Market commentary, 1st Quarter 2019

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Markets were positive across the board for the quarter after the steep drawdown in late 2018. U.S stocks were up 13.65%, the best quarter in 10 years, as the Fed became more dovish and on speculation for a positive U.S./China trade resolution. Emerging markets and foreign developed markets were up 9.93% and 9.98%, respectively, on positive economic and trade outlook. Total employment increased by 541,000 jobs this quarter, and the unemployment rate decreased from 3.9% to 3.8%. The price of oil increased significantly from $45 to $60 a barrel over the quarter as oil demand remained strong and OPEC cut production at the same time U.S. sanctions constricted crude exports from Iran and Venezuela.

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