Research & Insights

2016: The Year Ahead

January 27, 2016

By Masood Vojdani & Katrina Lamb, CFA & Courtney Martin

2015 was a key transitional year in capital markets. In the US the year signified the end of an era. From 2009 through 2014 US equity markets grew at an average annual rate of 12.6 percent largely due to the efforts of the US central bank – the Federal Reserve – to stimulate markets through a combination of zero-level interest rates and outright open market purchases of fixed income securities. The Fed wound down QE (quantitative easing, the term for its bond-buying programs) in 2014. At the end of 2015 it raised interest rates for the first time since 2006, albeit very gently. With the training wheels of monetary policy stimulus coming off, US stock markets returned last year to a focus on fundamentals. For better or for worse, we expect that trend to continue in 2016.

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