The Market Described In Two Words

‘Challengingly boring.’

That’s the best phrase we’ve heard yet to describe this market, and it comes from Goldman’s latest weekly Kickstart note.

Here’s the full context:

“Challengingly boring” is the way most clients describe the current investing environment. The S&P 500 has quietly returned 5% this year, but fund managers are struggling to generate alpha. Stock return dispersion is at record lows (see page 18) and the distribution of stock valuations and economic outlooks is also historically tight. Averaging 12, VIX in June ranks in the 4th historical percentile since 1990. Realised 1-month volatility at 8% is similarly in the 13th percentile since 1929. 72% of mutual funds are lagging the market and equity long/short hedge funds have returned just 1% YTD.

There you have Wall Street right now in a nutshell. Very quiet. And a very difficult place to do well.

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