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Market Commentary - Page 11

Even when U.S. stocks appear overpriced based on fundamental valuation metrics, we still see attractively priced stocks available. One of the places where we are finding long-term opportunities is among companies that are significantly increasing their dividend payments, or “dividend growers”.

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The escalating dispute over Ukraine’s sovereign borders is generating global headlines and worrisome what-ifs, but so far the economic ramifications have been largely local. The broader story for emerging markets investors in 2014 is the same as it’s always been: China.

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After last year’s 30% and higher gains for U.S. stocks, there’s a lingering question of how much farther they can climb. This question is coming from those who already have stocks and want to know if now is the time to bail, and by those who are showing up late to the big party and wonder how much longer the band will keep playing. It’s easy to understand why the question is being asked, though it’s harder to arrive at a definitive answer.

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Stock and bond markets are approaching an inflection point. The Federal Reserve’s bond-buying program known as quantitative easing is being steadily wound down, and the Fed is preparing for short-term interest rates to start going up.

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One of the coldest and snowiest winters in recent memory is thankfully behind most of us. As spring unfolds across the nation, we’re getting the first glimpse of the harsh weather’s actual impact as companies begin to report earnings for the first quarter of 2014.

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