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Equities Gather Momentum on Positive

Indicators
June 23, 2015
by Robert Doll
of Nuveen Asset Management
U.S. equities finished higher last week as the S&P 500 increased 0.8%, recording its highest weekly
gain since April.1 The dovish message from Wednesdays FOMC announcement boosted markets.
Contagion from Greece appears relatively contained. The sell-off in equities in China did not impact
global markets. The health care, consumer staples and utilities sectors rallied. Financials lagged as
banking lost momentum and energy underperformed.
Key Points
Leading global economic indicators point to improving signs for growth.
Fed monetary policy decisions remain deliberate and measured.
Corporate profit expectations should gradually strengthen later this year, which should be positive
for equities.
Weekly Top Themes
1. The FOMC statement acknowledged several improvements, most notably in labor
markets. Consumer spending and housing were also cited as favorable trends. In spite
of positive signs, a lingering weakness exists in business fixed investment and
exports.2 Projections suggest the Committee continues to debate whether to hike
rates once or twice in 2015. In our view, September remains the most likely timeframe
for a rate increase liftoff.
2. The struggles in Greece should continue for some time. Greece will likely have issues
paying its debts and may engage in ongoing back and forth with creditors. The country
will focus on securing a solid deal with the intention of remaining part of the eurozone.
3. A cyclical bounce may be emerging. Recent stronger cyclical reports began with
Aprils housing data in mid-May.3 According to ISI, 87% of cyclical indicators have
been positive since then. Unemployment claims and updates to the Philadelphia Fed
Survey support a bounce. The leading economic indicators rose 0.7% in May and

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suggest healthy growth over the next six to nine months.4


4. The U.S. consumer is key to improved U.S. economic growth and earnings. U.S.
consumer spending is being supported by solid employment growth, slow but
accelerating wage gains, increases in consumer net worth and rising expectations
that real income will improve.5
5. Consumer inflation expectations and actual prices are accelerating slowly. So far this
year, core inflation as measured by Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) is climbing at nearly
a 2.5% annual rate.6 This is almost enough to move the core Personal Consumption
Expenditures (PCE) deflator up to 2.0%,6 which is the key measure for the Federal
Reserve.
An Earnings Rebound Could Benefit Equities, Despite Risks
U.S. equities have been resilient while the underlying bull market remains intact. The unwinding of
last years deflation trade has caused bond yields to spike higher in recent months, which has
spurred a rotation from bond-like investments, such as utilities, into financials. The looming start of
the Fed rate cycle represents a potential bump in the equity market advance, but the current riskreward potential supports remaining invested rather than standing aside. Fed policy should remain
accommodative even as rates start to rise. Improvement in the economy and earnings growth imply
that equities can continue to climb despite the risk of a correction. A Greek default or exit from the
Economic and Monetary Union
pose a threat for equities because of the potential for significant contagion, especially in the euro
area. We anticipate that Greeces debts will be rolled over and its membership maintained, thus
avoiding a meaningful disruption to capital markets.
Global earnings slumped in the second half of last year but are beginning to rebound and should
continue to recover as economic growth improves. The deterioration in earnings reflected the
dramatic decline in the energy sector due to falling oil prices, residual weakness in the euro area and
emerging markets, weak overall growth in the United States and the surge in the U.S. dollar. Looking
ahead, the earnings picture should brighten as those headwinds fade. Forward earnings estimates
were downgraded sharply, led by the drop in energy, but profit expectations should gradually
strengthen later this year. Earnings for non-energy companies should begin to reflect stimulus from
lower oil prices and an ongoing economic recovery. Although equities are not inexpensive in relative
terms, we expect earnings will improve and monetary policy will stay reflationary, which should
preclude material risks.

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1 Source:MorningstarDirect,asof6/21/15
2 Source:FederalReserve
3 Source:CensusBureau
4 Source:TheConferenceBoard
5 Source:BureauofLaborStatisticsandBureauofEconomic Analysis
6 Source:BureauofLaborStatistics

The S&P 500 Index is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure the
performance of the broad domestic economy. Euro STOXX 50 Index is Europes leading Blue-chip
index for the Eurozone and covers 50 stocks from 12 Eurozone countries. FTSE 100 Index is a
capitalization-weighted index of the 100 most highly capitalized companies traded on the London
Stock Exchange. Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index (DAX Index) is a total return index of
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30 selected German blue chip stocks traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. FTSE MIB Index is
an index of the 40 most liquid and capitalized stocks listed on the Borsa Italiana. Nikkei 225 Index is
a price-weighted average of 225 top-rated Japanese companies listed in the First Section of the
Tokyo Stock Exchange. Hong Kong Hang Seng Index is a free-float capitalization-weighted index of
selection of companies from the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. Shanghai Stock Exchange
Composite is a capitalization-weighted index that tracks the daily price performance of all A-shares
and B-shares listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The MSCI World Index ex-U.S. is a free
float-adjusted market capitalization weighted index that is designed to measure the equity market
performance of developed markets minus the United States. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is
a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure equity market
performance of emerging markets.
RISKS AND OTHER IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS
The views and opinions expressed are for informational and educational purposes only as of the date
of writing and may change at any time based on market or other conditions and may not come to
pass. This material is not intended to be relied upon as investment advice or recommendations, does
not constitute a solicitation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered specific legal,
investment or tax advice. The information provided does not take into account the specific objectives,
financial situation, or particular needs of any specific person. All investments carry a certain degree
of risk and there is no assurance that an investment will provide positive performance over any
period of time. Equity investments are subject to market risk or the risk that stocks will decline in
response to such factors as adverse company news or industry developments or a general economic
decline. Debt or fixed income securities are subject to market risk, credit risk, interest rate risk, call
risk, tax risk, political and economic risk, and income risk. As interest rates rise, bond prices fall.
Non- investment-grade bonds involve heightened credit risk, liquidity risk, and potential for default.
Foreign investing involves additional risks, including currency fluctuation, political and economic
instability, lack of liquidity and differing legal and accounting standards. These risks are magnified in
emerging markets. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Nuveen Asset Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser and an affiliate of Nuveen
Investments, Inc.
2015 Nuveen Investments, Inc. All rights reserved.

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