A Sneaky September

Monthly Market Snapshot: September 2019


Despite headlines that would normally lead to bouts of market volatility (loss of Saudi Arabian oil production, U.S. Presidential impeachment inquiries, etc.), global equities markets quietly crept higher in September. In the United States, the S&P 500 added 1.7% with year-to-date gains now equaling 18.7%. In Europe, shares rose 3.1% as the European Central Bank eased monetary policy (year-to-date gains now 13.4%). Japanese shares rose by 3.2% (year-to-date gains now 8.9%).

U.S. economic data have been coming in slightly better-than-expected since mid-July. This mild improvement has lifted tracking estimates of third quarter real GDP from about 1.5% to just north of 2.0%. While the manufacturing sector appears to be solidly in recession, the U.S. consumer has been keeping the much larger services sector afloat (which account for 70% of the economy) thus far. We will be watching future readings of the services sector closely.

Citi’s Private Bank’s Global Investment Committee (GIC) is maintaining a neutral position on global stocks, including U.S. large capitalization shares. Following a sharp rally in global bond yields, the Committee has moved from a neutral stance on global fixed income to an underweight.