Year-to-date, the S&P 500 Index rose a healthy 16.89%, while the more Tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite Index soared 32.32%. Such figures, however, belie a darker picture just below the surface, as index performance was driven by a handful of mostly mega-cap stocks: Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta (Facebook), Microsoft, Netflix, Tesla, and Nvidia.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 . . .
Anticipation of the rate spike helped push the stock market into bear market territory in June. Despite a few upticks, the market as of late has consistently trended down. We cannot say with certainty that the Fed’s actions inevitably imply recession, but history points to chances being more likely than not, while recessions inevitably lead to earnings reductions.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 . . .