The March 31st quarter included unprecedented worldwide economic, health and investor turmoil. The Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its worst start of a year in its 124-year history. This decline completely offset the strong stock market returns of the previous year, putting the S&P 500 back to the levels of December 2018. The pandemic put all the worlds’ national economies, macro and micro alike, on the same downward spiral.
Despite tepid earnings growth for the average company in 2019, broad equity markets provided very attractive returns. To the casual observer, public company earning’s growth, GDP growth and stock prices appear to have decoupled. In 2018, the stock market declined despite significant earnings growth for the underlying major indices. In 2019, the stock market soared despite minimal growth in these underlying earnings.
The third calendar quarter of 2019 was generally positive for investors, but less so than the previous two quarters. Equity markets were mixed as the S&P 500 advanced 1.7% and the MSCI EAFE ex US index showed a decline of 2.5% for International equity markets.
Tom Plumb discusses how technology is impacting the world we live in. Big data and the fourth industrial revolution are changing how everything is done.
We believe that global healthcare innovation is one area with dynamic opportunities. There has been some tremendous advancement in this field, including new drugs, therapies, early detection, treatment, medical devices, information systems, and robotics, to name just a few.