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Market Commentary - Page 5

So far this year, close to $50 billion worth of newly issued municipal bonds have come to market. This may sound like a large number, but it’s not even close to meeting the enormous investor appetite for these securities.

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The effects of slowing economic growth in China are spreading to the world’s developed markets. Europe and Japan are feeling it most at this point because China is the top export destination for Europe (led by Germany) and second-most for Japan. The combined value of those exports exceeds $300 billion annually.

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After a lousy start to 2016, the U.S. equity market lately has delivered better news to stressed-out investors.

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Investors have been flocking to gold as a safe haven from unsettled markets, but as we have seen in recent days, gold can carry some volatility of its own.

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Stock market volatility is showing no signs of easing off, with the year-to-date loss for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index reaching 10% on Tuesday. Investor angst is plain to see in the S&P’s wide intraday price swings, in the VIX “fear gauge,” a volatility index that was up 12% Monday and a few percent more Tuesday, and in the stampede into safe-haven assets like Treasury bonds and gold.

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