The S&P 500 Total Return Index gained 0.6% for the quarter and is up 15.9% for the year. The Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index was basically unchanged during this period and remains down 0.8% for the year.
The virus remains in focus and the success of our country in addressing this issue will largely determine the near-term direction of the markets. During the quarter, investors focused on rising inflation expectations, labor shortages and the impact of supply chain bottlenecks on corporate earnings. As for the bond market, investors will continue to monitor the Federal Reserve as it determines if it is ready to begin reversing its pandemic stimulus programs and will start raising interest rates.
Previous periods of market volatility have demonstrated that trying to time the market is a difficult and typically underperforming pursuit. For long term investors, simply remaining invested is the most prudent investment strategy. In addition, we encourage investors to manage risk by staying in their asset allocation range and maintaining a diversified portfolio.