Market commentary, 4th Quarter 2014


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The U.S. stock market posted solid returns, driven by improving economic growth, steady growth in corporate earnings, and the Federal Reserve's intent to maintain liquidity with low interest rates. Developed international equity markets fell on deteriorating economic conditions in Japan and fears that Europe might fall into another recession. Emerging markets declined on worries about falling commodity prices, the financial crisis in Russia, and slowing economic growth in China. Mutual fund investors decreased their holdings in stocks and bonds. For the quarter, stock funds had net outflows of $14.1 billion, while bond funds had net outflows of $5.7 billion. The unemployment rate fell from 5.9% to 5.6%, and the price of oil decreased from $91 per barrel to $53 during the quarter.

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