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Capital Markets Outlook  |  Q1 2018

Market milestones of 2017

Global allocation insights

In 2017, market volatility sank to lows last seen over 50 years ago

  • Annual realized market volatility of 6.74% — lowest since 1964 (5.25%)
  • Two-month realized volatility for September/October below 4% — first time since 1964
  • Tightest two-week trading range (as of August 1) of the past 50 years (0.32%)

The VIX (S&P volatility index) made history

  • The VIX saw its lowest close ever on November 3 (9.14)
  • More than 50 of the VIX's 60 sub-10 closes happened in one year
  • The intraday high was 17.3, the lowest since 1995 (17.0)

The S&P 500 had a year for the record books

  • 60 record-high closes
  • The index gained more than 1% and lost more than 1% on only four days each
  • The index outperformed the energy sector by 26 percentage points — the largest relative outperformanced since the S&P beat the technology sector during the dotcom collapse in 2000 (30 percentage points)
  • There have been 295 trading days since a peak-to-trough 3% decline (on the Friday before the 2016 U.S. election)
  • 383 days since a 5% correction (after the U.K.'s Brexit referendum)
  • 2,222 days since a 20% correction (at the end of the Great Recession)
  • Every month had a positive total return (first time ever, since tracking of daily data began in 1929)

Source: Data compiled by Putnam.

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Capital Markets Outlook represents the views of Putnam's senior investment leaders.

Robert Schoen
Chief Investment Officer, Global Asset Allocation

James Fetch
Co-Head of Global Asset Allocation

Jason Vaillancourt, CFA
Co-Head of Global Asset Allocation

Aaron M. Cooper, CFA
Chief Investment Officer, Equities

Simon Davis
Co-Head of Equities

Shep Perkins
Co-Head of Equities

D. William Kohli
Chief Investment Officer, Fixed Income

Michael V. Salm
Co-Head of Fixed Income

Paul D. Scanlon, CFA
Co-Head of Fixed Income