Second Quarter Directions, from Bob Doll, vice chairman, chief equity strategist for fundamental equities, and Curtis Arledge, managing director; CIO of fixed income, fundamental portfolios, BlackRock

While we believe the economic recovery has gained ground, structural headwinds warrant maintaining a center of gravity around high-quality equities. At the same time, investors should look to opportunistically add lower quality assets as buying opportunities emerge. Investment Themes • Focus on higher-quality equities: As the economy continues to recover slowly,equity markets should continue to grind higher, albeit with some volatility along the way. In this environment, higher-quality equities should continue to outperform. • Prefer US & Emerging Markets: The economic recovery has been strongest in emerging markets and the United States, and we continue to favor those regions. • Spread Assets Look Attractive: Attractive opportunities can be found in fixed income spread sectors against the backdrop of an ongoing economic recovery, strong demand for higher-yielding assets and subdued levels of credit creation. Equities Strength of Preference

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