U.S. Fixed Income Asset Allocation Outlook – Jan 2020
Posted: Monday, February 3, 2020

If 2018, as dubbed by Jeffrey Gundlach, was a “don’t lose money year,” 2019 can rightly be characterized as the opposite with a broad rally in risk assets globally. Coming off the elevated volatility in the last few trading days of 2018, this year marked the return of accommodative global monetary policy. Following the “Powell Pivot” in January, the Federal Reserve (Fed) cut its target funds rate three times in 2019 and began temporary operations to expand its balance sheet to stabilize the overnight repo market. This propelled United States (U.S.) equities, which returned 31.49%, as measured by the S&P 500, to a record high. The U.S. bond market, as measured by the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index, also produced strong returns amid falling U.S. Treasury (UST) yields, returning 8.72%, its strongest calendar year return since 2002. Another more dubious milestone was the rise of negative yielding debt globally, which peaked at just over $17 trillion, in U.S. Dollar terms, in August.

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