Global Equity and International Strategies Second Quarter Review
Global stock markets continued to rise during the second quarter with the S&P 500 increasing by 8.2% and the MSCI World Index rising by 7.3%. On a year-to-date basis the S&P 500 is up 14.4% and the MSCI World Index is up 12.2%. The year-to-date return for the S&P 500 is the 2nd best first-half performance since 1998. The best first half return since 1998 was generated in 2019 when the S&P 500 increased by 17.4% in the first six months of the year. The robust stock market returns of the last six months have been driven by strong economic data as the global economy continues to reopen helped by COVID-19 vaccinations and trillions of dollars of fiscal stimulus. The handsome year-to-date gains are on top of the attractive gains that have been generated since the market bottomed in March of 2020 with the S&P 500 and the MSCI World Index both up more than 80% over the last 15 months.