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Stocks Turn Sloppy and Are Likely to Continue to Consolidate/Correct

Stocks were on a roller coaster most of the week (S&P 500 -3.1%, Dow Jones +0% and NASDAQ -5.5%). Dominating the discussion were the geopolitical volatility in the Middle East and hawkish Fed rate conversation. The best performers were utilities (+1.9%) and consumer staples (+1.4%); the worst performers were technology (-7.3%) and consumer discretionary (-4.5%).   1. Fed Chair Powell sounded more hawkish, stating that it is likely to take longer than previously thought to achieve confiden… View More

Leadership Key for Market Call

The breakout in rates, combined with the bid to USD, strength from Oil, and the persistence from Gold, all conspired as motivation to tactically raise our guard over recent weeks. But one of the more difficult pursuits in this business is differentiating between a modest corrective phase vs. the start of something more sinister. Our base case is that this near-term weakness should be viewed as the former, but we’re incrementalists and always on guard for challenges to that thinking. About 45%… View More

Is the Fed Tight, Or Not?

In the waning seconds of one of the most watched women’s college basketball games ever, a foul was called. The University of Connecticut was playing the University of Iowa in the semi-finals of the women’s NCAA championship tournament. Officials called a UConn player for an “illegal screen” on an Iowa defender, which helped Iowa win the game. This happened Friday night, and on X (formerly Twitter) the debate about this call still rages. Despite the debate, that game is over. On Sunday, … View More

No Recession So Far

Why has recession not happened? After all, the Fed raised rates the most and fastest in modern history, the yield curve inverted, and money growth turned negative. That severely curtailed bank lending, as it normally does. So where did the money come from to sustain economic growth? Source: Bob Doll Crossmark Investments   Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific inves… View More

Double-Digit Earnings Growth and Multiple Fed Rate Cuts Seem Incompatible

​​​​​​Equities posted their best weekly performance this year (S&P 500 +2.31%). The rally was sparked by dovish takeaways from last week’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting. Best sectors were communication services (+4.78%) and technology (+2.94%); worst sectors were real estate (-0.38%) and healthcare (+0.40%).     We expect sticky consumer inflation and resilient economic growth to eventually force the Fed to pivot to a less dovish stance. Given recent data, it is … View More

Becoming More Concerned

Stocks fell last week (S&P 500 -0.1%) and bonds fell (the 10-year yield was up more than 20 bp) due primarily to a higher-than-expected CPI. Best sectors were energy (+3.8%) and materials (+1.6%); worst sectors were real estate (-2.8%) and consumer discretionary (-1.2%). Last week's inflation reports evidence that the glide path for a return to 2% inflation is not unfolding the ways the bulls and the Fed have been anticipating. Rather, in the case of the U.S., underlying inflation has level… View More

No Rate Cuts for You!!!

Why is the economy so strong? This seems to defy the normal and needed market cycles. The market came into 2023 expecting a recession, but one was nowhere to be found. The market went into 2024 expecting six Fed rate cuts. That assumption would defy normal market cycles and conditions because you should never ease conditions into an economy that is not underwater or slowing dramatically. So, how did the market get it so wrong? The answer is surprisingly easy to reach. Too much government interv… View More

Will 2024 Be Like 1995, Or 1967?

We’ve had 3 soft landings -- 1967, 1985, & 1995 -- and many investors believe 2024 will be added to that list. In today’s Narrative, we compare this cycle to 1995 and 1967, drawing some cautionary conclusions. To have a soft landing in 2024, additional fiscal stimulus would be needed (such stimulus definitely kept the economy stronger, longer in 2023). And Congress definitely has new stimulus teed up. If they enact that fiscal support, will the eco backdrop resemble 1995 or 1967?   Ca… View More

Hard Landing → Soft Landing → No Landing → Taking Off?

Stocks advanced again last week (S&P 500+1.4%) as the S&P 500 closed above 5,000 for the first time and small stocks beat big ones for the fifth time in the past seven weeks. Earnings exceeded expectations and treasury yields increased. Best sectors were technology (+3.3%) and consumer discretionary (+1.5%) worst sectors were utilities (-1.9%) and consumer staples (-1.3%).   9. International stocks continue to lag the U.S., with the U.S. averages up 3-5% already this year. 10. Chin… View More

Latest Comments from the Federal Reserve Chairman

Most all his comments are speculative (Like Transitory Inflation was at the time), except the one on our national debt.   Is anyone in DC listening? Coming off a sizzling jobs report, which showed non-farm payrolls accelerating by 353,000 in January, investors tuned into the latest commentary from Jay Powell, who appeared on a 60 Minutes episode aired on Sunday. The Fed Chair was quick to highlight the robust U.S. economy and path towards a soft landing, as well as inflation that has come do… View More

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