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Volatility returned to equities markets in Q3. A strong August was followed by losses in September, when any rallies began to focus around selected winners rather than benefiting stocks across the board. Investors exhibited a decided preference for large caps; the S&P 500 closed above 2,000 for the first time ever and the Dow industrials also set new all-time highs. The Nasdaq returned to a level it hadn’t seen since March 2000 and regained the lead for 2014. However, the Russell 2000, which has struggled for most of the year, fell deeper into negative territory year-to-date, while the Global Dow suffered from political conflicts abroad and concerns about global growth.

Bond investors continued to demonstrate surprising resilience. In early September, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury fell to 2.35%–a level it hadn’t seen in more than a year–as prices rose. However, as the Federal Reserve continued to taper its economic support and ramped up discussion of how and when to increase rates, demand began to taper off (though geopolitical anxieties and a strengthening dollar kept the decline in check). Gold, which started the quarter at roughly $1,320, ended below $1,220. It was hurt in part by a stronger U.S. dollar, which by the end of the quarter had hit its highest level against the euro in almost two years. Dollar strength coupled with weaker global demand also meant lower oil prices; a barrel fell from $107 a barrel to roughly $93 during the quarter, a level it hasn’t seen since January.

Market/Index 2013 Close As of 9/30 Month Change Quarter Change YTD Change
DJIA 16576.66 17042.90 -.32% 1.29% 2.81%
NASDAQ 4176.59 4493.39 -1.90% 1.93% 7.59%
S&P 500 1848.36 1972.29 -1.55% .62% 6.70%
Russell 2000 1163.64 1101.68 -6.19% -7.65% -5.32%
Global Dow 2484.10 2534.47 -3.22% -2.73% 2.03%
Fed. Funds .25% .25% .25% 0 bps 0 bps
10-year Treasuries 3.04% 2.52% 17 bps -1 bps -52 bps

Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.



Source: Broadridge

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