The first month of the fourth quarter was positive for global stocks (+2.8%), which have now gained +19.1% year‐to‐date. Although US large cap (+2.2%) and small cap (+2.6%) had moderate gains within the month, their year‐to‐date returns are strong at +23.2% and +17.2%. Bonds are all up with their year‐to‐date numbers coming in at +9.1% (international), +6.8% (intermediate), and +7.9% (TIPS). Alternative asset classes (REITs, commodities, and reinsurance) moved higher, while managed futures decreased.


  • Real GDP Growth came in at an annualized +1.9%, reinforced by consumer spending which increased +4.6%.
  • Despite slowing 2019 gains, unemployment came in at 3.6%.
  • Housing starts fell 9.4% to a 1.26 million‐unit pace, the shrinkage driven by multifamily construction. Even with the slowdown, total starts are up 1.6% from a year ago.


  • U.S. small cap took the lead this month (+2.6%) while U.S. large value (+2.2%) and U.S. small value (+2.0%) closely followed.
  • A similar theme carried out in the international developed markets with small value being the leader (+5.2%), small cap closely following, (+4.8%), and large cap and large value coming in positive as well (+3.6%).
  • Emerging markets came in strong (+4.2%) with Russia leading the charge (+8.7%).


  • Bonds rose somewhat with U.S. short‐term and TIPS coming in positive (+0.3% each) and international lagging (‐0.8%).


  • Global REITs (+2.3%), commodities (+2.0%), and reinsurance (+0.4%) held positive while managed futures fell behind (‐3.0%). 

Economic and Market Commentary

Read our latest Economic and Market Commentary for Market Returns Year-To-Date, Market Returns Longer Term Annualized, Economic Indicators, and an Appendix.

Source: Morningstar. This is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, investment or financial advice. Please consult your legal, investment and financial professionals regarding your specific circumstances.