November 29th, 2017

By Tyler J. Pullen, CFA

Equities did not break from their trend, as the S&P 500 rose more than 4% in the 3rd quarter. Market breadth had narrowed during the first half of the year as a shorter list of larger-cap, more growth-oriented stocks carried the broader indices higher, but leadership flipped around this quarter as small-caps, along with financial and energy stocks, surged higher. Most of the gains occurred during the month of September, coinciding with clarity about the Federal Reserve’s plan and the unveiling of the administration’s proposed tax framework. The markets also received a boost late in the quarter from the news that, “All 45 countries tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) are on track to grow this year, and 33 of them are poised to accelerate from a year ago, according to the OECD. It is the first time since 2007 that all are growing and the most countries in acceleration since 2010” ¹. Together, this better global growth narrative, coupled with a more stable picture of China, largely explain the drop in the US Dollar, which is one of the more significant reversals that has occurred this year.