, despite facing seemingly constant uncertainty, the markets delivered positive annual returns during most of the decade.

 

If nothing else, may our hindsight 20/20 remind us now, as we embark on 2020 and the start of a new decade, that uncertainty is certain. However, the research continues to show that staying invested, and staying disciplined in your investment approach – despite and in spite of the uncertainty – rewards investors over the long run.

Economic Indicators at a Glance

 

Below you’ll find a snapshot of some top-line economic indicators, followed by the Quarterly Market Review. 

Data source: Trading Economics. 2020.

Market Summary
Fourth Quarter 2019 Index Returns

Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Index performance does not reflect the expenses associated with the management of an actual portfolio. Market segment (index representation) as follows: US Stock Market (Russell 3000 Index), International Developed Stocks (MSCI World ex USA Index [net div.]), Emerging Markets (MSCI Emerging Markets Index [net div.]), Global Real Estate (S&P Global REIT Index [net div.]), US Bond Market (Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index), and Global Bond Market ex US (Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate ex-USD Bond Index [hedged to USD]). S&P data © 2020 S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, a division of S&P Global. All rights reserved. Frank Russell Company is the source and owner of the trademarks, service marks, and copyrights related to the Russell Indexes. MSCI data © MSCI 2020, all rights reserved. Bloomberg Barclays data provided by Bloomberg.

World Stock Market Performance

MSCI All Country World Index with selected headlines from Q4 2019

Graph Source: MSCI ACWI Index [net div.]. MSCI data © MSCI 2020, all rights reserved.

It is not possible to invest directly in an index. Performance does not reflect the expenses associated with management of an actual portfolio. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. 

World Asset Classes

Fourth Quarter 2019 Index Returns (%)

 

Equity markets around the globe posted positive returns in the fourth quarter. Looking at broad market indices, US equities outperformed non-US developed markets but underperformed emerging markets. Value stocks underperformed growth stocks in all regions. Small caps outperformed large caps in the US and non-US developed markets but underperformed in emerging markets. REIT indices underperformed equity market indices in both the US and non-US developed markets.

Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Index performance does not reflect the expenses associated with the management of an actual portfolio. The S&P data is provided by Standard & Poor's Index Services Group. Frank Russell Company is the source and owner of the trademarks, service marks, and copyrights related to the Russell Indexes. MSCI data © MSCI 2020, all rights reserved. Dow Jones data © 2020 S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, a division of S&P Global. All rights reserved. S&P data © 2020 S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, a division of S&P Global. All rights reserved. Bloomberg Barclays data provided by Bloomberg. Treasury bills © Stocks, Bonds, Bills, and Inflation Yearbook™, Ibbotson Associates, Chicago (annually updated work by Roger G. Ibbotson and Rex A. Sinquefield).

U.S. Stocks 

Fourth Quarter 2019 Index Returns

 

US equities outperformed non-US developed equities but underperformed emerging markets stocks in the fourth quarter. Value underperformed growth in the US across large and small cap stocks.

Small caps outperformed large caps in the US. REIT indices underperformed equity market indices.

Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Index performance does not reflect the expenses associated with the management of an actual portfolio. Market segment (index representation) as follows: Marketwide (Russell 3000 Index), Large Cap (Russell 1000 Index), Large Cap Value (Russell 1000 Value Index), Large Cap Growth (Russell 1000 Growth Index), Small Cap (Russell 2000 Index), Small Cap Value (Russell 2000 Value Index), and Small Cap Growth (Russell 2000 Growth Index). World Market Cap represented by Russell 3000 Index, MSCI World ex USA IMI Index, and MSCI Emerging Markets IMI Index. Russell 3000 Index is used as the proxy for the US market. Dow Jones US Select REIT Index used as proxy for the US REIT market. Frank Russell Company is source and owner of trademarks, service marks, and copyrights related to Russell Indexes. MSCI data © MSCI 2020, all rights reserved.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

Fourth Quarter 2019 Index Returns

 

US real estate investment trusts (REITs) underperformed non-US REITs in US dollar terms during the fourth quarter.

Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Index performance does not reflect the expenses associated with the management of an actual portfolio. Number of REIT stocks and total value based on the two indices. All index returns are net of withholding tax on dividends. Total value of REIT stocks represented by Dow Jones US Select REIT Index and the S&P Global ex US REIT Index. Dow Jones US Select REIT Index used as proxy for the US market, and S&P Global ex US REIT Index used as proxy for the World ex US market. Dow Jones and S&P data © 2020 S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, a division of S&P Global. All rights reserved.

Select Market Performance

Fourth Quarter 2019 Index Returns

 

In US dollar terms, Ireland and Sweden recorded the highest country performance in developed markets during the fourth quarter, while Australia and Belgium posted the lowest returns. In emerging markets, Pakistan and Hungary were the top performers, while Chile and Thailand posted the lowest performance.

 

Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Index performance does not reflect the expenses associated with the management of an actual portfolio. Country performance based on respective indices in the MSCI World ex US IMI Index (for developed markets), MSCI USA IMI Index (for US), and MSCI Emerging Markets IMI Index. All returns in USD and net of withholding tax on dividends. MSCI data © MSCI 2020, all rights reserved. UAE and Qatar have been reclassified as emerging markets by MSCI, effective May 2014. Saudi Arabia and Argentina have been reclassified as emerging markets by MSCI, effective May 2019.

Fixed Income

Fourth Quarter 2019 Index Returns

 

Interest rate changes were mixed in the US Treasury market during the fourth quarter. The yield on the 5-year Treasury note increased 14 basis points (bps), ending at 1.69%. The yield on the 10-year note rose 24 bps to 1.92%. The 30-year Treasury bond yield increased 27 bps to 2.39%.

 

On the short end of the yield curve, the 1-month Treasury bill yield decreased to 1.48%, while the yield on the 1-year bill dipped 16 bps to 1.59%. The 2-year note yield finished at 1.58% after a decrease of 5 bps.

 

In terms of total returns, short-term corporate bonds gained 0.95%. Intermediate corporate bonds had a total return of 1.10%.

 

The total return for short-term municipal bonds was 0.84%, while intermediate-term munis returned 0.93%. General obligation bonds outperformed revenue bonds.

 One basis point (bps) equals 0.01%. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Index performance does not reflect the expenses associated with the management of an actual portfolio. Yield curve data from Federal Reserve. State and local bonds are from the S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Index. AAA-AA Corporates represent the ICE BofA US Corporates, AA-AAA rated. A-BBB Corporates represent the ICE BofA US Corporates, BBB-A rated. Bloomberg Barclays data provided by Bloomberg. US long-term bonds, bills, inflation, and fixed income factor data © Stocks, Bonds, Bills, and Inflation (SBBI) Yearbook™, Ibbotson Associates, Chicago (annually updated work by Roger G. Ibbotson and Rex A. Sinquefield). FTSE fixed income indices © 2020 FTSE Fixed Income LLC, all rights reserved. ICE BofA index data © 2020 ICE Data Indices, LLC. S&P data © 2020 S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, a division of S&P Global. All rights reserved. 

This report was prepared by Gregory Saliba.

 

 

Gregory Saliba

President, Taurus Capital Management

saliba@tauruscap.com

(503) 756-2972

 

 

 

 

20+ years in Corporate Finance, Debt Capital Markets and Investment Management

2010 Oregon Ethics in Business Award Recipient

Public Speaker on Risk, Behavioral Finance and Ethics

Finance Faculty Member (12+ years)

  • Willamette University, Atkinson Graduate School of Management

  • Portland State University, School of Business Administration

Extensive Community Involvement

 

 

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