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Financial Times

Almost all US equity funds lag behind benchmark: Nine out of ten US equity funds failed to beat the market over the past year, according to a new study that undermines active managers’ claims that they can outperform in more volatile markets. The semi-annual report on fund manager returns, produced by S&P Global, has long been depressing reading for professional stockpickers, but the scale of the disappointment in the latest figures is likely to fuel further outflows from an industry that is already under pressure. Money has been draining out of actively managed funds and moving into index-tracker funds at an accelerating pace this year. The S&P Indices Versus Active (Spiva) scorecardshows that 90.2 per cent of the actively managed US mutual funds that invest in domestic equities were beaten by their benchmarks, when their returns are calculated net of fees.

The Guardian

Clinton back on the campaign trail after illness: Hillary Clinton returned to the presidential campaign trail on Thursday, making a confident first public appearance sincepneumonia forced her to take a four-day rest. Taking to the stage to the sound of I Feel Good by James Brown, the Democratic nominee insisted she was fully recovered and filled with a new sense of urgency at a critical juncture in American politics. “Being on the trail does not encourage reflection,” she told a young crowd at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. “It’s important to sit with your thoughts every now and again and this helped me to reflect on what this campaign is all about.” Speaking calmly, without the cough that has interrupted recent appearances, the former secretary of state appeared rested. As she climbed the steps to the podium, she gripped a guard rail carefully. “For millions of moms and dads, if they get sick there is no backup, they are on their own,” she said, turning her experience into a renewed call for better provision of healthcare and family leave. “That’s the story for too many people in America.”

New York Times

Voters Look at Trump as Both Risky and Bold, Poll Finds: Most voters consider Donald J. Trump a risky choice for president, saying he lacks the right temperament and values, but he is seen as more transformative and better at handling the economy than Hillary Clinton, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. Mrs. Clinton, despite being as disliked as Mr. Trump, is seen as a safer option. Majorities of voters say she has the temperament for the job and would better handle foreign policy. Only 36 percent of them, however, view her as an agent of change. That perception deeply worries some Clinton campaign advisers, who want the race to hinge on Mr. Trump’s character rather than voters’ desire to upend the status quo. With less than eight weeks until Election Day, the two candidates are locked in a close contest in which the challenge from third-party candidates may make a difference. Mrs. Clinton, the Democratic nominee, has the support of 46 percent of likely voters nationwide, compared with 44 percent for Mr. Trump, the Republican; that result includes voters who said they were leaning toward a candidate.

The Economist

America promises to lift sanctions on Myanmar: When John Kerry, America’s secretary of state, visited Myanmar in May, many hoped he would announce the lifting of sanctions. America had imposed them in 1997, after the army made clear that it would not relinquish power any time soon. Mr Kerry declared that without changes to the constitution, it would be “impossible” to abolish all sanctions. This week Mr Kerry’s boss, Barack Obama, overruled him, as Miss Suu Kyi visited Washington. America would lift the last of the economic sanctions “soon”, Mr Obama said, so that “the people of Burma see rewards from a new way of doing business and a new government”. High-ranking army officers and their families will remain barred from visiting America, and assistance to Myanmar’s army will be limited to English-language lessons, training in human rights and the like (no weapons sales or military coaching). But the sanctions list will be scrapped, and America will allow imports of jade and ruby from Myanmar.



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