Welcome to Investor Intelligence, 2020 DIRECTINVEST's newsletter providing you with market information, investment insights and investor education to help you pursue your financial goals.
The year that confounded pundits
2016 was a year that confounded many political pundits and market strategists alike. The outcomes of (and market reactions to) things like Brexit, the Australian Federal election, the US Presidential and Congressional elections and the Italian referendum, all contained to varying degrees a large element of surprise.
The year started with a bucket of cold water being thrown over the "Santa Claus" equity rally of December 2015. The US economy lost momentum in the first half of the year, hurting company profits and prompting the US Federal Reserve to delay its planned interest rate rises. However, the September quarter proved to be a significant turning point - US GDP growth accelerated above 3% and year-on-year corporate profit growth turned positive for the first time in five quarters.
The secular decline in bond yields ended in July as the market correctly anticipated that the Fed would begin to lift interest rates again, which it did in December.
The US elections in early November delivered a clean-sweep victory for the Republicans and resulted in the US equity market rallying strongly to record highs. President-elect Trump's planned fiscal stimulus should ensure that the US economy continues to grow, but with potentially more upward pressure on wages and inflation as the US economy is already close to full employment.
As at 22/12/16
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All of us at 2020 DirectInvest wish you and your families a relaxing holiday season and we look forward to working with you in 2017.
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