Market Comments: As of March 2014
The U.S. received some good news on the economic front this past month, with the final estimate of 4th quarter GDP revised up to 2.6% on the back of stronger personal spending data. Also, confidence indicators from the University of Michigan and the Conference Board both showed solid increases, signaling a more optimistic consumer. Domestic equity markets posted mixed results though, with the S&P 500 gaining 0.84% and the technology heavy NASDAQ suffering a 2.45% decline. International developed stocks, measured by the MSCI EAFE index made a strong move upward, as anxiety over escalating conflict between Russia and the Ukraine seems to have receded for now, and on speculation of increased fiscal stimulus in China to counter a potential growth slowdown. In what was mostly an expected move, the Fed continued to taper asset purchases down to $55 billion a month.