As we enter the home stretch of 2014, we can at least say that it has been a somewhat “boring” market quarter, but sometimes boring is better than the alternative. For the 3rd quarter, the S&P 500 was flat with a .6% increase. The Dow Jones was up 1.3% and the NASDAQ up 1.9%. For the year, the S&P500 is up 6.6%, so in a year where the bears stated there would be a downturn, we are holding on to decent gains.
That being said, there continues to be heightened political concerns with protests in Hong Kong and uncertainty in Brazil ahead of national election. Perhaps the elephant in the room is the uneasiness and potential slowdown in China with raised worries about the potential for loan defaults and rising amounts of bad debt showing up. On top of this, Europe remains stuck in a negative spiral on the brink of the third recession in six years. Tensions over Russia and Ukraine have rocked Germany’s shoppers, pushing consumer confidence to an eight-month low. Due to Germany stating that they will see little to no expansion in 2014, this has led to international holdings underperforming.
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