Uncertainty Tackles Markets as Fundamentals Take a Time Out

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Global markets plummeted in January, kicked off by a historically bad year-opening week of U.S. stocks. The downdraft was prompted by continued uncertainty around the seemingly bottomless oil markets. China’s unusual policy actions added to the tumult, while the potential for central bank intervention continued to lurk in the background as a potential wild card to either the upside or downside.

  • Seemingly bottomless oil prices conspired with a skittish China and central bank uncertainty to drive markets sharply lower in January.
  • China’s unusual policy approach is raising concerns that the country is in bigger trouble than official economic data suggest.
  • Central banks still have extraordinary power to support economies and markets.
  • Fundamentals light the way in an uncertain world; while 2015 earnings look negative, the outlook for 2016 is positive.
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