- U.S. equity markets enjoyed a strong month as anxiety levels dropped from their post-Brexit highs and volatility remained subdued. Small-caps took the lead with the Russell 2000 gaining 6.0 percent, followed by mid-caps with 4.6 percent, and large-caps adding 3.7 percent.
- International stocks finished the month on a high note as well, with stocks in developed markets (as represented by the MSCI EAFE) and emerging markets (MSCI EM) adding 5.1 percent and 5.0 percent, respectively.
- Most fixed income indices recorded modest gains in July; high yield bonds led the pack with a 2.7 percent gain, while the Barclays Aggregate added 0.6 percent. Municipal bonds also recorded small gains.
- The Fed kept rates on hold following its July meeting, and reiterated that it will remain data dependent – in a “wait and see” mode – as it digests and interprets incoming data with regards to the economy.
- The initial estimate of second quarter GDP came in at 1.2 percent, below expectations. On top of this disappointing result, first quarter growth was revised downward from 1.1 percent to 0.8 percent.