The U.K. voted to leave the European Union after more than four decades in a stunning rejection of the continent’s postwar political and economic order, sending shock waves around global markets. David Cameron resigned as Prime Minister, the British pound plunged to the lowest since 1985, stocks tumbled around the globe, and U.S. Treasuries surged, sending the 10-year Treasury yield down to about 1.40% in early morning trading – just a shade above the all-time closing low of 1.38% struck in July of 2012.

The vote to exit sets the U.K. up for bitter divorce talks with the EU, which could potentially drag on for years, and tips the country a step closer to recession. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and HSBC Holdings Plc have said Brexit would lead them to move thousands of jobs out of London.

The results of the British vote may also empower populist parties in other EU nations to also pursue an exit vote. Above all, the outcome shows just how disillusioned Western voters have become with the political establishment for failing to deliver more inclusive economic growth in the era of globalization. The biggest fear among investors is the contagion that a British exit from the EU will have across Europe.

The U.S. market has been a relative safe haven leading up to the Brexit vote, with the S&P 500 trading less than 1% below its all-time high. U.S. markets were poised to breakout to new highs, participation was widening and the NYSE advance-decline line was at all-time new highs. In the short run, this positive momentum will likely be derailed, but we believe the secular bull market remains intact and that the temporary weakness created by the exit vote will present opportunities along with the obvious challenges.

Central banks will likely flood the markets with liquidity given the spike in volatility and a July Fed rate hike is now definitely off the table.

History reveals that geopolitical events typically don’t drive the long-term direction of the U.S. stock market. Nonetheless, they can have a short-term psychological impact on investor confidence. We remain keenly focused on the repercussions that the vote may cause and will position our strategies accordingly.

The opinions expressed are those of the Clark Capital Management Group Investment Team. The opinions referenced are as of the date of publication and are subject to change due to changes in the market or economic conditions and may not necessarily come to pass. There is no guarantee of the future performance of any Clark Capital investment portfolio. Material presented has been derived from sources considered to be reliable, but the accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. 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. For educational use only. This information is not intended to serve as investment advice. This material is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast or research. The investment or strategy discussed may not be suitable for all investors. Investors must make their own decisions based on their specific investment objectives and financial circumstances. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

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.

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The MSCI World Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure global developed market equity performance.

The MSCI World Index ex. U.S. is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure global developed market equity performance excluding the U.S.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure equity market performance in the global emerging markets.

The MSCI All Country Europe is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure the performance of European equity markets.

The Russell 2000® Index measures the performance of the 2,000 smallest companies in the Russell 3000 Index.

The Russell 3000® Index measures the performance of the 3,000 largest U.S. companies based on total market capitalization, which represents approximately 98% of the investable U.S. equity market.

The VIX Index is a forward looking index of market risk which shows expectation of volatility over the coming 30 days.

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