While U.S. indexes duly waver within a relatively narrow range, overseas markets are on fire. Japan's Nikkei average and Britain's FTSE...

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NEW YORK — While U.S. indexes duly waver within a relatively narrow range, overseas markets are on fire.

Japan’s Nikkei average and Britain’s FTSE 100 Index are at their highest levels since 2001 and Germany’s DAX is at its highest levels since 2002.

“People need to appreciate that global markets now are in better shape than they’ve ever been,” said Linda Duessel, equity-market strategist for Federated Investors.

No one is saying you should bet the house on overseas markets, especially given that prices are at such historic highs and returns for U.S. investors have been boosted by the weak dollar, which makes a stock’s increase in British pounds, Japanese yen or euros look even tastier once exchanged for dollars.

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Buying for the short term is a bet that the markets will keep escalating and the dollar will stay weak.

But for the long term, putting a piece of your portfolio in global stocks makes sense.

Foreign markets account for two-thirds of the world’s total gross domestic product, said Michael Mullane, international client portfolio manager at NWQ Investment Management.