With apologies to Yogi Berra for manipulating his quote above, the saying still holds: 2014’s market performance to date isn’t exactly a continuation of 2013’s bull run. In fact, it is just the opposite with the S&P 500 down 3.6 percent in the first month of the year. Of course, the U.S. Fed tapering its stimulus even more — down to “just” $65 billion a month in purchases starting in February — has something to do with market performance. Also seemingly affected are emerging markets, with countries from Thailand to Turkey experiencing economic and/or political crises. But the news out of China that manufacturing is down, month over month, may be the final straw that actually breaks down market momentum. At least that’s how it seems this morning, with the indices in East Asia down again to start the week, and Europe starting flat. Will today be a route in the markets? We’ll see.
Last week was the most volatile in recent months, with markets having both sharp up and down days. By the close of the week, the Dow Jones had fallen 1.14%, and the S&P 500 was down 0.43%. The MCSI Emerging Markets Index closed the week essentially flat -- its best relative performance in a while.
Big gainers in your Bull Market Alert portfolio included AbbVie (ABBV), which added 3.01%, and Bank of Ireland (IRE), which bounced 2.66%.
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