The Top 5 Most-Read Investing Stories Of 2023

In observation of the Christmas holiday, there will be no SWOT sections this week. Regular market insight and analysis by our portfolio management team will return next week. Please enjoy the special commentary by Frank Holmes, and we wish everyone a happy, healthy and relaxing weekend.

With only a week remaining to 2023, the stock market is poised to end the year up a respectable 25% or more. That’s despite a number of significant hurdles, from multiyear-high interest rates to ongoing fighting in Ukraine and the Middle East.

It’s important to point out that these returns are due mainly to the performance of a very small group of tech stocks that people are calling the Magnificent Seven. Composed of Apple, Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Meta Platforms (Facebook), Microsoft, Nvidia and Tesla, the group contributed roughly 60% to the S&P 500’s gains in 2023.

The Magnificent Seven resembles the FAANG stocks, which surged during the pandemic as housebound consumers spent their stimulus checks online. The investment case this time, though, is artificial intelligence, or AI. Nvidia, whose chips are used for AI work, is 2023’s best S&P 500 performer, up a jaw-dropping 235% year-to-date.

Shipping Stocks Surge On Suez Canal Hostility

Speaking of unrest in the Middle East, recent Houthi militant attacks on ships in the Red Sea have significantly impacted global shipping routes, notably through the Suez Canal. The situation is causing reroutes, spurring longer voyage distances and higher rates, which we believe could be a tailwind for container shipping companies. Earlier this week, the Solactive Global Shipping Index, which launched in December 2015, hit a new all-time high.