Quarterly Commentary

  • Q2 2020

    Despite the economic carnage afflicting the global economy since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, by the end of the first quarter, the stock market had already plumbed its greatest depths, with March 23 marking a nadir. Over the course of the second quarter, while not recovering all the lost ground from the February peak, the market roared back...

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  • Q1 2020

    After a buoyant start to the new decade, investors suddenly woke to the realization that the novel coronavirus and associated COVID-19 illness are serious issues with unpredictable, yet hugely significant economic ramifications. 

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  • Q4 2019

    2019 was a great year for equity markets, with the S&P 500 Index returning 31.49%, the best annual profit since 2013. At Saturna, we’re not forecasting 2020 to generate the outsized gains seen in 2019. Still, we enter the new decade optimistically.

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  • Q3 2019

    · Volatility in August after the S&P 500 Index surged to new highs in July
    · Political unrest in Hong Kong
    · Saturna analysts identify risks in carbon-intensive industries
    · Business Roundtable results in sweeping commitments by CEOs

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  • Q2 2019

    Looking at the 18.54% total return for the S&P 500 through the first half of the year, the 14.49% return for the MSCI EAFE Index (non-US developed world), or the 10.58% gain for the MSCI Emerging Markets ETF, one could be forgiven for believing world economies have entered a Golden Era of buoyant confidence, linear expansion, and wisely benign governance.  If only we were so lucky.

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  • Q1 2019

    The first quarter of 2019 presented a sea change from the fourth quarter of last year. The S&P 500 index was down -13.52% in the fourth quarter of 2018, but it saw a double digit rebound in the first quarter of 2019, returning 13.65%. This change in sentiment (or animal spirits) between the fourth quarter and the first had to do with two main issues.

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  • Q4 2018

    Just when 2018 was shaping up to be the third consecutive year of excellent stock market performance, the fourth quarter arrived, volatility reappeared, and major indices surrendered their gains for the year. The S&P 500 Index, which had been up over 9% through September, plummeted -13.52% in the fourth quarter, leading to a full year loss of -4.38%.

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