Equity markets climbed higher in the fourth quarter to finish off a strong year. The US equity market led other global markets with a very strong return in 2019. Global economic data is showing signs of stabilization and improvement. Major headline stories (Brexit, US President Impeachment, US-China trade war) have faded from the focus of investors worries.
Bonds were the only major asset class with a negative return in the fourth quarter of 2019. Improved economic data caused interest rates to increase (bond prices fell). Over the entire year, bonds did very well given the low interest rate environment.