In our 2022 year-end commentary we noted the remarkably consistent track record of stock market gains in every year that followed a midterm election dating back to World War II. We also noted the rare instances of the US stock market declining over two consecutive years.Continue reading . . .
The New Year kicked off with an ebullient rush back into assets as equities, corporate debt, and Treasurys all caught a bid. In many ways, it looked like the S&P 500 rally that began in mid-October was set to continue after a brief pause for tax-loss selling in December. Buoying the narrative were a series of positive data points that suggested that the Federal Reserve was winning its war on inflation.Continue reading . . .
In 2022, three consecutive years of highly remunerative stock market returns collided with persistent inflation, the Federal Reserve pushing rates sharply higher, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine causing food and energy prices to soar. These combined forces, abetted by high valuations, drove equities to their worst annual performance since 2008 and the Global Financial Crisis.Continue reading . . .
Times of tumult, such as we’ve seen this year, warrant reflection. The pandemic and the government’s shifting focus to issues at home overshadowed the saber-rattling seen in 2019. Part of this shift included a flood of fiscal and monetary stimulus, which provided support to keep economies from succumbing to a microscopic agent, but eventually led asset prices to balloon and the economy to overheat.Continue reading . . .
During the second quarter of 2022, the Federal Reserve officially removed “transitory” from its dictionary, acknowledging that inflation remained higher and more persistent than expected. Fears of further acceleration pushed the Fed governors to break out their bazookas, hiking the fed funds rate to 1.58% compared to less than a tenth of a percent at the start of the year.Continue reading . . .
It’s spring 2022, after two years and 500 million COVID-19 cases, a vaccine miracle permitted most countries to break free of massive pestilence not seen since 1919. The war in Ukraine highlights unpreparedness, and Europe’s systems of finance, energy, and food totter. Fewer than half the world’s population was alive in 1981, when inflation was last at today’s increasing levels.Continue reading . . .
Whether it was inflation, supply chain disruptions, the removal of government stimulus, the prospect of central bank monetary policies — whatever spooked investors leading to the September sell-off evaporated at the start of October, and once again, markets rose. Investors shrugged off doubt and pushed the S&P 500 to new highs in the final week of the year.Continue reading . . .
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Performance data quoted represents past performance which is no guarantee of future results. Investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor's shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Standardized returns current to the most recent month-end can be obtained by visiting Month-end Performance.