The U.S. economy continues to exude resilience as we make our way through the early months of the New Year. And capital markets are increasingly reflecting this strength including the headline benchmark S&P 500 Index, which has cleared the 5000 level and is already surging toward 5100. Amid this atmosphere where everything is seemingly awesome, it is worthwhile to skim …
The latest jobs report for the month of January came in “hot”. The latest reading on CPI inflation to start the New Year was “hot”. While most of us are all for some unexpected heat during the frigid winter months, these hot readings on the U.S. economy have upset the thesis for many investors banking their portfolio strategies on a steady wave of interest rate cuts from the U.S. Federal Reserve in 2024. But maybe these recently hot economic readings are signaling an outcome even better for investors in the year ahead.
It was nearly a year ago when global capital markets came under sudden and intense pressure. Over the course of hours in March 2023, Silicon Valley Bank evaporated into insolvency. In the subsequent days, New York based Signature Bank and Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse followed into the abyss, and global investors found themselves having Great Financial Crisis flashbacks as they spent two consecutive weekends waiting with bated breath for a government resolution to prevent another major banking contagion. So as financial headlines start to gather around New York Community Bank (NYCB), it is reasonable to wonder whether we are going to see déjà vu all over again in early 2024.
The New Year is off to a rousing start for the U.S. stock market. With the recent stock bear market now definitively behind us and a new all-time high on the S&P 500 now in the books, it is reasonable to consider what are the most likely pain points that could dash the optimism for the U.S. stock market as we continue our way through 2024.
Investors are all a flutter over the idea that the U.S. Federal Reserve is set to aggressively cut interest rates in 2024. It was a primary narrative behind why both the stock and bond market rallied so strongly in November and December of last year. And the debate about how many rate cuts and when ranks at the top of the list of discussion topics in the financial news media today.
It has been a sputtering start for capital markets thus far in 2024. The performance of the headline benchmark S&P 500 has been bumpy at best in moving between marginal gains and losses so far in January.
A fresh new calendar year is underway for capital markets, so much focus is on what we can reasonably expect in the year ahead. But given that capital market movements flow across the beginnings and ends of our calendar pages, it is worthwhile to consider as investors get back up to speed from the holiday season what segments of the markets have been winning thus far, and what areas of the market may have been left behind and offering potential opportunity depending on how events unfold in the weeks ahead.
A New Year is underway for capital markets, and the consensus prognostications are tilted toward a favorable year for both stocks and bonds.
As the year draws to a close and we prepare for our 2024 Economic & Market Outlook in the week ahead (on January 2), we take a break from our regular investment coverage (the Santa Claus Rally is still rocking with the S&P 500 within 38 points of a new all-time high and the 10-Year U.S. Treasury yield dipping below 3.8%) to wish everyone a Happy New Year and to express our sincere thanks for a great 2023.
Christmas came early to capital markets on Wednesday. The U.S. Federal Reserve emerged from its latest Open Market Committee meeting on Wednesday with good tidings for investors, sharing tales that inflation continues to come down and labor markets coming into balance.