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Quarterly Market & Portfolio Update

August 2016

Fundamental View –

Investing is a relative game. Negative yielding foreign debt and uncertainty in global markets has led U.S and global investors into U.S. equities, especially dividend payers. This occurs against a backdrop of a U.S.economy that has been sputtering all year with mixed economic data blowing hot and cold. As the second quarter earnings announcement period wraps up, earnings have declined for the S&P 500 for five consecutive quarters, the worst such period since 2008-2009. Flat to declining earnings and rising stock prices have caused Price to Earnings (P/E) ratios to become elevated. This is known as multiple expansion. See both charts below. Typically this happens when growth, or expectations of growth, are robust. Hardly the case now.

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