Market Comments: As of January 2016
Stocks got off to a rough start in January, with all major markets experiencing material declines. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 4.96% and 5.39% respectively. The technology-heavy NASDAQ fared worse, falling 7.82%. Traditional defensive sectors including telecom services, utilities, and consumer staples managed gains despite the overall market volatility. International equities suffered much the same fate, down 7.23% for the month. Fears of a weakening Chinese economy, and U.S. GDP growth that slowed to 0.7% in the 4th quarter, weighed down investor sentiment. In Japan, the country’s central bank lowered a key interest rate into negative territory, leading to lower bond yields around the globe.