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.

2023 Midyear Outlook

Read the full report here.

Here are the highlights from this edition of Midyear Outlook 2023:

Even amid a strong labor market, small businesses plan to slow expansion plans as the Federal Reserve (Fed) maintains steadfast on price pressures.  This could, in turn, cause the economy to soften.

We expect inflation to ease as supply chains conditions have improved.  Labor markets have been strong as companies have struggled to find qualified workers. 

Post-pandemic purchasing dynamics could soon move to pre-pandemic levels where services, not goods, may be the major focus for consumers. 

Given present central bank’s focus on price pressures and the risks of recession, stock market indicators are pointing toward better returns.  This is a reason why it can be important for clients to maintain a long-term posture with equities. 

When looking at the equity risk premium from a valuation perspective, which compares the earnings yield for equities (earnings divided by price) to the yields on bonds (we use the 10-year Treasury), bonds appear more attractive than equities.  Presently, the equity risk premium is sitting at its long-term average. 

We expect earnings to be around 213 for the S&P 500 Index this year.  Second quarter earnings reports are going to be announced shortly, and this estimate could be subject to change amid disinflationary conditions. 

July 2023 Client Letter

July 5, 2023

Dear Valued Investor,

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.

Please reach out to me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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 July 3, 2023.

Any company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities.

All index data from FactSet.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P500) 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 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.

Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise and bonds are subject to availability and change in price.

There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.

For a list of descriptions of the indexes and economic terms referenced, please visit our website at lplresearch.com/definitions.

Tracking # 1-05374632

June 2023 Client Letter

June 7, 2023

Dear Valued Investor,

Every so often Washington likes to remind us how hard it can be to get things accomplished. The most recent example is the debt ceiling—the amount Congress can borrow to pay its bills. It seems like we have this debate every few years and in the end a deal is made, which is just what happened this time. Considering equity markets never really reacted to the drama, perhaps this is a good reminder that focusing on long-term objectives is the best strategy, even amid a fair amount of market noise. 

With the debt ceiling drama behind us, markets will likely return their attention to topics such as inflation, the health of the economy, and the Federal Reserve (Fed)—who is scheduled to meet June 14-15. Expectations are that they will not raise short-term interest rates for the first time in 10 meetings. The Fed has done a lot of heavy lifting already—raising short-term interest rates by 5% in just over a year. Since rate hikes tend to have a long and variable lag, the Fed wants to see how those rate hikes more fully flow through the economy before its next move. 

The Fed’s goal has been to elevate the fed funds rate and make the cost of borrowing money prohibitively expensive, to slow aggregate demand. While this has exposed some cracks in the regional banking sector, it should allow inflationary pressures to abate. But then what? After winning its fight with inflation, the Fed is expected  to start cutting rates early next year. Just as the aggressive rate-hiking cycle took Treasury yields higher, interest rate cuts will take Treasury (and other bond market) yields lower. Both lower inflation and an end to rate increases could be welcome news for core bonds, especially intermediate core bonds, which have tended to perform well after rate-hiking campaigns. Investors may be better served by locking in these higher yields before they’re gone.  

Only time will tell, but it feels like we’re finally on a path to lower interest rates and the end of this inflationary cycle. Of course there will be other challenges to deal with, that’s just the dynamic nature of the market. But in the meantime, returning to the familiar—lower rates and the end of inflation—is something we can all rally around. 

Please reach out to 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.

All data is provided as of June 6, 2023.

Any company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities. 

All index data from FactSet.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P500) 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 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.

Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise and bonds are subject to availability and change in price.

There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.

For a list of descriptions of the indexes and economic terms referenced, please visit our website at lplresearch.com/definitions.

Tracking # 1-05372704 (Exp. 06/24)

May 2023 Client Letter

May 3, 2023

Dear Valued Investor,

Spring is often thought of as an uplifting time, marked by growth and renewed hope as we emerge from the long months of winter and look ahead to the rest of year. Investors saw signs of such renewed hope in recent weeks, especially on the inflation front as several inflation measures showed signs of improvement. We also saw markets stabilize after the surprisingly fast collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. But although it initially appeared that a stable spring would set the markets up for a calm, quiet summer, a flurry of recent activity is testing investor sentiment.

Another bank collapse also put investors a bit on edge last week as JPMorgan—with financial support from the FDIC—will acquire First Republic Bank, the second biggest bank to fail in U.S. history. The story was similar to Silicon Valley Bank, with a concentrated and wealthy deposit base and mismanaged bond portfolio. These unique characteristics and a government backstop make any other large bank failures unlikely in the near term, though sentiment around bank conditions is fragile.

In other significant news, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that the date when the U.S. might not be able to pay its bills is fast approaching, if the debt ceiling is not raised or suspended soon. With the time for debate shrinking, the Treasury encouraged Congress not to wait until the last minute to resolve the debt ceiling issue (as they did in 2011). This urgent warning may actually provide a silver lining for investors, however, if Congress is pushed to resolve the issue sooner and avoids a summer-long Congressional debate. Markets may stabilize once the debt ceiling issue is resolved and the Fed ends its current interest rate tightening campaign. 

Looking ahead, we see several signs of health for the economy and markets, such as delinquency rates on consumer loans still below pre-COVID-19 levels. Although business hiring intentions have slowed and consumers are pulling back on spending, we do not see the types of cracks we observed in the years leading up to the Great Financial Crisis. We may not have a clear path for growth just yet, with some banks still under duress and the debt ceiling yet unresolved, but we believe the upward trajectory remains thanks to a relatively healthy consumer base. 

Please reach out to me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

pastedGraphic.png

 

 

 

 

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 May 2, 2023.

Any company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities. 

All index data from FactSet.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P500) 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 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.

Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise and bonds are subject to availability and change in price.

There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.

For a list of descriptions of the indexes and economic terms referenced, please visit our website at lplresearch.com/definitions.

Tracking # 1-05369358

April 2023 Client Letter

April 5, 2023

Dear Valued Investor,

The financial markets’ resilient performance during March was striking, despite pockets of uncertainty surrounding the strength of the economy—and not to mention concerns over the durability of the banking system. The ability of the market to navigate nearly two weeks of headline-related risk tested the underlying resolve of the market’s capacity to look ahead. 

Moreover, it underpinned our conviction that despite setbacks, including bouts of volatility, we will see the beginnings of a new bull market emerge, especially as the Federal Reserve (Fed) winds down its campaign to quell inflation. By all indications, the Fed is edging closer to its final interest rate hike, which should help bolster both consumer and business confidence.

According to The Conference Board, consumer confidence inched slightly higher during March, reflecting a solid labor market with an unemployment rate of 3.6%—the lowest it has been in over 50 years. In addition, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) confidence index continued to climb higher in March, representing the third straight month of improvement. With mortgage rates tilting lower, sales of new homes began to pick up during the month, and many industry experts were commenting that the housing market may be on the cusp of “bottoming out.”

Certainly, the strains in the banking system jolted investor confidence and the market’s positive trajectory, but the quick response from government agencies—particularly the Fed’s lending facility, designed to help banks shore up their balance sheets quickly—helped restore calm in the market. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell echoed the reassuring words of many officials in the U.S. and abroad when he said the U.S. banking system “is sound and resilient with strong capital and liquidity,” and that “deposits are safe.”

Helping to further strengthen support in the country’s financial infrastructure, and ease investor anxiety, was the headline that First Citizens Bank would purchase “all of the deposits and loans” of Silicon Valley Bank, the bank that collapsed quickly and ignited a stretch of fear and panic across financial markets. With the private sector showing the value it sees in the ailing bank, we saw renewed optimism and faith in the overall banking system, and markets in general. First Citizens share price climbed 53% on the first trading day following the announcement, demonstrating the market’s confirmation that the deal made sense—and that the banking sector is safe.

Investors and traders alike were able to continue to find value in the market as stability returned. Investors’ patience was tested yet again, however, when Credit Suisse, a major global bank with a strong presence in the U.S., came under severe pressure. That situation was resolved quickly when Credit Suisse was seemingly instantaneously rescued by merging with its long-time rival, UBS.

Overall, patience and perseverance was rewarded as markets continued to factor in an increasingly realistic scenario of lower interest rates and a weaker U.S. dollar, which helps U.S. exporters compete in the global marketplace and helps soften overall financial conditions globally. It’s also important to keep in mind that it’s very rare for markets to suffer negative returns two years in a row. The unwinding of the technology bubble and the financial crisis that began in 2008 witnessed successive years of negative performance, but they represent anomalies.  

The sound foundation of our financial system corroborates our constructive optimism of the upward and long-run trend of markets, despite headlines designed to jar nerves and test our steadfast resolution. As always, please reach out to me with any questions.

Sincerely,

pastedGraphic.png

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 April 4, 2023.

Any company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities. 

All index data from FactSet.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P500) 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 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.

Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise and bonds are subject to availability and change in price.

There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.

For a list of descriptions of the indexes and economic terms referenced, please visit our website at lplresearch.com/definitions.

Tracking # 1-05366556

March 2023 Client Letter

March 1, 2023

Dear Valued Investor,

Financial markets have experienced quite a bit of change this year in just two short months. We started the year hopeful that stocks would benefit from a better economic and monetary policy environment by the spring, but recent developments suggest that may be further out than we initially thought. We remain confident that a new bull market will come—it just may require a bit more of our patience before we get there.

When 2023 began, we had hoped for a new bull market to bloom in the spring, prompted by the end of the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) interest rate hiking campaign. Following recent data pointing to stronger growth and higher inflation, rate hikes may extend into the summer and potentially delay the start of a new bull market. Against that backdrop, even though stocks pulled back in February, this year’s modest two-month gain for the S&P 500 Index feels like a victory.

Recent evidence of consumers’ resilience has been encouraging. Over 500,000 jobs were created in January, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly triple economists’ expectations (the February report is scheduled for March 10). The unemployment rate is at its lowest level since the 1960s. Retail sales rose a better than expected 3% in January month over month, as consumers benefited from the healthy job market and excess savings, while motivated by the diminished COVID-19 threat (with perhaps a small assist from mild winter weather). However, that consumer strength was accompanied by a series of hotter than expected inflation reports for January, fueling more concerns about higher interest rates and, in turn, weighing on the stock market.

Rewards for investors will come—they always do—but they will require more patience than we had hoped. In an environment where inflation has been frustratingly slow to come down, with a Fed still very much intent on combatting it, our patience is being tested. The risk that the Fed tightens too much and drives the U.S. economy into recession has risen. Higher interest rates also put stress on stock market valuations, so the longer we worry about the Fed, the less likely we are to see that bull market arrive this spring. Corporate America is not in a position to help much, given earnings declines are likely during the next two or potentially three quarters.

Still, we remain steadfast in our belief that investors’ patience will be rewarded. As Warren Buffett wrote in his latest annual letter to shareholders, “There has yet to see a time when it made sense to make a long-term bet against America.” Stocks have generated annualized returns of over 9% since the advent of the S&P 500’s predecessor index, the S&P 90, back in 1927—and that includes the Great Depression, World War II, the dotcom crash, the 2008–2009 financial crisis, 9/11, and numerous other economic and geopolitical shocks. Stocks may be volatile until the direction and ultimate destination of interest rates becomes clearer, but new highs will come—eventually.

In closing, we expect investors who put money to work in the coming weeks to be rewarded with solid gains this year. The next bull market may not arrive in time for spring, but stocks may still ramp up this summer as inflation eases and the Fed finally hits pause on rate hikes.

Please contact me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

pastedGraphic.png

___________________________________________

 

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, 2023.

Any company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities. 

All index data from FactSet.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P500) 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 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.

Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise and bonds are subject to availability and change in price.

There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.

For a list of descriptions of the indexes and economic terms referenced, please visit our website at lplresearch.com/definitions.

Tracking # 1-05362119

Outlook 2023

READ THE FULL REPORT HERE

Through all the challenges, newfound opportunities, and every high and low we’ve experienced during the last couple of years, it’s no surprise why we might be striving for more balance. Whether it’s about the markets and global economy or what’s happening in our local communities, the news we’re hearing on a daily basis has the potential to disrupt the balance of our lives. But with resilience, perspective, and the support of close connections, we can navigate through it all and regain our sense of equilibrium—even after another dizzying year, as 2022 proved to be.

After two years of disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were searching for some kind of return to normalcy, while at the same time, still experiencing the aftereffects of the pandemic. Some of those aftereffects included the imbalances created by the fiscal, monetary, and public health policy put in place to address the pandemic—and the process of addressing those imbalances has been disorienting at times. If 2022 was about recognizing imbalances that had built in the economy and starting to address them, we believe 2023 will be about setting ourselves up for what comes next as the economy and markets find their way back to steadier ground—even if the adjustment period continues. The Federal Reserve (Fed) spent 2022 aggressively fighting inflation by raising interest rates. In 2023, we expect the Fed to find that point where it can stop raising rates, as inflation starts to come under control. The Fed’s efforts to control inflation throughout 2022 pulled interest rates off of extremely low levels that were historically unprecedented. While that has been painful for bond investors, for the first time in a decade, savers can now get an attractive yield, and 2023 will be more focused on how to potentially benefit from this significant shift. Stock market expectations may also see some realignment heading into 2023. The projections for certain market segments became too high in 2022 following a decade of low rates and a burst of extraordinary technology adoption. We expect 2023 will likely be more focused on the opportunities that may emerge from a market sell-off.

LPL Research’s Outlook 2023: Finding Balance is our guide to how the readjustments in the economy and markets may impact you in the coming year. The disruptions may not be fully resolved and there may be more challenges to come, but progress toward finding balance is well underway. And when those disruptions hit the market, it can be hard to find our footing and stay the course. Those are the times when sound financial advice is more valuable than ever, as it helps us find our center, remember our plan, and stay focused on our goals.