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2nd Quarter 2017 in Review

Last quarter saw the stock market do very little until late May and early June, when prices started to rise again. The advance was once again aided by a few big technology stocks like Amazon and Google. Value oriented stocks underperformed, while bonds also advanced.

The Federal Reserve raised rates in mid-June, which seemed to trip up the stock and bond markets. Of course, the FED also suggested more hikes to come and a gradual elimination of previous quantitative easing. This has created some concerns since the market’s long bull run has been strongly correlated to quantitative easing.

Market Outlook

It is too early to tell if it will continue, but the market appears to have been changing leadership since the Fed action in June. Both value and smaller capitalization stocks took a firmer tone, while larger and more growth oriented stocks started to lag. Considering the long period of outperformance for larger and growth oriented stocks, if this does mark the turning point, we believe it could continue for a long time.

We have expected to see this shift, and have been waiting for the market to return to more normal behavior. We believe bonds in a balanced portfolio will offset some of the volatility in stocks, and we still see opportunities in many bargain stocks.


* S&P 500 is a leading indicator of US equities and is meant to reflect the risk/return characteristics of the large cap universe. Dow Jones Industrial Average is a priceweighted average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq. Typical Stock refers to median stock in the JIR universe which follows over 8,000 stocks.

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