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Market Commentary - Page 7

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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The Federal Reserve is almost certainly going to raise very short-term interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade when it meets in Washington next week. For us, as municipal bond investors focused on income generation over the long term, this is good news.

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