Market Recap: November 2023

December 01, 2023
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Market commentary

  • Following a report that inflation, as measured by the CPI, cooled last month to 3.2%, speculation grew that the Federal Reserve might be done raising interest rates.
  • Third-quarter GDP estimate was revised upward to 5.2%, a significant increase over second quarter growth of 2.1%.
  • Manufacturing sentiment remains bearish at 46.7, below the neutral mark of 50, while the unemployment rate grew slightly to 3.9%.

 

Select economic and market data

Statistic (monthly unless noted)

Current

Previous

U.S. GDP (quarterly) 5.2% 2.1%
Consumer Confidence 102.0 99.1
Consumer Price Index Y/Y 3.2% 3.7%
Core PCE (x food & energy) 3.5% 3.7%
ISM Manufacturing Index 46.7 46.7
Unemployment Rate 3.9% 3.8%
2-Year Treasury Yield 4.68% 5.09%
10-Year Treasury Yield 4.33% 4.93%



 

Equities

  • Reflecting investor speculation that the rate hike cycle may have peaked, equity prices rebounded sharply in November.
  • Monthly equity returns were broadly based with most indices enjoying meaningful appreciation, although year-to-date returns remain widely divergent.
  • The energy sector continued to lag, following recent declines in crude oil prices.
Graph of November 2023 Equities Indices

 

Fixed income

  • Driven by new Fed interest rate forecasts, yields across all maturities declined, prompting healthy monthly returns on most bond indices.
  • Consistent with strength in equity markets, high-yield bonds led YTD returns.
Graph of November 2023 fixed income indices

 

Strategic outlook

  • Above-average volatility is likely given elevated inflation, central bank involvement, and geopolitical events.
  • Some caution warranted on equities in the near term; currently favoring small cap and mid cap domestic stocks longer term.
  • Incrementally extending duration in the fixed income portfolio as intermediate part of the curve is becoming more attractive.
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