2018: A FIRST HALF FULL OF “CHARACTER”

While we make no claims of clairvoyance, below were the four key themes we identified in our 2018 Outlook back in December:
  • Return of higher / “normal” volatility?
  • Investor complacency
  • Global growth (especially Europe Ex-UK)
  • The Fed (Interest rates & Balance Sheet)
A quick glance at the above list tells much, but not all, of the story of the year’s first half. To varying extents, each of the elements listed contributed to what we would term a first half “full of character.”
 
Whereas 2017 was a year most noteworthy for its lack of volatility, 2018 quickly turned that trend on its head in late January, as the VIX (the measure of volatility for the S&P 500), traveled from 11.5 to over 50, only to fall back to below 18 in 2 weeks’ time. As the first half concludes, it again sits well below historically normal levels.
 

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