Milliman FRM Insight: December 2017 Market Commentary

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By Joe Becker | 09 January 2018

In 2017, the S&P 500 generated nearly two times its average calendar year return with less than half its average volatility and lowest ever drawdown. Investors would have to look all the way back to 1964 to find a better return per unit of risk.

Global equities tally their best yearly return since 2009. Up 1.6% in December, the MSCI All Country World Index notched its 14th consecutive month of positive returns for the first time in its 30-year history, as well as its first full calendar year of positive monthly returns. Up 3.4% and 1.6% on the month, EM and EPAC stocks lead global equities. With the exception of U.S. large cap stocks, all major market segments saw volatility edge higher again in December. The correlation between U.S. and foreign stocks declined in December. The U.S. dollar fell for the second straight month, finishing the year 8.5% lower. The spot price of crude oil climbed more than 5% for the second straight month.