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2019 First Quarter Commentary

“Well, the cool breeze came on Tuesday, and the corn’s a bumper crop. The fields are full of dancing, full of singing and romancing, ‘cause the Music Never Stopped.”- Bob Weir/John Barlow, the Grateful Dead

1Q 2019 ended with strong returns across most risk assets. So far, it has been the market’s year of “yes”. Those that kept calm and stayed true to their investment mandates were rewarded. Those that were quick to react and tried the timing game were likely burned or were late to the recent launch party, because the music never stopped. Let’s just call last quarter’s pause a set break. The rally was fueled by the Fed’s dovish policy stance, but also propelled by “progress” in trade negotiations between the US and China, which continued to trend toward an agreement in February. Ultimately, it came up short in terms of a finalization by month-end. The result was an extension of the US’s March 1 deadline, and a temporary band aid in forgoing a threat to increase tariffs to 25% from 10%.
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