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Market Commentary - Page 10

Good luck trying to find a logical pattern in global equity market behavior so far in 2016. On the first trading day of the year, China was down, and that was blamed for European and U.S. stocks being down. Since then, we’ve also seen China up and both Europe and the Standard & Poor’s 500 down, and China and Europe down and the S&P up. And even when the S&P is up, it tends to lack conviction.

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Events both at home and abroad made 2015 a turbulent year for investors, and we expect more of the same in 2016.

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Volatility is a fact of life in stock investing: Markets move up and down, sometimes abruptly and sometimes driven by short bursts of emotions. Perhaps investors have been lulled to some degree by the relatively muted volatility during the bull market of the past six-plus years.

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Cheaper oil may help the overall economy, which stands to produce more job opportunities, higher wages and other benefits.

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The Federal Reserve increased short-term interest rates Dec. 16 for the first time in nearly a decade. The action capped a year of uncertainty about global asset markets. The possibility of a Fed rate hike had been a key contributor to market volatility throughout 2015.

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