The Independent Market Observer

Market Thoughts for May 2024 [Video]

May 2, 2024

Rising interest rates pressured stock and bond prices in April. U.S. markets were down in the low-single digits, marking the first monthly decline for U.S. stocks this year. The combination of faster hiring and still-hot inflation complicated the Fed’s efforts to cut interest rates.

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Market Thoughts for April 2024 [Video]

April 2, 2024

U.S. and developed markets set new price records on economic and earnings growth, but fixed income lagged as interest rates rose during the quarter. Income, spending, and business investment stayed positive, but headline and core inflation remained above the Fed’s target levels.

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Market Thoughts for March 2024 [Video]

March 4, 2024

Stocks performed well in February, with most markets up in the low- to mid-single digits. The Nasdaq and emerging markets did especially well, but fixed income declined as interest rates rose. Job, income, and spending growth remained positive, but these results kept inflation up.

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Market Thoughts for February 2024 [Video]

February 2, 2024

The U.S. stock market reported lower-single-digit gains in January, while international and emerging markets lagged behind. The economy performed well, as strong retail sales, a healthy jobs market, and consumer confidence drove the fourth-quarter growth.

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Market Thoughts for January 2024 [Video]

January 3, 2024

Markets around the world were up from 3 percent to 6 percent last month and up by double digits across the board for the year. The lack of a recession drove these positive results, with job growth and consumer confidence remaining healthy.

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Market Thoughts for December 2023 [Video]

December 4, 2023

Markets roared back in November, as interest rates dropped to September levels. U.S. indices were up from 8 percent to 11 percent, with the Nasdaq performing best. Fixed income showed surprising gains, and international markets rose sharply.

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Market Thoughts for November 2023 [Video]

November 2, 2023

U.S. indices were down for the third consecutive month, with the Nasdaq doing the worst. International markets also pulled back, and fixed income was down. Despite the market performance, job growth remained healthy, consumer income and spending grew, and retail sales increased.

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Market Thoughts for October 2023 [Video]

October 3, 2023

U.S. indices were down for the second consecutive month, with the Nasdaq doing the worst. International markets pulled back, and fixed income was also down. That said, job growth remained healthy, consumer confidence and spending grew, and business investment came in strong. 

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Market Thoughts for September 2023 [Video]

September 5, 2023

U.S. indices were down by low single digits in August, with the Nasdaq doing the worst. International markets pulled back, and fixed income was down. This market performance reflected the underlying economy. Business and consumer confidence slowed, while inflation showed signs of ticking up again.

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Market Thoughts for August 2023 [Video]

August 2, 2023

U.S. indices were up by low single digits in July, with the Nasdaq doing best as tech stocks continued to rally. International markets also did well, but fixed income was weaker. This market performance reflected the underlying economy. Strong job creation pushed consumer confidence up significantly, supporting income and spending growth. Inflation continued its decline, although the Fed raised rates again as expected.

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The information on this website is intended for informational/educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice, a solicitation, or a recommendation to buy or sell any security or investment product. Please contact your financial professional for more information specific to your situation.

Certain sections of this commentary contain forward-looking statements that are based on our reasonable expectations, estimates, projections, and assumptions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, which are difficult to predict. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Diversification does not assure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets.

The S&P 500 Index is a broad-based measurement of changes in stock market conditions based on the average performance of 500 widely held common stocks. All indices are unmanaged and investors cannot invest directly in an index.

The MSCI EAFE (Europe, Australia, Far East) Index is a free float‐adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed markets, excluding the U.S. and Canada. The MSCI EAFE Index consists of 21 developed market country indices.

One basis point (bp) is equal to 1/100th of 1 percent, or 0.01 percent.

The VIX (CBOE Volatility Index) measures the market’s expectation of 30-day volatility across a wide range of S&P 500 options.

The forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio divides the current share price of the index by its estimated future earnings.

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