Market Perspectives (April 2011)

by Jim Baird on April 13, 2011

Executive Summary

  • Against the backdrop of natural catastrophes, civil unrest, and resurgence of sovereign debt fears, equities proved resilient, providing strong gains for the first quarter. 
  • Traditional bonds were also fractionally positive in the first quarter, even as the yield curve steepened.
  • Rising food and energy prices pushed headline inflation higher in March.  Updated GDP figures revealed that economic growth accelerated in the fourth quarter boosted by strong personal spending. 
  • The labor market continues to show improvement with stronger job growth reported from private employers and a clear downward path in the unemployment rate over recent months.

Of Austerity and Unrest:  A Season of Change

It has been some time since we’ve witnessed events of such historical importance unfold in such a brief period of time and across such a wide geographic area as have transpired in the past three months.  From natural disasters to revolutions, civil war to a nuclear disaster, the world has been buffeted by a series of events since the beginning of the year that have created fear, uncertainty, and reinforced the fact that we live in an ever-changing, globally connected world.

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