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Can bulls avoid detours and charge ahead?

Saira Malik
Chief Investment Officer
Office chairs and a conference table

Global equities extended their 2023 rally in the first quarter of 2024, with January’s upswing gathering pace in February and March. While the S&P 500 Index posted a double-digit gain, Japanese stocks were the top performer for the period, boosting non-U.S. developed markets over their emerging markets (EM) counterparts. Investors bid up stock prices as they waited for central banks to cut interest rates amid gradually cooling inflation. The U.S. Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and Bank of England all preached patience by remaining on pause, although the Fed signaled easier policy (three likely cuts) in 2024. Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan ended its “yield-curve control” program while also raising rates for the first time since 2007, becoming the last central bank to stop using negative rates as a monetary tool.

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Index Performance: FactSet; European Corporate Earnings: I/B/E/S; U.S. Corporate Earnings: Standard & Poor’s; Employment: RBC Global Asset Management; Russell Indexes: FactSet, Russell Investments.

The views and opinions expressed are for informational and educational purposes only as of the date of production/writing and may change without notice at any time based on numerous factors, such as market, economic or other conditions, legal and regulatory developments, additional risks and uncertainties and may not come to pass. This report contains no investment recommendations and should not be construed as specific tax, legal, financial planning or investment advice. This material may contain “forward-looking” information that is not purely historical in nature. Such information may include, among other things, projections, forecasts, estimates of market returns, and proposed or expected portfolio composition. Any changes to assumptions that may have been made in preparing this material could have a material impact on the information presented herein by way of example. This material is not intended to be a recommendation or investment advice, does not constitute a solicitation to buy or sell securities, and is not provided in a fiduciary capacity. The information provided does not take into account the specific objectives or circumstances of any particular investor, or suggest any specific course of action. Investment decisions should be made based on an investor's objectives and circumstances and in consultation with their advisors. 

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