The strong performance of risk assets to start 2018 was driven by continued improvement in corporate earnings, increased global growth expectations, highly accommodative monetary policy from global central banks and a benign inflation environment. As a result credit spreads, specifically in investment grade corporate and high yield corporate bonds, also approached near cycle tights. Volatility increased in January and persisted at elevated levels throughout February and March, however global markets remained synchronized throughout the later stages of 1Q. In 2Q and 3Q, however, a significant divergence between the U.S. markets and the rest of the world occurred. Ex-U.S. developed markets and emerging markets faltered as trade concerns and less accommodative global central bank monetary policies came to the forefront.