By ryan-nauman 19 Feb 2020
A stellar 2019 finished with a bang as the geopolitical risks that dominated headlines and markets for the better part of 2019 diminished during the fourth quarter while economic data remained stable. The S&P 500 index posted a +9.07% return during the quarter as a phase one trade agreement between the U.S. and China provided a boost for global markets and increased investor optimism. Furthermore, the MSCI EAFE index posted an +8.21% return during the quarter as global investors cheered the trade agreement while hoping the easing trade tensions will provide relief to the soft global economy. Despite a 25-basis point interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve (Fed), the improved investor sentiment hurt Treasuries, as the BofA Merrill Lynch US Treasury index returned -0.89% during the quarter.