When it comes to cultural tie-ins associated with the number four one can go in any number of directions, including superhero, think Fantastic 4; popular music, think The Four Tops; and sports, think The Four Horsemen of Notre Dame. Well, as we focus on 4 thoughts for The 4th quarter we go toward entertainment, specifically the boardgame Connect4.
It’s October and just like Michael Myers in the Halloween movie, market volatility has returned to give us all a fright, with the S&P 500 Index (S&P 500) off nearly 4% at one point for the month.
We are increasingly asked how politics might impact the economy and the market, a reasonable question given growing talk of impeachment and the coming 2020 election.
Last week, oil prices spiked after an attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure took half that country’s daily output of oil and gas – about 5.7 million barrels – offline.
What if I told you that there’s a formula that is exceedingly easy to remember and could positively impact almost every decision you make? What if I told you that there is a formula for happiness?
When it comes to the global equity market race, well, it hasn’t been much of a race. With US equities – as measured by the S&P 500 Index (S&P 500) – up 254% over the past 10 years and 18% in 2019 vs. developed international equities – as measured by the MSCI EAFE Index – up 74% and 10% and emerging international equities – as measured by the MSCI EM Index – up 90% and 7%, respectively, through the end of August.
Context is key to analyzing and understanding the economy and markets and making informed decisions that lead to successful investment outcomes. Nowhere is context more important than near-term stock market moves, particularly when it comes to the Dow Jones Industrial Average (the Dow).
It’s been a positive – if somewhat bumpy – year for US equities, with the S&P 500 Index (S&P 500) up about 17% in 2019, despite pullbacks of about 7% in May and August. The robust performance of the US stock market isn’t surprising given the US economy has grown about 2.5% year-to-date, corporate profits are up year over year (albeit modestly), unemployment is low, consumer confidence is high, and inflation is muted.
There are many issues that have investors concerned as we are set to say goodbye to summer, including a flat to partially inverted yield curve, deteriorating US/ China relations, and a slowdown in manufacturing activity in the US and around the world. As we previously wrote, we don’t believe the yield curve is indicating a recession is imminent and we do believe the US and China will eventually solve for trade, an outcome which should prove to be a positive catalyst for manufacturing globally.
In the film Groundhog Day, Bill Murray plays TV weatherman Phil Connors who, against his wishes, is sent to report on the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and, while there, relives Groundhog Day again, and again and again with an eye toward his having the perspective and the time to become a better person, which he eventually does.
Fans of Superman – or Seinfeld – may be familiar with Bizarro World, a cubed planet far out in space that is inhabited by imperfect duplicates of Superman, Lois Lane, and their friends. In a nutshell, on Bizarro – relative to earth – up is down, hot is cold, good is bad, and beautiful is ugly.
Consider something you’ve always wanted to do but you’ve put off doing because it scares you. In fact, just think of something you’d eventually like to do but haven’t yet, since you may not even be aware of all your reasons for not having embarked on that journey just yet.