Observations

Observations is a monthly advisor-centric column that touches on a variety of current issues.

February 2024

A page flipping on the calendar was not going to put a halt to the strength we saw in equities last year. Fresh off an impressive rally to close out the last two months of 2023, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq continued their winning ways.

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January 2024

After an agonizing three-month stretch, from August to October, where U.S. equity markets corrected over 10% and bond yields surged, everything was made right again over the final two months of the year.  All major U.S. indices closed higher in December with small cap stocks stealing the show, as the Russell 2000 soared 12%.

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December 2023

November was the month of the reversal in just about all things related to financial markets.  Everything from financial asset performance to investor sentiment to economic indicators to Fed policy expectations ended up doing a complete 180 given their course over the past few months.  And in a very much welcomed turn of events, it wasn’t just Technology stocks that participated in the rally, although the Information Technology sector still led all sectors higher, as the tech-laden Nasdaq climbed 10.70%.  The S&P 500 and S&P 500 Equal-Weight Index rose 8.92% and 9.18%, respectively. 

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November 2023

October was just a continuation of a trend that began to really take hold at the end of July. Up until the time of this writing, the unabated move higher in long-term Treasury yields has rattled equity markets.

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October 2023

Last month, we briefly discussed seasonality as it relates to stock market performance during the months of August and September. Over the past 50 years, August and September have been the two worst months for both the S&P 500 & Nasdaq, and going back to 1928, September has been the weakest month of the year.

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July 2023

After months of extremely narrow market leadership, strength in equities finally began to broaden out in June. It has been well publicized that much of the market’s advance this year has been driven by a handful of the largest technology focused companies, while all other companies have muddled along.

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April 2023

After years of zero interest rate policy (ZIRP), cracks in the financial system began to emerge in early March. You would never know it by the positive performance seen in the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, as the large-cap indices climbed 3.51% and 6.69%, respectively.

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