Here’s a quick summary of the markets in our quarterly recap for Q1 2013.
What Lies Ahead?
The first quarter of 2013 was a continuation of the bullish run we have seen as of late. There was little getting in the way of these markets.
The sequestration worries weren’t able to de-rail this rally nor were the worries of a possible government shutdown. Worries in Europe put a slight chill within the marketplace, but even the thoughts of contagion due to the issues in Cyprus were unable to water down the markets’ rally. The bigger question now lies in what does the immediate future hold for these markets. Headline risk seems lesser than what we have experienced in the past, but that doesn’t mean all is clear for these markets.
Looking at history, we can’t expect to see a repeat of this past quarter’s performance. Going back to 2000, we have seen double digit quarterly returns only three times. The best return we saw in the following quarter was 3.82%; the other two quarters we saw returns of 3.22% and -0.92%. But just because history suggests that we are in for a more muted quarter doesn’t mean that markets are doomed to take a turn for the worst. What the history shows is that markets are just poised to take breathers after such strong run-ups, and it doesn’t suggest that the fundamentals are of concern. Rather, just as markets don’t fall forever, they also don’t rise forever.
Heading into the next quarter, we see some worries, but they aren’t as obvious as others we have had to deal with in the past. There aren’t any fiscal cliffs or sequestration dates currently on the table. And we don’t have an immediate need to have a debt ceiling conversation. With the events in Cyprus, we are likely to see Europe creep back into the headlines and cause some headline volatility. Worries over Spain and Italy adopting the type of bailout Cyprus enacted will likely cause for depositors to remain on the edge of their seats.