## Global equities have lagged behind year-to-date
## Sell in May?
## Positioning shake-out at an advanced stage
Before jumping to conclusions, however, it might be wise to consider what has changed and what has actually not changed since the beginning of the year. To start with the former, it seems fair to say by now that the needed positioning shake-out has progressed a long way. Especially in the performance of equity markets this has been visible, as global equities have lagged other risky assets like real estate, credit and commodities year-to-date. Also within equity markets the performance of sectors and regions has seen a clear pattern of outperformance by the most unloved segments at the start of the year (like defensive sectors) and underperformance of the most popular ones (like Japan).
On top of this, it is clear that investor sentiment has normalized. At the start of the year it stood at a 3-year high and not too far off the record-highs of the late ‘1990s. Since then, investor confidence has fallen back substantially and now hovers somewhat below its long-term average.
## Fundamental picture is improving