Quarterly Commentary is a quarterly view of the equities, fixed income and hedge fund markets from our Family Management specialists.
Fueled by a Federal Reserve intent on keeping interest rate levels intact despite any changes in inflation, equities rose 9.1% in the fourth quarter of 2019 as measured by the S&P 500. This gain was predominantly driven by expansion in the price-to-earnings multiple of the S&P 500 stocks from 19.6x at the end of the
The return on risk assets was mixed during the third quarter of 2019. The S&P 500 rose 1.70% with dividends while the Nasdaq rose 0.18%. Non-US equities had a tougher time with the MSCI World ex-US falling 0.84% and the MSCI emerging markets index falling 4.16%.
Interest rates fell precipitously in the third quarter across all developed markets. The US 10- year treasury yield fell from 2.00% at the end of Q2 to a low of 1.45% in early September before closing the quarter at 1.66%. With equity markets largely stable,
Hedge Funds declined during the third quarter as the HFRI Fund-of-Funds Composite Index decreased by 1.1%. The sector underperformed during the quarter as global stocks experienced an uptick in volatility amid negative headlines in August regarding the U.S.-China trade war