We hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and were able to relax, recharge, and spend time with family and friends. We are thankful for the stock market returns we’ve seen this year as the S&P 500 is up almost 22% for the year, despite a volatile end to the month. (YCharts)
November was a busy month for economic data and market-moving headlines. We’ll highlight a few of these market movers and what they could mean as we look toward the rest of the year and into 2022.
The fourth quarter got off to a great start for stocks with the S&P 500 rallying almost 7% in October after a down month in September. The recent move brings the index return to about 23% year to date. (YCharts)
Last month we reviewed the status of our economic dashboard – in short, it looks strong. We believe that the strength seen in the dashboard combined with accommodative fiscal and monetary policy, and strong corporate earnings means that the chance of a recession in the near-term remains low.
September’s normal seasonal weakness was on display again this year as stocks pulled back during the month. The S&P 500 closed the 3rd quarter roughly where we started, but is still up almost 15% this year. (YCharts)
While most investors enjoy seeing this type of strength in stocks, it can raise questions about what the future may hold, specifically: whether stocks can continue to move higher. This was a concern we heard frequently in the beginning of this year. Performance has been strong since then, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see some market volatility as we’ve had very little this year and volatility is a normal and healthy part of a growing market.
August was another steady month for stocks with the S&P 500 closing higher for the 7th month in a row and finishing up about 3%. (YCharts) The S&P 500 doubled from the Covid bottom in March of 2020, we consider this a major milestone as this is the fastest the S&P 500 has rallied 100% from the market lows since World War II. (LPL Financial)
Last month we suggested that the chance for some stock market volatility had increased as our market sentiment indicator was flashing a warning sign. While May started out strong, we saw some volatility as the market pulled back in the middle of the month before bouncing back and finishing the month roughly where we started (YCharts).