Ho hum so far in ’23?

Well not quite. Stocks climbed 6.2% in January – second best January since 1990 – as a result of good inflation and Fed news, but then declined 2.6% in February, and for the year are up about 3.4%. Tech stocks on average are up for the year about 9% through February.

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Dougherty Dispatch 2022 Year End Review

Good Riddance to 2022 !

The number 2022 has three twos in it, but you might think that with what happened last year it had the curse of three sixes. The list is long: High inflation, rising interest rates, continuing difficulties with Covid, disasters with flight cancellations, high energy prices, and stock and bond markets falling are all enough to make us wish we had taken a long nap – or maybe hired an exorcist.

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A Nothing Burger from the Fed?

For a record seventh time this year, the Federal Reserve has raised rates, this month 0.5%.  The chairman of the Fed also indicated they may have another 1% during 2023, topping out to about 5.1%. 

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Time to Pivot Investments Yet?

What a year!

In just the last 34 days the stock market has risen 12%. But the 56 days prior to that the market dropped 16%. And the 60 days prior to that the market rose 17%. For the entire year so far, the market, as measured by the S&P 500 stock index, is still down 16%. In previous dispatches, we have said that stock markets will probably not turn around – pivot – until the Federal Reserve or inflation shows signs of turning around. During the last month we have had such two small indications. The most recent Consumer Price Index report showed that inflation was slowing down – a hair. Today, the Producer Price Index, that is, the prices received by mostly manufactures, also showed an indication that inflation may have peaked. These two measurements have spurred market activity. Perhaps ironically, the recent midterm elections have had negligible impact.

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Time to buy CDs?

With the recent increase in interest rates by the Federal Reserve, bank CD rates have risen dramatically.  CDs just a few months ago offering less than 1% rates are now offering as much as 4% per year.

Strangely enough, because of the action by the Fed and its effect on short-term rates, a five and even 10-year term CD is paying approximately the same as a 1-year CD:  about 4%.  Therefore, we get no higher rate for locking in our money for 10 years vs. just one year.

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