U.S. Equities: How long can the good times roll?

How long can the good times roll? This is a question that an increasing number of U.S. investors are asking in the wake of a turbulent summer on equity markets…

How long can the good times roll? This is a question that an increasing number of U.S. investors are asking in the wake of a turbulent summer on equity markets. While much of the recent volatility can be attributed to the escalating U.S.-China trade tensions, there is little doubt that volatility has generally increased in 2018. At the same time, with U.S. market valuations running at above-average levels and interest rates starting to rise, there are some who believe that the U.S. “Goldilocks” period is nearing its end. While risks around trade and inflation have become more prominent, it is ultimately within the data, both macro and micro, that all tends to be revealed.

Is the U.S. expansion phase nearing its end?

With the U.S. economic expansion now in its 10th year―the second-longest growth phase in U.S. history―investors are understandably concerned that the clock is counting down and that the next recession is potentially just around the corner. However, the robustness of U.S. data, both economic and corporate, suggests that we are still some way from the end of the cycle. This is usually associated with rising inflation, aggressive monetary policy, and deteriorating company profit margins. So far, we have seen limited signs of these things in the U.S., and while interest rates have started to rise, this is from a very low base, and the environment remains accommodative.

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The value of an investment and any income from it can go down as well as up. Investors may get back less than the amount invested. Issued by T. Rowe Price International Ltd, 60 Queen Victoria Street, London EC4N 4TZ, which is authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (the FCA). This material is not intended for use by Retail Clients, as defined by the FCA.

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