The first quarter turned out to be more of the same for markets, with stocks (S&P 500) up 10%, continuing the strong momentum of 2023. Any weakness only lasted a couple of days and investors bought the dip resulting in 22 all-time closing highs. Market leadership has shifted from just a few names to being broader based as 10 of the 11 sectors rallied. Click HERE to continue reading our market update.

When you least expect it…

Almost no one thought 2023 was going to be a phenomenal year for stocks, but nearly all markets rebounded with many up over 20% on the year. Just like the consensus opinion of the “experts” missed the dramatic declines of 2022, most were overly negative for 2023 and many were convinced of a recession that has yet to happen. Despite the fastest interest rate increase in three decades, a near banking collapse in March, and a new war in the Middle East, stocks are back to all-time highs. Click HERE to continue reading our market update.

It Continues to Start and End with ‘The FED’

Blue skies turned somewhat turbulent in the third quarter as markets (S&P 500) gave back some of their first half gains (nearly 20%) and are now up 12% as the quarter ended. Most of the volatility was once again the result of the Fed’s future direction of interest rates, which now points to higher rates through the end of 2024. As a result, the 10-year Treasury Bond has increased from 3.25% in March to nearly 4.9% as of 10/6/2023. The 10-year helps determine mortgage rates, bond performance and ultimately stock performance, so this advance is not good for any type of risk asset.  

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What Has Changed?

Markets continued their positive performance in the second quarter and the S&P 500 is now up 17% through the first half of the year. Many investors have been caught off guard as the outlook at the beginning of the year was doom and gloom. Cooling inflation, better than expected corporate earnings, and the new AI (Artificial Intelligence) craze have been the obvious drivers of the great start to the year, but as we get longer into this market run up, the question becomes “Is this sustainable”? In order for the answer to be yes, inflation must continue on its downward descent, the Fed has to start talking rate cuts and corporate earnings expectations need to continue to surprise to the upside. In our view, at present, there’s a low probability of all three happening in unison.

Please click here to continue reading our market update.

TD and Schwab Conversion

On November 25, 2019, Charles Schwab announced that it would be acquiring TD Ameritrade and the deal officially closed on October 6, 2020. After nearly 3 years of combining operations and best practices, we are excited to announce that your accounts will be moving to the Schwab platform over Labor Day weekend. Click HERE to learn more about what to expect over the next several weeks.