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2nd Quarter Market Performance


Second quarter stock markets gave back some first quarter gains, but we're still positive year to date. Health and financials performed best, while tech and telecommunication helped the S&P 500 outperform. Growth won the quarter and value lost.


U.S. stock markets at mid-year have earned a respectable 9.5% return. A euphoric first quarter 12.6% gain gave way to a 2.8% minor setback in the second quarter. Foreign markets have not fared as well, earning only 3.4%. Figure 1 provides the details, and adds a look at gold's performance.

Figure 1: 2Q Performance


 Source: PPCA

Note the high correlation between U.S. and foreign stocks as measured by the S&P 500 and EAFE, respectively. By contrast, gold prices have moved somewhat independently of stock prices, reinforcing gold's diversification role. Also note that gold has not fared well thus far in 2012, barely breaking even. Stocks have been the better investment. Commodities in general, and metals in particular, have not done well. This could of course change, especially if inflation reignites.

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