Markets & Finance

International Stocks Shine

From Standard & Poor's Equity Research

Here are the notes from Standard & Poor's Investment Policy Committee meeting, held on Wednesdays.

Fundamental Outlook

International equities are outperforming their U.S. counterparts year to date. The MSCI EAFE Index, which tracks developed foreign stocks, is up 13.4% (in U.S. dollars), vs. only 5.2% for the S&P 500 Index. We believe better international economic momentum, lower valuations, and less restrictive monetary policy are primarily responsible for the performance disparity.

U.S. dollar weakness has also been additive to U.S. investors' international equity returns. Year-to-date, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's performance vs. a basket of leading foreign currencies, is down 6%.

S&P's Asset Allocation

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