It is said that the only free lunch in investing is diversification. That’s especially true for US-based investors in light of the elevated valuations of US equities.
With that idea in mind, let’s take a quick tour around the world to see where the opportunities are, and where they’re not. Geographically, the world is divided into three major trade blocs consisting of North America, Europe, and Asia, which is represented by Japan in the developed markets and China within emerging markets. For measurement purposes, the performance of each country or region is benchmarked to the MSCI All-Country World Index (ACWI) and returns are all measured in USD.
The analysis of relative performance shows that there are few clearly defined market leaders. The US has been a mixed bag. The growth-heavy NASDAQ 100 had been going nowhere against ACWI since last summer. The S&P 500 weakened against ACWI in November, recovered, but it has consolidated sideways in the last two months. Of the other regions, Japan has been weak, and so has all of the emerging markets (EM). Europe has begun to perk up in the last month.
Let’s examine each of the regions in more detail. The analysis will mainly be from a technical analysis viewpoint for price signal indications of relative changes in growth patterns and outlooks.
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