Market Comments: As of February 2015
After a weak start to the year, stocks rallied strongly in February. The S&P 500 was up 5.75%, likely buoyed by a strong employment report and an uptick in crude oil prices. This brings the year to date gain for the index to 2.57%. Foreign equities were even better, with the MSCI EAFE increasing 5.98% for the month. Quantitative easing from the European Central Bank, a weaker Euro, and a new, albeit short term, deal to extend bailout funds to Greece, should provide a tailwind to international markets. The Federal Reserve is still aiming to raise interest rates in the second half of the year, though lack of inflation or desired wage growth could delay such action.