Market Comments: As of November 30, 2013
Consumer and business confidence indicators generally trended lower for the second straight month, with the botched debut of the Affordable Care Act, coupled with ongoing political uncertainty regarding the U.S. budget, being cited as reasons for caution. Despite this concern, stock markets continued to move higher. The large cap S&P 500 has now returned close to 30% for the year, and the small cap S&P 600 is up even more at almost 40%. Janet Yellen’s testimony mid-month likely helped markets, as she hinted that she is in no rush to end asset purchases, and even less inclined to increase the federal funds rate any time soon. The 10-year treasury yield, after reaching a high of near 3% in early September, has been less volatile the past three months, trading between 2.5% and 2.8%.