Insights + Resources

Market Update – The Mid Point

Jul 7, 2023

As we finalize the log on the first six months of 2023, we believe there’s value in reflecting on recent months gone by. Doing so can help crystallize key learnings and help chart a course through the rest of the year. Looking back on the first half of 2023, it’s probably fair to say the outcome has been a bit better-than-expected for the stock and bond markets, especially compared to 2022’s tumult.

So, what major points have we learned through the first half of the year?

  1. Inflation’s path is not endlessly higher. The return to some post-COVID-19 supply/demand normalcy and an ease in input costs have helped push the inflation rate down—which has helped both stock and bond markets bounce back.
  2. Still-strong consumer spending and a stubbornly tight jobs market have helped the U.S. avert a recession…so far. The Federal Reserve continued to raise interest rates, but we believe they may begin reducing rates as early as Q4 2023 or Q1 2024.
  3. Bonds look like bonds again. After enduring a generational period of weakness in 2022, bonds are back and should be considered important ballasts in a multi-asset portfolio.

Given what we have noted so far, we can now focus on the second half of the year. We’ve seen improvement in the bond market and positive returns, and believe there are still plenty of opportunities for both capital appreciation and attractive income generation—assuming both inflation and interest rates continue to glide lower, as we believe they will. For income-oriented investors, the bond market could offer an opportunity that has not existed in over 15 years.

Turning to stocks…the market has already put in some notable gains for the year. With recession risks still looming, investors may consider being less aggressive with their portfolios than they were the first half of the year. This doesn’t means stocks cannot go up from here, but rather that the risk/reward equation in stocks and bonds looks evenly balanced.

The key issue here is recession. We have already seen a push lower in corporate earnings expectations. Some weakening in manufacturing and services indicators, and early signs that the consumer could be slowing down, point to the likelihood of a mild recession to come. This view is reinforced by the expectation that the jobs market could weaken modestly through the end of this year.

Overall, the opportunities in the second half of the year may not be as robust as in the first half. However, after a bumpy 2022, investors should be encouraged that wading back into the market could bear some fruit in the coming months. In fact, the difficulty we witnessed last year likely helps lay the groundwork for further market stabilization as we press ahead. Despite our mild recession outlook, we believe there are still definitive investment prospects to uncover.

For more insights and resources, be sure to sign up for our Weekly Market Commentary. Follow our YouTube channel where we regularly post our Epic Market Minute videos. Follow us on LinkedIn, or like us on Facebook. And as always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a dedicated service professional at Epic Capital.

Tags: , , , , ,

More Insights

Apr 17, 2024

Following Iran’s missile and drone strikes on Israel over the weekend and the apparent escalation likely in any Israeli response, stocks fell sharply during Monday’s trading session. We examine the latest developments in the Middle East conflict, how stocks have reacted historically to geopolitical events, and the possible impact on markets moving forward.

Apr 15, 2024

Did you buy U.S. Savings Bonds decades ago? Or did your parents or grandparents purchase them for you? If they’re collecting dust in a drawer, you may want to take a look at them to see if any of your bonds have matured. If your bonds have matured, that means they are no longer earning … Continue reading “How US Savings Bonds Work”

Apr 12, 2024

In baseball, three strikes and you’re out. With inflation, a third straight month of hotter-than-expected consumer inflation data nearly ruled out probabilities for a June rate cut yesterday (now less than a 25% chance, according to fed funds futures). The core Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.4% in March, or 3.8% when compared on a … Continue reading “Market Update – Assessing the Prospect for a Pullback”

Apr 10, 2024

You know how important it is to plan for your retirement, but where do you begin? One of your first steps should be to estimate how much income you’ll need to fund your retirement. That’s not as easy as it sounds, because retirement planning is not an exact science. Your specific needs depend on your … Continue reading “Estimating Your Retirement Income Needs”

Apr 8, 2024

Let’s talk seasonality. For those that are unfamiliar, seasonality is the tendency for markets to perform better during some calendar periods and worse during others in a somewhat predictable way. One of the more amazing things about 2023 and part of the first quarter of 2024 is how well U.S. equity markets have been following … Continue reading “Can Pre-Election Market Trends Survive This Attention?”

Insights + Resources >