Market Perspectives (July 2011)

by Jim Baird on July 19, 2011

Executive Summary

  • The correction in equities continued for the second consecutive month, although expectations surrounding a near-term solution for Greece mitigated what had been more severe losses in June.
  • Falling Treasury yields contributed to positive returns for bonds over the quarter, as rising fears spurred a flight to quality.
  • Stocks were flat to negative for the quarter but remain solidly positive year-to-date.
  • Downward revisions to growth expectations for the second quarter gained momentum. The Fed pledges to remain accommodative; however, no additional easing efforts arose from their June meeting.
  • The employment situation receded over the second quarter, as layoffs accelerated, and the unemployment rate ticked higher.

Buckle your safety belt…

Some may remember the public service campaign from the late 1980s that revolved around two laughable crash test dummies, Vince and Larry. In a comical fashion, this dynamic duo of anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) sought to broaden public awareness that safety belts save lives. Before the invention of ATDs, however, crash testing alternatives were plagued with issues. Alternatives included volunteer or self-testing (sounds painful), cadaver testing (accompanied by moral and ethical issues), and animal testing (with a different set of ethical issues). Since their creation in 1949, the degree to which ATDs revolutionized automobile safety is undeniable. Today, anyone surviving a crash can be thankful for the significant improvements that have occurred because of the scenario testing and outcome analysis resulting from the use of these devices.

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