After all the volatility in 2015, the S&P 500 ended up +1.38% — the lowest annual return since 2008. Market leadership in the U.S. markets was very narrow (NASDAQ 100 +9.75%, Russell 1000 +0.92%) with technology leading the way. Growth outperformed value by +9.49% (Russell 1000 Growth +5.67% vs. Russell 1000 Value -3.83%).

For the third straight year, international equity diversification did not pay off. The MSCI EAFE finished 2015 down -0.81% and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index got hammered down -16.96%.

After waiting all year, the Fed finally raised rates in December and fixed income markets reacted predictably. The Barclays Aggregate was down -0.32% in December and ended the year up +0.55%.

Please join us this Thursday, January 7th at 4 pm EST for CIO Sean Clark’s annual Market Outlook. Sean will provide his expectations for the economy and the markets in 2016 and will provide talking points for your client meetings. Register Here.

The opinions expressed are those of Clark Capital Management Group Investment Team. The opinions referenced are as of the date and publication and are subject to change due to changes in the market or economic conditions and may not necessarily come to pass. Nothing herein should be construed as a solicitation, recommendation or an offer to buy, sell or hold any securities, other investments or to adopt any investment strategy or strategies.

Past performance is not indicative of future results. This is not financial advice or an offer to sell any product. Clark Capital Management Group, Inc. reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies and techniques based on changing market dynamics or client needs. It should not be assumed that any of the investment recommendations or decisions we make in the future will be profitable or will equal the investment performance of the securities discussed herein. Clark Capital Management Group, Inc. is an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about Clark Capital’s advisory services can be found in its Form ADV which is available upon request.