The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations
for any indicual security. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. Indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.
Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted.
Investing in stock includes numerous specific risks including: the flection of dividend, loss of principal and potential illiquidity of the investment in a falling market.
Investing in special market and sectors carries additional risks such as economic, political, or regulatory developments that may affect many or all issuers in that sector.
The NASDAQ Composite Index measures all NASDAQ domestic and non-U.S.-based common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock market. The index is market-value weighted. This means that each company’s security affects the index in proportion to its market value. The market value, the last sale price multiplied by the total shares outstanding, is calculated throughout the trading day and is related to the total value of the Index. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average Index is comprised of the U.S-listed stocks of companies that produce other (non-transportations and non–utility) goods and services. The Dow Jones Industrial Averages are maintained by editors of the Wall Street Journal. While the stock selection process is somewhat subjective, a stock typically is added only if the company has an excellent reputation, demonstrates sustained growth, is of interest to a large number of investors and accurately represents the market sectors covered by the average. the Dow Jones averages are unique in that they are price weighted; therefore their component weightings are affected only by changes in the stocks’ prices.
The S&P 500 Index is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries.
This research material has been prepared by LPL Financial LLC.Securities offered through LPL Financial LLC. Member FINRA/SIPC.

March 20, 2020 Client Letter

 March 18, 2020 

Dear Valued Investor: 

Our everyday lives have changed dramatically over the last few weeks as we work together to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We know these efforts are necessary, but they also have come at a cost. 

Global economic growth has been slowing, the US economy likely will contract temporarily, and US stocks have entered a bear market. Big stock market moves, both up and down, have become the norm. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury note has fallen to an all-time low, making borrowing cheaper—but challenging savers. In short, this has been a challenging period for many long-term investors, and you’re asking what’s next and what to do. 

Despite elevated uncertainty, we’ve been encouraged by the actions of global central banks and governments to support their economies and stock markets through this challenging period. In the United States, the Federal Reserve (Fed) lowered its policy rate by a full percentage point, the first move that large since the savings and loan crisis, bringing the rate to a target range of 0–0.25%. The full impact of lower rates may have to wait until loan demand picks up, but other Fed actions may provide more immediate support to help financial markets continue to run smoothly, bolster short-term funding, and increase market liquidity. 

At the same time, the US government already has passed several measures to support the economy, and it’s currently working on a major fiscal stimulus bill of at least $750 billion. Discussions are still taking place, but provisions possibly could include paid sick leave, expanded medical testing, unemployment insurance, direct financial support for consumers, and relief for some of the most heavily impacted industries. 

We know it’s difficult to keep looking forward with so much uncertainty and so many unanswered questions right now. But as long-term investors, it’s important that we maintain a clear vision of our financial goals and our plan for getting there. 

Market volatility like we’re experiencing now may provide pockets of opportunity in suitable portfolios. As a recession increasingly is priced into markets, stock market valuations relative to their earnings power and to bond yields have become more attractive. Current uncertainty means taking a careful, measured approach, but for appropriate investors there may even be small ways to consider taking advantage of these potential opportunities. 

It’s likely we may see an economic rebound later this year and into 2021 as the outbreak is contained, businesses reopen, and fiscal and monetary policy support expands. The US economy and corporate America have steered their way through world wars and cold wars, financial crises, and geopolitical events. Through even the most challenging times, markets have found their way back to normalcy, and investors have been able to look to the future. We believe this time will be no different. 

Trust your plan, stay the course, and be well. And as always, we encourage you to contact your financial professional with any questions. 

Sincerely,

Wayne Rigney

Rigney Financial Services, L.L.C.
Thomas Wayne Rigney-Principal

 

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Important Information

This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change. 

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. Indexes are unmanaged statistical composites and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

All data is provided as of March 18, 2020.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

Tracking # 1-967946 (Exp. 03/21)

COVID-19: Client Update

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March 13, 2020

Dear Valued Investor:

Fears over the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) have gripped the country and sent stocks in the US and around the world into bear markets. Thursday’s nearly 10% decline in the S&P 500 Index was one of its worst days in history and the largest one-day percent decline since the 1987 crash. What makes pandemics so much more personal than other crises is how they are felt by everyone, as nearly all major events have been cancelled, major league sports seasons have been postponed, travel restrictions have been put in place, many employees are being sent home to work remotely, planes are empty, and many shoppers are staying away from stores and restaurants.

These significant efforts to contain the outbreak are also the same actions that will have an impact on the US economy.  Just a few short weeks ago, the economic environment was healthy and improving in the US and around the world. Now, as we head into the second quarter, the presence of an economic slowdown is a reality and the odds of a recession are increasing.  That said, in our view markets have largely, if not overly, priced in these recessionary outcomes.

We think some context here is important.  Fear, as a core human emotion, is magnified when situations arise unexpectedly and quickly. In other words, it has been the speed and unexpectedness of recent events that has driven the outsized reaction from the markets. In fact, the S&P 500 Index needed only 16 days to go from a new all-time high to a bear market (measured as 20% off the recent highs), an all-time record, topping the previous record of 28 days in 1929. Many investors have never seen jarring moves like this before.

One potential positive from stocks falling into a bear market this quickly is historically they have also tended to stage more powerful rallies off the lows. For the bear markets since World War II that saw 20% or more declines within 270 days, the S&P 500 tended to bottom more quickly and recorded shallower declines. On average, these quicker bears averaged a 26% loss, compared with the average bear market decline of 33%. Given this was the quickest bear market ever, it is reasonable to think a strong reversal might be possible.

The great news is that the US economy was very healthy before this three-week stretch of steep market declines, with employment strong and the unemployment rate near 50-year lows, solid job and wage gains, corporate profits poised to accelerate, and company balance sheets in excellent shape. This bodes well for a faster recovery on the other side. Like someone who gets sick, the healthier you are coming into it, the faster tend to recover.

The investor playbook is always to follow your investment plan. The only thing worse than not having a plan is abandoning the one you have. The stock market has already suffered declines similar to those associated with mild recessions. That doesn’t mean stocks can’t go lower. It just means that the opportunity for long-term investors is getting more attractive. While markets continue to face a crisis of uncertainty, we still have unwavering confidence in the long-term fundamentals and prospects for the US economy and corporate America.

Please stay healthy and contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Wayne Rigney

 

___________________________

 

 

Important Information

This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change.

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. Indexes are unmanaged statistical composites and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

All data is provided as of March 13, 2020.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

Tracking # 1-965300 (Exp. 02/21)

March 2020 Client Letter

March 5, 2020 

Dear Valued Investor: 

It’s been a tough week. The number of coronavirus cases have continued to increase globally, and new cases have been confirmed in the United States. Countries are making progress with containment, but those efforts also have resulted in a reduction in economic activity, adding to market uncertainty. 

We can empathize with anyone who is nervous. It’s impossible to predict how many people will be affected or how containment efforts may impact the economy. Prospects for a pronounced economic slump and a wider outbreak have led many investors to sell first and ask questions later. Last week the S&P 500 Index suffered its worst weekly decline since the financial crisis in 2008, and the fastest 10% correction ever recorded from a record high. That’s a fast move from a high to a low. 

Keep in mind that a little more than two weeks ago, stocks were at all-time highs, and the biggest worry for many of us was whether stock prices had come too far too fast. Volatility was almost non-existent from October 2019 through mid-February 2020, and investor sentiment measured bullish. Since then volatility has spiked to some of its highest levels in years, with markets reflecting a heavy dose of fear. 

The Federal Reserve’s (Fed) perspective on the evolving crisis has also changed quickly. Until last week, the Fed had been communicating that it expected to hold interest rates unchanged in 2020. Then on March 3, the Fed cut rates by one-half a percentage point (0.5%). Anticipation of this Fed action helped drive the market rally on March 2, and the rate action may help support the economy and stock prices through this near-term soft patch as efforts to contain the outbreak continue. 

As you contemplate your next move, we would suggest that you keep the following in mind: 

• The U.S. economy and corporate America are resilient and adaptable. Stocks have weathered wars, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, financial crises, and many other economic and geopolitical shocks. Through it all, stocks have produced a 9% annualized return since 1929, as measured by the S&P 500 Index. (source: Bloomberg). 

• Like crises in the past, this one will pass. It’s difficult to see the other side of this right now, and economic disruption may be significant, but the economic impact may be temporary. Markets appear poised to eventually look forward to better days, based on economic fundamentals. 

• Now may be a good time for suitable investors to consider adding equity positions to their portfolios, where appropriate. We find that the best sell decisions often come when investors struggle to find reasons to sell. The best buying decisions often can be the most uncomfortable. 

If you’re concerned the outbreak may get much worse before it gets better, you may want to think about revisiting your long-term investing strategy. Although it’s not our current expectation, a potential U.S. recession or a bear market cannot be ruled out. For most long-term investors, however, we think the best move may be no move. 

We wish you good health and recommend that you contact your financial professional with questions. 

Sincerely, 

Wayne Rigney

 

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change.

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. Indexes are unmanaged statistical composites and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

All data is provided as of March 3, 2020.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

Tracking # 1-959520 (Exp. 02/21)

Coronavirus Update

February 28, 2020

Dear Valued Investor:

“The stock market takes an escalator up, and an elevator down,” is a classic Wall Street saying. The last week has sure felt like taking an express elevator down, as the end of February brought a historic stock market sell-off, with the S&P 500 Index moving from an all-time high to a 10% correction in only six days—the quickest such move ever. Along the way, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow) experienced multiple 1,000-point drops, including Thursday’s biggest one-day point drop ever, adding to fears. As the coronavirus spreads around the globe, what was once a promising start to 2020 now has the S&P 500, Dow, and Nasdaq Composite all negative year to date.

To put the recent market weakness in perspective, in an average year the S&P 500 may pull back from its highest point to its lowest point 14% on average. Even in years in which the S&P 500 finished higher, it had a pullback of 11% on average. In 2019, when stocks gained more than 30%, we saw two pullbacks of more than 5% during the year. After a historically calm stretch to end last year and start this year, larger than normal volatility shouldn’t come as a surprise. We didn’t expect stocks to pull back this quickly, but we’re still within the normal range of market volatility.

We never want to minimize the loss of human lives, but keep in mind that less than 3,000 people have died from coronavirus globally so far, compared to the nearly 80,000 people who have died from the seasonal flu this year. Also, the number of active cases of coronavirus peaked at nearly 58,000 February 17 and has dropped to less than 44,000 now, a drop of more than 24% in less than two weeks. Also, the World Health Organization won’t call this outbreak a pandemic because of the extremely low mortality rate among young and healthy people. The mortality rate for people over the age of 80 is nearly 15%, but that drops to less than 0.3% for people under the age of 50, with rates even lower in developed countries. Here in the United States, 90 people have contracted the virus, but none have passed away.

What could be the potential economic impact? Any economic disruption in the United States most likely would be modest and short-lived. Domestic efforts to contain the virus should be more successful and have less economic disruption than in China. The epidemic could cut as much as 0.5% from gross domestic product (GDP) over the next several months, but as the virus becomes contained, it is likely we could return to trend growth during the second quarter. Globally, we can’t shut down a large portion of the world’s second largest economy (China) without experiencing spillover effects. China’s GDP could weaken significantly in the first quarter, but a potential return to trend growth by the third quarter may be possible if this outbreak follows a course similar to previous outbreaks (SARS, bird flu, swine flu, etc.).

As difficult as this week has been, it’s important to follow your investment strategies and focus on the long term. Based on history and solid economic fundamentals, a return to pre-outbreak levels of global economic growth and corporate profits appears likely. Investing fundamentals suggest that a second-half economic rebound, potentially aided by government and fiscal stimulus, could help extend this record-long economic cycle into 2021.

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Wayne Rigney

 

 

_______________________________

 

Important Information

This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change.

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. Indexes are unmanaged statistical composites and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

All data is provided as of February 28, 2020.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

Tracking # 1-957691 (Exp. 02/21)

February 2020: Addressing the Coronavirus outbreak

February 25, 2020

Dear Valued Investor:

Monday was a tough day in the stock market, with the S&P 500 Index down more than 3% as the number of coronavirus cases reported outside of China jumped. Monday’s losses reversed all of this year’s gains so far for the S&P 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Averages. The Nasdaq Composite Index appeared to be holding onto a small year-to-date gain through Monday’s close. After several months of relative calm in the markets, Monday’s volatility probably felt worse than it might have otherwise, but a 3% one-day decline never feels good.

Every virus outbreak is different, but looking back at other major global outbreaks over the last three decades (SARS, bird flu, swine flu, Zika, etc.), we can see that the impact to the U.S. and global economies and stock market has tended to be short-lived. It’s possible the current outbreak has the potential to follow a similar path, although there is still significant uncertainty. The coronavirus has spread more quickly than SARS, the most comparable outbreak, but the policy response also has been more aggressive, and the survival rate has been higher.

To put Monday’s decline into perspective, even in positive years for stocks, the S&P 500 historically has experienced an average peak-to-trough intra-year decline of about 11%. In other words, the S&P 500 has fallen 11% at some point during most years before ending higher. This latest pullback that we’re experiencing has barely reached 5%, and it is still well within the normal range of market volatility. On average, the S&P 500 has experienced three to four pullbacks of around 5–10% per year.

It’s also important to remember that the global economy had started to see a pickup in momentum in late 2019/early 2020, before the outbreak. Leading indicators of economic activity were pointing higher. Purchasing managers’ surveys for the United States and Europe had improved. And corporate America delivered solid better-than-expected fourth quarter 2019 earnings results, with many companies saying good things about their 2020 outlooks.

Many view the coronavirus as a delay in—not an end to—the global economic acceleration story that has been unfolding since December’s U.S.-China trade deal. That momentum has put the global economy and corporations in better positions to weather the coronavirus storm. Most likely there will be global economic impact from the coronavirus over the next several months, but investing fundamentals make the case for a rebound in the second half of this year, potentially with some help from government stimulus.

As difficult as it may be to stay the course in the face of recent market volatility, long-term investors may want to consider that approach. Based on history, it is possible that we may see a return to pre-outbreak levels of global economic growth and corporate profits within the next several months—which could continue to power this bull market and economic expansion through 2020 and possibly beyond.

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Wayne Rigney

 

 

_________________________

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change.

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. Indexes are unmanaged statistical composites and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

All data is provided as of February 24, 2020.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

Tracking # 1-955514 (Exp. 02/21)

February 2020 Client Letter

February 6, 2020

Dear Valued Investor:

The start of 2020 has brought increased stock market volatility. The uncharacteristically calm market environment we experienced for much of the past four months was bound to end, but identifying the catalyst for a potential sell-off became more difficult after the U.S.-China phase-one trade deal was signed. Not even the recent major escalation in the U.S.-Iran conflict could knock down this market. Unfortunately, the coronavirus appears to have done the trick.

That story is still developing, but so far, the coronavirus has been less deadly than the SARS outbreak, one of the best historical comparisons we have. However, the speed with which the illness has spread within China has grabbed the stock market’s attention. Analysis of prior outbreaks such as SARS, bird flu, and swine flu—and the aggressive ongoing containment efforts—suggests the global economic impact likely may be modest and short-lived, although the situation is unpredictable at this stage. The Chinese economy is being negatively impacted by business closures and travel restrictions, which may have spillover effects on the rest of the world, given the size and global interconnectedness of that economy.

In his post-meeting remarks January 30, Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged the risk to the U.S. and global economies from the coronavirus outbreak. He also slightly downgraded the Fed’s assessment of consumer spending, although based on the January gross domestic product (GDP) report, it is possible the U.S. economy could continue to grow at or near the 2.1% pace reported for the fourth quarter of 2019. After the Fed’s announcement, the bond market factored in one quarter-of-a-point interest rate cut this fall. While that action isn’t a given, well-contained inflation would allow the central bank room to make interest-rate adjustments more easily if needed.

The fundamentals of the U.S. economy and stock market—interest rates, inflation, wage growth, and jobs—still appear favorable overall. Although S&P 500 Index companies have reported minimal earnings growth during fourth-quarter earnings season, commentary from corporate America over the past several weeks has helped solidify the outlook for corporate profits in 2020. It still appears profits could be the primary driver of any potential stock market gains over the next 11 months.

Investing fundamentals may continue to help support stocks over the balance of the year, though the magnitude of potential gains from current levels may be limited. In addition, there are some risks to consider beyond those already mentioned: The 2020 election could negatively impact certain segments of the market due to policy uncertainty; the United Kingdom will officially leave the European Union at the end of this year; and trade tensions with China could flare up again.

Bottom line, there may be some bumps in the road, but the economic expansion may continue through 2020 and help power forward this nearly 11-year-old bull market.

Thank you for your business, and please contact me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Wayne Rigney

 

__________________

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change.

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. Indexes are unmanaged statistical composites and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted.

All data is provided as of January 31, 2020.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

Tracking # 1-946762 (Exp. 02/21)

Debt Should Retire When You Do

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These days, having a credit card is practically a necessity, even when you are retired. It’s hard to do things like buy airline tickets, rent a car, or place an order online without one. And, while monitoring your credit card use is important anytime, making sure you avoid credit card mistakes that could affect your finances is essential once you retire.

It’s a Credit Card, Not a Paycheck

Although it sometimes may be difficult to live on a fixed amount, using credit to supplement your income will only make it harder to live within your means. Avoid using your card to pay for groceries or other necessities unless you can pay the balance in full when the bill comes due. If you can’t pay the balance and continue to charge purchases, you risk having a larger credit card bill than you’re comfortably able to pay each month. And you could be incurring hefty finance charges on the unpaid balance, making it even harder to reduce your debt.

Pay Attention to Features

Think about how you intend to use the card. Cards that earn travel or other rewards may be appropriate if you’re disciplined and pay off your card balance each month. But make sure any fees for a rewards card don’t outweigh the benefits. If there’s a strong possibility that you’ll carry a balance on a high-rate card, forget the rewards and look for a card with a low interest rate.

Nurture Your Credit Score

You’ll get the best deals on credit cards if you have a high credit score. Don’t hurt your score by paying bills late or getting into too much debt.

If You Do Have Debt

If you still have credit card debt as you begin retirement, make sure you have a plan for paying it off. Once it’s gone, using credit responsibly will help keep your finances on track.

Required Attribution
Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by DST Systems, Inc. or its sources, neither DST Systems, Inc. nor its sources guarantees the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or availability of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. In no event shall DST Systems, Inc. be liable for any indirect, special or consequential damages in connection with subscriber’s or others’ use of the content. 
AR Tracking Number: 1-909497 Expiration Date: 11/2020 

JANUARY 2020 CLIENT LETTER

January 2, 2020

Dear Valued Investor:

Happy New Year! What a difference a year makes. One year ago the stock market was plunging and came perilously close to ending what has become the longest bull market ever recorded. In December 2018, dropping stocks were suggesting an increased risk that a recession, or market crisis, might be on the horizon. Confidence in investing fundamentals coupled with attractive stock valuations helped keep a focus on long-term investing objectives in the face of short-term volatility.

One year later with 20/20 hindsight, what appeared to be a bullish forecast for stocks may have been too conservative, and now we’re asking if stocks have come too far, too fast. December 2019’s stock market environment has been in some ways the opposite of December 2018’s. After a strong rally that has lifted stock valuations, the question now is whether investing fundamentals can to continue to support 2019’s gains throughout 2020.

Stock market fundamentals have improved significantly over the past year. We’ve received clarity on the biggest market uncertainties: U.S.-China trade relations, the Federal Reserve (Fed) pivoting from rate hikes to rate cuts, and the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union (Brexit). We’ve also seen a leadership transition at the European Central Bank and more production cuts by Saudi Arabia-led OPEC to help stabilize oil prices. These actions plus reduced trade tensions in other key international economies could be viewed as evidence that economic growth outside the United States has stabilized and may even be starting to pick up a bit, although it is not assured.

Investors have priced in a lot of this good news, and it’s possible that some potential 2020 gains have been pulled forward into late 2019. Stocks may need to be repriced over the next several months as investors wait for the economy and corporations to deliver against pricing, and that wait could be uncomfortable at times. Corporate earnings growth will likely be the driver of stock market gains, but that still may depend on more progress in trade negotiations. Negotiations on “phase two” of the U.S.-China trade talks could become bumpy, and that could lead to additional turbulence in the stock markets. Inflation could also pick up and trigger renewed fears of Fed rate hikes, although a slight increase in inflation is a sign of a healthy economy. Fallout from the impeachment, international economic data in decline, and the potential for a highly charged U.S. election also could lead to increased market uncertainty this year.

While the strong market performance of 2019 may limit the magnitude of potential market advances in 2020, stock market gains are still possible this year. A Fed committed to keeping interest rates at current levels and progress on trade can improve prospects for business investment and productivity growth. To help prepare for what may be a dynamic—and possibly volatile—year ahead, please read LPL Research’s Outlook 2020: Bringing Markets Into Focus.

Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year, and please contact me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Wayne Rigney

 

 

Important Information

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual security. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

The use of Stocks and Markets herein are referencing corresponding indexes, unless otherwise noted. All indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.

Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted.

All data is provided as of December 31, 2019.

Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. No investment strategy or risk management technique can guarantee return or eliminate risk in all market environments.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

Tracking # 1-931723 (Exp. 01/21)

December 2019 Client Letter

December 3, 2019

Dear Valued Investor:

Hindsight is 20/20, but finding clarity in future uncertainty can be fuzzy. 2019 has been a very rewarding year for investors. One year ago after publishing Outlook 2019 we were all tested with market volatility, and that’s a reminder that we need to continue to be prepared for uncertainty in the markets.

As we look forward to the year 2020 and a new decade, some key trends and market signals will be important to watch. These include progress on U.S.-China trade discussions, slowing global growth, an encouraging outlook from corporate America, and continued strength in consumer spending. To help keep it all in focus, LPL Research Outlook 2020: Bringing Markets Into Focus offers investment insights and market guidance through the end of 2020.

As Outlook 2020 explains, progress on trade remains central to growth projections. LPL Research expects 1.75% U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2020, which reflects the potential for continued trade and geopolitical uncertainties amid the expected gradual slowing of the economy at this point in the economic cycle.

The bond market also is expected to show a modest increase in longer-term yields, supported by continued flexibility by the Federal Reserve in setting interest rates. LPL Research’s year-end 2020 forecast for the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield is a range of 2–2.25%.

Expectations for better corporate earnings growth in 2020, along with continued economic growth in the United States, could support stocks at current valuations. After the strong market gains thus far in 2019, corporate earnings may be the primary driver for stocks next year. The LPL Research team calculates that the S&P 500 could increase by mid-single-digits, consistent with profit gains, by the end of 2020, and they believe mild inflation and still-low interest rates will support these valuations. At the same time, we are mindful of our position in this extended business cycle, and we’ll be on the lookout for signs of moderation.

Together we will continue to monitor the impact of trade negotiations, the upcoming elections, and keep an eye on developments around the world. The LPL Research Outlook 2020 is here to help, bringing some clarity to a complex investing environment and providing insightful commentary to support investment decisions during the year ahead.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely,

Wayne Rigney

 

 

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES

 

Our 2020 year-end fair value target range for the S&P 500 is 3,250–3,300. We base this year-end target on a trailing price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) of 18.75, which we multiply by our 2020 S&P 500 EPS forecast of $175. We believe mild inflation and still-low interest rates support these valuations. Please see the full Outlook 2020 publication for additional description and disclosure.

This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. The economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted.

The Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index tracks the performance of 500 widely held, large-capitalization US stocks. All indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.

The PE ratio (price-to-earnings ratio) is a measure of the price paid for a share relative to the annual net income or profit earned by the firm per share. It is a financial ratio used for valuation: a higher PE ratio means that investors are paying more for each unit of net income, so the stock is more expensive compared to one with lower PE ratio.

Earnings per share (EPS) is the portion of a company’s profit allocated to each outstanding share of common stock. EPS serves as an indicator of a company’s profitability. Earnings per share is generally considered to be the single most important variable in determining a share’s price. It is also a major component used to calculate the price-to-earnings valuation ratio.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period, though GDP is usually calculated on an annual basis. It includes all of private and public consumption, government outlays, investments and exports less imports that occur within a defined territory.

This research material has been prepared by LPL Financial LLC.  Tracking # 1-921238

 

Outlook 2020