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Rising Yields and Inflation Concerns

March 2, 2021-During the final week of February bond markets experienced a large selloff causing yields to spike and in turn gave equity markets a jolt. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield soared to a one-year high of 1.614% before finishing the month at 1.41%, prompting investors concerned about rich valuations to lock in profits on some high-flying growth stocks.

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A Mixed Month

February 2, 2021-January was a mixed month for stocks as doubts about vaccine distribution, as well as a plethora of executive orders from newly inaugurated President Biden, caused some investors to reevaluate the valuations of their holdings. The S&P 500 Index was down just over -1% for the month and the Dow Jones Industrial average lost almost -2%. However the NASDAQ posted a gain of 1.44% and small cap stocks continued their run posting a gain in excess of 5% for the month as represented by the Russell 2000 Small Cap index. Internationally developed world stocks as represented by the MSCI EAFA Index were down just over -1% while the MSCI Emerging Market index posted a gain of 2.99%.

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Stocks Close Strong

January 5, 2021-December was another very good month for stocks across the globe. This strength was, to say the least, a welcome way to close out a year in which the market had experienced staggering drops and unexpected, euphoric highs. The S&P 500 Index was up 3.84% for the month and closed the year at an all-time new high. This was one of only 8 times in history the index closed the year at an all-time high as well as marking the shortest time span between such peaks.

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