“We think investors should focus on five broad themes; high-quality bonds, large-cap stocks, defensive sectors, developed markets, and high-quality dividend themes,” said Richard Bernstein, Merrill Lynch’s chief investment strategist, at the sixth annual Dow Jones Indexes/Stoxx, LTD. Global Economic Outlook event in late January. Bernstein believes the volatility that increasingly shook the world’s financial markets as 2007 progressed will be exacerbated during most of 2008 due to a global economic slowdown, the lingering effects of previous monetary policies, the global tightening of credit markets, and earnings disappointments in leadership sectors such as materials and energy.