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Market Environment
The market continued its positive momentum in the second quarter of 2017 as strong first quarter company earnings combined with the beginning of reduced business regulations to overcome waning hopes of tax reform in 2017. According to Factset, year-over-year earnings growth for the S&P 500 was 13.9%, which represented the fastest growth since the third quarter of 2011. Additionally, 75% of S&P 500 companies exceeded their earnings estimates – well above the five year average of 68%. We look for continued earnings growth in the coming quarters and, unfortunately, continued political malaise. (more).

Market Oriented Core Strategy & Outlook
The Market Oriented Core strategy had strong returns for the first six months of 2017, outpacing its S&P 500 benchmark. It was an excellent recovery from the underperformance in the second half of 2016. The Market Oriented Core strategy was up 5.0% in the 2nd quarter, outperforming the S&P 500 return of 3.1%. For the first six months of 2017, the strategy was up 12.9% outperforming the S&P 500 return of 9.3%. A good start for 2017! (more).

Worldwide Equity Strategy & Outlook
The Worldwide Equity strategy was up 3.0% in the 2nd quarter lagging the Global Equity Benchmark of 3.7%, but almost matching the S&P 500 return of 3.1%. Finally, we are starting to see some movement toward value-based strategies as value lagged growth by less in the second quarter. However, for the six months, S&P Growth is up 13.3% versus 4.9% for Value. (more).

Worldwide Equity Dividend Plus Strategy & Outlook
After an outstanding 2016, when the Worldwide Dividend Plus strategy’s was up 15.4% in comparison with the Global Equity benchmark return of 9.9% (outperforming by almost 6%), the strategy is taking a “breather” so far this year. The strategy’s return was up 1.8% in the quarter and 6.9% for the first six months in comparison with the Global Benchmark returns of 3.7% and 10.3% for the same periods. Healthcare, Financials and Utilities were the top performing sectors with Energy and Telecom services bringing up the rear. Further inhibiting performance in the quarter and for the six months was the continued dominance of Growth stocks outperforming Value (4.4% vs. 1.5% in the quarter). (more).