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Across My Desk: Diversifying Your Portfolio

A diversified portfolio including both US and international companies is what the pros say is the way to go. Since we all know that our home market has been volatile lately, here's a look at the world's markets.

According to Standard & Poor's research:

"Developed world equity markets were up slightly in July, as the post May 5th downturn continues to produce volatility while shunning a recovery. According to Standard & Poor's global stock market review, The World By Numbers, developed world equity markets gained 0.32% in July, but remain down 3.39% for the latest 3-month period. Emerging markets, however, did recover in July, moving up 1.73% for the month after falling 0.57% in June. For the 3-month period ending July, emerging markets remain in the red with a 9.25% return.

"Middle East events, with their implications on oil supply, caused turmoil in the international markets during July," says Howard Silverblatt, Senior Index Analyst at Standard & Poor's Index Services. "The month ended with oil retreating from its highs, and the markets only slightly changed. However, the higher oil prices did have a positive impact on the Energy sector in July, which continues to outperform the overall market."

Country volatility remained high in July with large pullbacks for the month posted by Luxembourg (-14.46%) and Jordan (-6.09%). Rebounding during the month was the Colombia equity market, which gained 19.88%, but is still off 21.90% for the latest 3-month period, and Egypt, which gained 17.91% last month, but remains off 12.40% over the past 3-months. Despite the current turmoil in the Middle East, Israel managed to gain 1.74% in July, but is still down 13.07% for the 3-month period.

Sector volatility remains high with energy continuing to prosper from unstable oil prices, and Information Technology suffering from poor earnings. Utilities, Energy and Health Care were the best performing sectors in July gaining 3.93%, 3.32% and 3.27% respectively. Information Technology was the worst performing sector, losing 3.66% for the month."

For more information check out: www.standardandpoors.com.

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