Q1, 2024: Balancing Act

Growth, Inflation & Policy As of January 24, 2024 Leading Economic Index Despite strong economic data, the Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI) continues to signal a “short and shallow” recession in the first half of this year and a slowdown in future economic activity. This creates a volatile backdrop for stocks, as historical LEIs…

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Q4, 2023

SUMMARY As of January 12, 2024 Despite early 2023’s recession fears and banking crisis, the market rallied with U.S. large cap stocks up 26.3% and U.S. intermediate-term bonds up 5.5%, buoyed by moderating inflation. This year’s positives included a resilient U.S. consumer, a tight labor market, and a nascent artificial intelligence boom, although some negatives—including…

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Q4, 2023: Drained

Growth, Inflation & Policy As of October 23, 2023 Economic Activity The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI) has been negative for 18 consecutive months and continues to signal a looming recession and subsequent slowdown in economic activity. However, estimates for the severity of the recession eased over the quarter, with the Conference Board forecasting a…

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Q3, 2023

Summary As of October 13, 2023 The S&P 500 ended September down 3.3%, reinforcing September’s reputation as the worst month of the year for stocks. The Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index, which ended the quarter down 3.2%, is down 15% over the past three years in the largest three-year decline in history. Strategic Petroleum Reserve…

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Q3, 2023: The Running of the Bulls (and Bears)

Growth, Inflation & Policy As of July 28, 2023 Leading Economic Indicators The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) is used to forecast future economic activity. Since 1988, the U.S. LEI has dropped below zero over a six-month period on ten occasions. On five of those occasions, the LEI has dropped below -4%, signaling a recession…

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Q2, 2023

Summary As of July 19, 2023 The first half of 2023 has been anything but ordinary—from a banking crisis in March and a near-miss with a U.S. debt default to the flurry of excitement in Artificial Intelligence and anything related to it. On the surface, U.S. stocks continued to push higher during the quarter. The…

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