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Global Investment Outlook and Strategy

November 11, 2019

Increased prospects for a U.S.-China trade breakthrough, ongoing global central bank easing, better-than-expected calendar third quarter corporate earnings, and stabilizing world manufacturing PMI data (a key leading economic indicator) helped propel equity markets higher in October. Quality growth also returned to a leadership position in October, with growth indices outperforming across the market capitalization spectrum. While the market correction in fourth quarter of 2018 proved a notable exception, stocks have historically benefited from positive seasonality and generated strong returns in the final months of the year. Real GDP growth once again surprised to the upside, rising at a quarter-over-quarter SAAR of +1.9 percent in the third calendar quarter versus consensus estimate of +1.7 percent. We are carefully monitoring confirmation of a bottom and reacceleration in global manufacturing PMI data, which would signal a further shift toward pro-cyclical growth stocks with compelling risk-reward profiles. Tax-exempt closed-end funds were down slightly in October, consistent with the performance from similarly long-duration bonds during the month. The U.S. Treasury and high-grade tax-exempt yield curves steepened in October, as the spreads between 2-year and 30-year bonds widened by 16 basis points on both curves versus the end of September. Flows into tax-exempt bond funds continued their record pace in October, and the supply of new issue municipals increased. We expect this increase in municipal supply to continue through mid-December and believe the market will generally digest this increased supply without significant issues.

For more details, including a longer discussion of health care stocks, please see the complete Sit Investment Associates’ October 2019 Global Investment Outlook and Strategy paper. Click here: Global Outlook and Strategy (Adobe Acrobat).

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