The summer months concluded with a weak August for equities while bonds and alternatives were generally positive. Both U.S. and international stocks gave back some of the gains made earlier in the year. Bonds were up across the board in August with international bonds the strongest performers. Alternative assets produced mixed returns as managed futures, REITs, and reinsurance were all up for the month while commodities were the lone negative. 


  • Inflation (Consumer Price Index) moved slightly higher to +1.8% year‐over‐year.
  • The latest estimate of second quarter Real GDP Growth came in at an annualized +2.0%, down from the previous estimate of +2.1%.
  • Unemployment has continued to hold steady at 3.7%. 


  • U.S. stocks were negative across the board with small value stocks (‐5.3%) struggling the most. 
  • International stocks also saw losses in August with emerging markets (‐4.9%) the biggest detractor.
  • Globally, the UK (‐4.7%), South Africa (‐8.9%), and Brazil (‐9.2%) were among the worst performing markets.


  • As volatility continued in equity markets, both U.S. short‐term (+0.4%) and U.S. intermediate‐term (+1.8%) bonds made gains.
  • International bonds posted another strong month (+2.6%), continuing its robust year‐to‐date (+10.5%) performance.


  • Managed futures (+3.7%), reinsurance (+0.2%), and global REITs (+2.5%) were all positive while commodities (‐2.3%) trended lower.

Economic and Market Commentary

Read our latest Economic and Market Commentary for Market Returns Year-To-Date, Market Returns Longer Term Annualized, Economic Indicators, and an Appendix.

Sources: St. Louis Federal Reserve and Morningstar. This is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, investment or financial advice. Please consult your legal, investment and financial professionals regarding your specific circumstances.