While the January rally in U.S. stocks may have looked good, investors would have found even more to like in foreign markets.
Despite all of the geopolitical storm clouds circling, indexes in Argentina, Hungary and throughout the so-called BRIC nations — Brazil, Russia, India and China — outperformed their American counterparts, in many cases by large margins.
The big January surges came after many emerging economies suffered through bear markets in 2011.
But that's been the case pretty much across the board in the early stages of 2012 — everything that didn't work last year has worked this year and vice versa.
"Whatever goes down the most the year before usually comes up the most," says Nadav Baum, executive vice president at BPU Investment Management in Pittsburgh, Pa. "Those markets were losing 20, 25 percent last year. There are some interesting places to be in the international world."
Argentina has posted the biggest stock market gains of the year, rising 15 percent, while stocks in Hungary are up 13.6 percent, according to data compiled by Bespoke Investment Group. Bangladesh, which is off nearly 17 percent, and Sri Lanka, down 5.75 percent, are the worst global performers.
Russia leads the BRICs with a 13.4 percent, while even stocks in debt-ravaged Greece have risen 9.6 percent.Page 1 of 4 | Next Page