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Market Commentary - Page 2

The stock market has done well in 2017, despite domestic and foreign challenges. Any spikes in volatility--such as international instability and threats--tend to be short-lived. However, barriers to global trade is a concern. Utlimately, investors with well-constructed portfolios should stay focused on the long term. Spikes in volatility tend to be short-lived and inconsequential over the long term.

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By Dan Denbow, CFA, Senior Portfolio Manager of Equity Investments The price of gold has increased in the high single digits so far this year, a beneficiary of a weakening U.S. dollar (the two assets tend to move in inverse fashion) and some geopolitical tensions arising from North Korea and other sources. And now we’re just starting what has in recent decades been the best two-month stretch of th...

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Various stock indexes are enjoying an all-time high, with the Dow Jones Industrials crossing the 22,000 mark for the first time. Almost three quarters of companies reporting have far exceeded expectations in both revenue and profits, and FactSet forecasts this trend continuing through the second half of the year. While real economic growth at home for 2Q wasn’t great, the overall outlook is still quite bright.

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The U.S. financial sector may finally be back on its feet, with growth indicators from S&P 500 financials showing profits close to the 2007 peak. Rising profits are predicted to be returned to shareholders by way of dividends and stock buybacks, and banks are poised to become dividend growers, all of which contribute to an economy on the upswing.

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Skilled active management can provide returns above broad-based market benchmarks over time using a variety of techniques such as factor based investing. Value and momentum can be helpful in generating attractive returns relative to the amount of risk taken.

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