US Stock Markets Surprisingly Steady - First Quarter Review
Surprisingly steady! How can we say that? Because compared to the price swings of the last six years, the recent 3.9% decline in US Stocks (from a record set April 2) barely registers relative to the powerful uptrend since mid 2011. Volatility (the Fear Index) rose to 17 from the recent average around 14, but is nowhere close to 21.4 set back in January when stocks fell 5.8% from that high. Just think back to 2008-9, when swings of 3-6% were a daily occurrence and volatility soared to 81! On March 31st, US Stocks were up 1.7% YTD; at present, stocks are down 2.9% on the year. We're not concerned because we're reasonably confident based on fundamentals that stocks will close out 2014 with gains.