Sir John Templeton coined the phrase, “Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism and die on euphoria.” In 2015, we expected investors to transition from “skepticism” to “optimism” as we experienced (1) solid momentum in U.S. economic growth with low inflation, (2) a pickup in consumer spending based on job growth, confidence and a positive wealth effect, (3) solid earnings growth, (4) stimulus from low commodity prices and financing costs and (5) a still-good liquidity environment aided by stimulus from non-U.S. central banks. Our expectations were mostly on track, as reflected in the predictions we made at the beginning of the year.
Looking Ahead to 2016
Our 2016 predictions will be available in early January, but we can offer some broad themes about how the year might progress. We think global economic growth will slowly improve and expect inflation will start to move higher. Oil prices should stabilize, although will probably remain range-bound. The U.S. dollar should continue its advance, but at a more moderate pace. The key variable for equities will probably be the earnings backdrop. Corporate earnings have been under pressure throughout 2015, and we think improvements in revenues and profits are needed for equity prices to advance. This should be possible as long as economic growth holds up, although results are likely to be uneven. This means 2016 is likely another year in which investment selectivity is critical.
1 Source: Department of Commerce
2 Source: Department of Labor
3 Source: Morningstar Direct, Bloomberg and FactSet, as of 12/18/15
4 Source: Morningstar
Source: Morningstar Direct and Bloomberg, as of 12/18/15. All index returns are shown in U.S. dollars. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Index performance is shown for illustrative purposes only. Index returns include reinvestment of income and do not reflect investment advisory and other fees that would reduce performance in an actual client account. All indices are unmanaged and unavailable for direct investment.
The S&P 500 Index is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure the performance of the broad domestic economy. Euro STOXX 50 Index is Europe’s leading Blue-chip
index for the Eurozone and covers 50 stocks from 12 Eurozone countries. FTSE 100 Index is a capitalization-weighted index of the 100 most highly capitalized companies traded on the London Stock Exchange. Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index (DAX Index) is a total return index of 30 selected German blue chip stocks traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. FTSE MIB Index is an index of the 40 most liquid and capitalized stocks listed on the Borsa Italiana. Nikkei 225 Index is a price-weighted average of 225 top-rated Japanese companies listed in the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Hong Kong Hang Seng Index is a free-float capitalization-weighted index of selection of companies from the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite is a capitalization-weighted index that tracks the daily price performance of all A-shares and B-shares listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The MSCI World Index ex-U.S. is a free float-adjusted market capitalization weighted index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed markets minus the United States. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure equity market performance of emerging markets.
RISKS AND OTHER IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS
The views and opinions expressed are for informational and educational purposes only as of the date of writing and may change at any time based on market or other conditions and may not come to pass. This material is not intended to be relied upon as investment advice or recommendations, does not constitute a solicitation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered specific legal, investment or tax advice. The information provided does not take into account the specific objectives, financial situation, or particular needs of any specific person. All investments carry a certain degree of risk and there is no assurance that an investment will provide positive performance over any period of time. Equity investments are subject to market risk or the risk that stocks will decline in response to such factors as adverse company news or industry developments or a general economic decline. Debt or
fixed income securities are subject to market risk, credit risk, interest rate risk, call risk, tax risk, political and economic risk, and income risk. As interest rates rise, bond prices fall. Non- investment-grade bonds involve heightened credit risk, liquidity risk, and potential for default. Foreign investing involves additional risks, including currency fluctuation, political and economic instability, lack of liquidity and differing legal and accounting standards. These risks are magnified in emerging markets. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Nuveen Asset Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser and an affiliate of Nuveen Investments, Inc.
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