Investors have had a lot to contend with thus far in 2023. Moderating economic growth, persistent inflation, volatile interest rates, falling profits, stress in the banking sector, war in Ukraine, and the debt ceiling debate all combined to weigh on sentiment.
A closely watched point on the Treasury yield curve has fallen negative for the first time in this economic cycle.
We expect stocks to move higher over the second half of the year. Stocks already have had quite a run in 2019, buoyed by a return to fundamentals, with the S&P 500 Index up 17.4% year to date through June 28 for an 18.5% total return.
In today’s Weekly Market Commentary, we share our “Final Four Factors” for the stock market in 2019: policy, the economy, rates, and profits. While we expect a hard-fought battle between these factors and, with it, some market volatility, we still see the potential for further gains for stocks this year.
Investors’ first look at third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) will be released on Friday, October 26. Based on the economic data and projections we’ve seen, the economy grew at a moderate to strong pace in the third quarter, with the Bloomberg-surveyed economists’ consensus at 3.4%.
The S&P 500 nine-quarter win streak has ended, with stocks down in a volatile first quarter. Bright spots in the quarter’s market performance included: growth, small caps, technology, consumer discretionary, and emerging markets. While risks remain, market fundamentals have not deteriorated and economic growth remains on pace.
Back to business: fundamentals to drive stock market gains in 2018. With a focus on business fundamentals and the impact of fiscal policy, the return of the business cycle means that earnings growth may have to shoulder most, if not all, of the load if stocks are going to produce attractive returns in 2018.