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P/E's Have Peaked - Now It's Up to Earnings

Stocks fell again last week (S&P 500 -0.3%) with big tech hit hardest. Inflation remains the primary concern despite a good CPI report on Wednesday – PPI report on Friday was less good. Best sectors were energy (+3.5%) and healthcare (+2.5%); worst sector was technology (-2.9%).   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 inve… View More

Second Quarter Earnings Season Better than Expected

2Q Earnings Season 84% Complete With the majority of earnings season complete, the overall picture is one of better-than-expected earnings and sales. Earnings growth for the quarter is expected to decline -4.2% which is a smaller decline than what was originally expected (-5.7%). Sales are now expected to eke out a small gain at 0.2% versus a decline of -0.6%. The energy sector is where the notable weakness is occurring but with oil prices on the rise again and expectations just about as bad … View More

Fed Raised Rates Again

Anyone hoping for excitement from today’s Fed statement was severely disappointed. As expected, the federal funds rate was lifted 25 basis points (bps) from a range of 5.25 to 5.50%. With the exception of the rate hike and slight wording changes – the “modest” pace of economic growth strengthened slightly to “moderate” – today’s statement was a virtual carbon copy of the mid-June release. It's worth noting that, while the Fed did not release new economic forecasts today, the eco… View More

Still Growing

No one should be popping champagne when they see Thursday’s GDP report. The good news is that it won’t be negative. The bad news is that even if it hits our estimate of 2.1% this is a far cry from the robust growth of the economic expansions in the 1980s and 1990s. The US is in desperate need of policies that raise the long-term growth of the US economy, policies that encourage more capital formation, better education, and making it easier to raise the next generation. In the meantime, we … View More

Better Inflation News, But...

U.S. equities were higher last week (S&P 500 +2.4%) more than erasing the prior week’s declines. The small-cap R2000 increased 3.6%. The main focus for the week was the June CPI report, which came in softer than consensus on both the headline and core readings. Best sectors were communication services (+3.4%) and consumer discretionary (+3.3%); worst sectors were energy (+0.6%) and consumer staples (+1.2%).   Source: Bob Doll, Crossmark Investments   Chart reflects price changes,… View More

Market Gains this Year Entirely Drive by Multiple Expansion

Expectations for 2024 S&P 500 operating earnings have fallen from $253 at the start of the year to $246 today. While this is only a modest decline, it means that the S&P 500’s entire +14.6% price gain year-to-date has been due to multiple expansion. This may have been easier to understand when 10-year Treasury yields plumbed their 2023 depths of roughly 3.3% in early April, but it is harder to justify now as the 10-year broke decidedly above 4% last week. A combination of slower expect… View More

The High Wire Act Continues

U.S. equities fell last week (S&P 500 -1.4%) as the S&P 500 broke a five-week streak and the NASDAQ an eight-week streak of gains. Higher-for-longer Fed policy remains a key piece of the bearish narrative. Best sectors were healthcare (+0.2%) and consumer discretionary (-0.0%); worst sectors were real estate (-4.0%) and energy (-3.5%).   Source: Bob Doll Crossmark Investments   Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it s… View More

Is the Recession Threat Dead?

Lately, it’s been easy to see the optimism. As of the Friday close, the S&P 500 is up 15% so far this year (not including dividends) and up 23% (again, without dividends) versus the lowest bear-market close back in October. Some investors attribute this to the Federal Reserve being very close to finished with the series of rate hikes that started back in March 2022. But that doesn’t really make sense. If investors thought the Fed were finished (or nearly finished) because it had tighten… View More

The Fed is All Mixed Up

If the Federal Reserve were paying close attention to the money supply, it would know that monetary policy is now tight. Through April, the narrow M1 measure of money has fallen for thirteen straight months. The broader M2 measure of money has dropped nine months in a row and is down 4.6% from a year ago. M3, a broader measure of money that includes large CDs, is down 4.1% from the peak last July. Meanwhile, bank credit at commercial banks as well as their commercial and industrial loans are bot… View More

Market Returns and Full Employment

Historically, the movement in stock prices has had a stronger relationship with inflation and long-term interest rates than it has with the unemployment rate. Still, we are left with a simple question – can a new and durable economic cycle and market cycle begin when the economy is already starting at full employment? As the table below indicates, forward stock returns are better coming off peak unemployment rates rather than troughs. Still, forward returns off trough unemployment can be dece… View More

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PRIVACY NOTICE REGARDING CLIENT PRIVACY

Fortem Financial Group, LLC, has adopted this policy with recognition that protecting the privacy and security of the non-public personal information we obtain about our customers is an important responsibility.

All financial companies choose how they share your non-public personal information. Federal law gives consumers the right to limit some but not all sharing. Federal law also requires us to tell you how we collect, share, and protect your non-public personal information. Even when you are no longer our customer, we will only share your non-public personal information as described in this notice. So, please read this notice carefully to understand what we do.

The types of non-public personal information we collect and share depend on the product or service you have with us. This information can include items such as your Social Security number and income, your account balances and transaction history, and your investment experience and account transactions.

We collect your non-public personal information in a variety of ways. For example, we obtain your non-public personal information when you open an account or give us your income information, tell us about your portfolio or deposit money, or enter into an investment advisory contract. We also collect your non-public personal information from other companies. For example, from the custodians who hold your account assets.

All financial companies need to share customer’s non-public personal information to run their everyday business. Below, we describe the reasons we can share your non-public personal information and whether you can limit this sharing.

We share your non-public personal information for our everyday business purposes such as to process your transactions, maintain your account(s), respond to court orders and legal investigations, report to credit bureaus, to protect the confidentiality or security of your records, or as permitted by law. We may also share your non-public personal information for our own firm’s marketing purposes; so that we can offer our products and services to you.

Federal law gives you the right to limit only sharing non-public personal information about your credit worthiness for our affiliates’ everyday business purposes; sharing non-public personal information about you with our affiliates to market to you; and sharing non-public personal information with non-affiliates to market to you.

We don’t share non-public personal information about your creditworthiness with our affiliates for their everyday business purposes. We don’t share your non-public personal information with our affiliates to market to you. We don’t share your non-public personal information with non-affiliates to market to you. We also don’t share your non-public personal information for joint marketing with other financial companies. State laws and individual companies may give you additional rights to limit sharing.

We share non-public personal information with our parent company affiliate, Focus Financial Partners, Inc, for its internal and external auditing purposes. We also share your non-public personal information with a non-affiliate for the purpose of aggregating it and providing summary information based on this data to our parent company, Focus Financial Partners, Inc.

To protect your non-public personal information from unauthorized access and use, we use security measures that comply with federal law. These measures include computer safeguards and secured files and buildings.

Our policy about obtaining and disclosing non-public personal information may change from time to time. We will provide you notice of any material change to this policy before we implement the change.

If you have questions please call us at 760-206-8500 or go to our website at www.fortemfin.com.

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Fortem Financial Group, LLC ("Fortem Financial" or the "Firm") is a federally registered investment adviser with offices in California and Arizona. Fortem Financial and its representatives are in compliance with the current registration and notice filing requirements imposed upon federally registered investment advisers by those states in which Fortem Financial maintains clients. Fortem Financial may only transact business in those states in which it is notice filed, or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from notice filing requirements.

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