U.S. investors who enjoyed strong fourth quarter equity returns were dealt a change in market landscape this week. While history has demonstrated a low correlation between equities and U.S. government bonds – exactly the reason why Treasuries are such an important diversifier of equity risk -- this week proved to be an exception. Stock and bond prices both fell following news that the U.S. and Canada had reached agreement about modifying trade terms in North America.
Stocks climbed in the U.S., Asia and Europe as the U.S. government averted a shut down and the jobs report reinforced optimism. The U.S. added 228,000 jobs in the month of November, higher than the expected addition of 195,000 jobs, due to an accelerating hiring trend which economists expect to continue into the next year. The S&P 500 hit new highs today, trading above 2,650.