Quarterly Commentary

  • Q1 2024

    Despite the delayed rate cuts, the good news is that performance broadened as economic resilience boosted sentiment across a variety of sectors. Of course, over the long run, interest rate stability engendered by a steadily growing economy beats rate cut catnip.

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  • Q4 2023

    Following a summer lull, the market received a booster shot from rapidly falling inflation despite the economy and employment remaining strong. Futures markets started anticipating 2024 rate cuts, and the heretofore mythical “soft landing” became conventional wisdom.

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  • Q3 2023

    In the third quarter of 2023, investor attention was primarily focused on the interest rate environment (ignoring political issues, such as Congressional battling over budgets, funding, and the Speaker of the House). While Federal Reserve rate increases moderated, the target rate was raised 25 basis points (bps) at the July meeting, and the current outlook envisages one additional hike.

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  • Q2 2023

    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.

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  • Q1 2023

    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.

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  • Q4 2022

    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.

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  • Q3 2022

    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.

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  • Q2 2022

    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.

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These reports should not be considered as providing investment advice or services, or any service offered by Saturna. Saturna may not have taken any steps to ensure that the securities referred to in these reports are suitable for any particular investor. Saturna will not treat recipients as its customers by virtue of their reading or receiving the reports.

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.