August has been a highly volatile period for the financial markets. Reignited trade tensions and recent yield-curve inversions have spooked investors, culminating in a 3% drop in the S&P 500 Index on Aug. 14, its worst day of the year.
The Fed announced a much-anticipated one-quarter-percentage-point cut to the federal funds rate. Following the decision, Fed Chairman Powell's press conference commentary was perceived as unexpectedly hawkish. While the market had a 'buy the rumor, sell the news’ reaction, but we believe underlying fundamentals should support continued growth during the rest of 2019.
With tighter monetary policies, fading benefits of stimulus and lingering trade tumult,
what's the global economic outlook for 2019?
Economic fundamentals were solid at the start of the year. Could trade disruptions put the economic expansion at risk in the second half of 2019?
While trade tension and government investigations may create unknowns, the secular drivers of technology and health care are diverse and growing. We believe we are at a unique crossroads as innovation in science and technology converge at an unprecedented pace, which is creating new investable opportunities.
We have shifted the portfolio slightly more defensive, while maintaining exposure to areas we believe should participate in market upside.