In Spite of Showers, April Brings Global Stocks Flowers
Stocks shrugged off renewed worries about Greece, an earthquake in Nepal and a rebound in crude oil prices. International stocks pushed even higher and extended their large year-to-date lead over the US. Emerging markets had their best month in over three years, while the MSCI ACWI and MSCI EAFE Indices notched solid gains. The S&P 500 had a decent gain, but US small-caps slumped. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury was relatively tame during April, but climbed just above 2% near the end of the month. As a result, most bond indices slipped during April. However, high yield was the notable exception, gaining 1.2% for the month and 3.8% for the year. Non-US global bond returns rebounded as the US dollar modestly weakened during April. Softer US economic data continued and was highlighted by weak first-quarter GDP, while Europe showed further stabilization and China pumped new stimulus. Commodities recovered thanks to a surge in energy prices and industrial metals, though gold slid for the third straight month.
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