Japan is the world’s oldest nation, with more than 29% of the population age 65 or older. The comparative statistic in the U.S. and Europe is 17% and 21%, respectively.
Global markets ended September in negative territory, with stocks and bonds off by 4.5% and 1.8%, respectively. U.S. blue-chips stocks, represented by the S&P 500 Index, broke a streak of 7-straight monthly gains, but still managed to eke out its sixth-consecutive quarterly advance. The popular index is showcasing a return of nearly 16% for the first nine months of 2021.
Strong second quarter earnings helped stocks to yet another solid month of performance in August, as domestic and foreign equity markets advanced 2.85% and 1.90%, respectively. The S&P 500 index has had seven straight months of gains, reaching new highs on more than 50 days … and all this without at least a 5% decline along the way..
Domestic stocks ended July with modest gains, as the S&P 500 Index registered its fifth straight monthly advance. Foreign markets were slightly negative, hurt mostly by sizable losses in Chinese equities. Overall, a globally diversified portfolio finished the month in positive territory … but only by a whisker.
Global stock markets advanced yet again in June, finishing up a very profitable first half of 2021 for equity investors. Domestic stocks led the way with returns in excess of 15% over the past six months, while foreign stocks delivered high single-digit returns. After reaching pandemic lows in late March of 2020, the S&P 500 Index has advanced more than 50% over the past five quarters.
Domestic stocks have performed extremely well over the past decade. In fact, U.S. stocks have been compounding at an annualized rate of 13.8% over the past ten calendar years … not to mention the 15% gain during the first six months of 2021.
Global stock markets advanced for the fourth straight month, generating returns of just over 1% during May. Foreign stocks led the way with gains of approximately 3% for the month, while domestic stocks closed with more modest gains. Year-to-date, global markets have gained nearly 11% … led by the stocks of smaller and more economically sensitive companies.
Global stock markets had another solid month, generating returns in excess of 4% during April. Domestic stocks led the way, thanks to strong corporate profits, ongoing government stimulus, and progress on vaccinations.
The $1.9 trillion stimulus bill is more of the same, emergency measures and safety-net expansions. These trends have been with us for the past forty years … under presidents of both parties … as federal income support rose by more than half to 4.3% of GDP from 1979 to 2019.
Stock markets continued their advance during March, closing out another strong quarter for equity investors. U.S. stocks lead the way with returns of nearly 4% in March and more than 6% for the quarter. Foreign equities were up just over 1% for the month and about 3.5% for the quarter. With quarterly returns in excess of 12%, domestic small-cap stocks were the big winners.