Market Perspectives (May 2013)

by Jim Baird on May 21, 2013

Executive Summary

  • Against a backdrop of mixed economic data, equity returns were generally positive in April. International equities led the pack, but continue to trail their domestic counterparts year-to-date.
  • Fears of slowing global growth drove a flight to quality in April, pushing yields lower across the Treasury yield curve. This contributed to positive returns for high-quality bonds during the month.
  • The U.S. economy accelerated in the first quarter, but growth fell short of consensus expectations. Consumers remained resilient, but at the cost of a lower savings rate to fund current spending.
  • Inflation ebbed in March as energy prices fell. The FOMC left monetary policy unchanged but opened the door for more aggressive easing, if the current lull in growth persists as fiscal policy tightens.
  • Job growth surpassed expectations in April, and the unemployment rate fell to a four-year low, helping to alleviate concerns surrounding recent weakness in job creation.

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