Read the highlights of this week’s commentary from Helios:
- Last week, the Fed Chair pushed back on the market’s growing expectations of aggressive interest rate cuts in the first half of 2024, stating, “It would be premature…to speculate on when policy might ease.” Fed officials are expected to leave interest rates unchanged when they meet Dec. 12-13.
- In a historic November rally, stocks and bonds saw significant upswings – the S&P 500 Index notched its longest winning streak since June, the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached a new high for the year, and US bonds had their best performance in almost 40 years. US junk bonds experienced their most substantial rally since July 2022, increasing by over 4%.
- However, since Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell abandoned the term ‘transitory’ to describe inflation two years ago, the S&P 500 Index has remained virtually flat, enduring a tough 2022 and then rebounding in 2023.
- Recent economic growth in the US has been strong, but there is ongoing debate about the future direction of the stock market. A Bloomberg Intelligence model suggests that the worst economic challenges may be over.
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