A good first half for equities

While equity markets worldwide continued to drift higher halfway through 2014, interest rates fell, surprising many.
REITs rebound:  REITS staged a massive comeback in the first half after trailing developed-market equities in 2013.
Bonds rally:  Sovereign debt in Europe's 'PIIGS' rallied in the first half amid the backdrop of European monetary easing.
Fixed income surprises:  A rising-rate scenario – which many predicted for 2014 – has so far not occurred.
Commodities jump:  Livestock and soft commodities soared in the first half, but the gain in the overall Bloomberg Commodity index was driven by increases in heavier-weighted commodities like oil and gold.
Source: Bloomberg LP
Compiled and designed by Timothy Pollard and Gregg A. Runburg