Donald Trump’s pro-growth message spurred a post-election U.S. equity rally. Domestic stocks again outperformed most foreign markets, as the strong U.S. dollar suppressed overseas returns. A post-election sell-off left investment-grade bond returns barely in positive territory for the year. The high-yield market rallied in sympathy with equities.
A post-Brexit rally has pushed global returns higher. International equities have lagged U.S. for longer time periods. Strong bond returns were supported by weak global growth and a status quo Fed. High-yield bonds have performed well following the 1Q nadir.
Performance of the U.S. economy is uneven. Investment, manufacturing and international trade are lagging. A confluence of events, including weakness in corporate profits, a struggling energy sector, sagging overseas demand and a strong U.S. dollar have depressed these sectors.
The U.S. economy continued its plodding pace in Q1. Employment trends remain strong, but consumers are spending grudgingly and the industrial and export sectors are weak.
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