Archive for September, 2011

Second Quarter, 2011 Investment Review

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Greek Salad

Global capital markets offered a mix of events in the second quarter that stopped the stock market rally cold before rallying impressively in late June. After markets were tossed in March by Middle East and African political uncertainty followed by the supply chain – disrupting Japanese earthquake and tsunami, they were drenched by April’s severe weather in broad parts of the US. Then the sequel to last year’s Greek crisis entered the mix in May as the beleaguered southern European country struggles with its high debt and weak economy. Finally, US politicians began a long battle to narrow a fast growing deficit before they extend the Federal government’s debt ceiling and thus (hopefully) avoid a technical default. All these events contribute to uncertainty and make for dramatic negative news headlines. For the second quarter, the broad US equity market, as measured by the S&P 500 rose 0.1% outpaced by the US bond market’s 2.3% rise, (Barclays Capital US Aggregate Index). All major international stock markets except Germany and Japan dropped in local currency terms in 2Q; only the German, Swiss, and Japanese markets were up in U.S. $ terms.