Investments

INVESTMENTS: Markets holding up well, expected to grow

Times Board of Economists - Report from Mark Ennes, a wealth management adviser at Merrill Lynch
2014-05-04T00:00:00Z 2014-05-04T07:52:06Z INVESTMENTS: Markets holding up well, expected to growJoseph S. Pete joseph.pete@nwi.com, (219) 933-3316 nwitimes.com

The stock market had an incredible year last year and started 2014 with a bang, said Mark Ennes, a wealth management adviser for the Merrill Lynch's Merrillville office.

Despite some disappointing economic figures and international tensions, most major markets held up well during the first quarter, he said. Utilities were the best-performing sector with 10.1 percent growth.

Municipal bonds also performed well, posting a 3.8 percent gain during the quarter.

Ennes cautioned that interest rates are likely to increase as the year goes on and unemployment is higher than ideal. Corporate cash is at an all-time high, with more than $1.7 trillion in reserve at the end of last year. Companies are likely to use that money for stock buybacks, capital expenditures and mergers. 

Market volatility is expected, but 10 percent growth is expected by year's end.

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