Showing remarkable resilience.
Throughout the first half of 2023, the U.S. economy and financial markets proved to be resilient – and so did investors. U.S. stock markets moved higher amid enthusiasm for artificial intelligence and expectations that the Federal Reserve’s tightening cycle might be near an end. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index entered a bull market and the Nasdaq Composite Index delivered its best first-half performance in 40 years, gaining more than 30 percent over the period, reported Barron’s.
So far this year, many investors have remained optimistic amid significant uncertainty that included:
It's likely that uncertainty and volatility will continue. Last week, major U.S. stock indices finished higher, reported Barron’s Data.11 Yields on most U.S. Treasuries finished the week higher.
And The Happiest Countries Are…The World Happiness Report is published by the United Nations General Assembly. The creators of the report “believe that our success as countries should be judged by the happiness of our people.” The authors measure happiness by interviewing a nationally representative sample of people in the countries that participate.
The ranking considers happiness and misery. “A population will only experience high levels of overall life satisfaction if its people are also pro-social, healthy, and prosperous. In other words, its people must have high levels of what Aristotle called ‘eudaimonia’…When we assess a society, a situation, or a policy, we should not look only at the average happiness it brings (including for future generations). We should look especially at the scale of misery (i.e., low life satisfaction) that results.”
This year, the Index was presented in a slightly different way. It consolidated results from 2020 through 2022. The countries with the highest Happiness Index scores over that period were:
The countries with the lowest scores were:
139. Sierra Leone
141. Democratic Republic of Congo
The United States was the fifteenth happiest country in the world.
Weekly Focus – Think About It
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
—The United States Declaration of Independence (Happy Fourth of July!)
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* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named firm or broker/dealer.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client’s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the 3:00 p.m. (London time) gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association and is expressed in U.S. Dollars per fine troy ounce. The source for gold data is Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (FRED), https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GOLDPMGBD228NLBM.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow,” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* The risk of loss in trading commodities and futures can be substantial. You should therefore carefully consider whether such trading is suitable for you in light of your financial condition. The high degree of leverage is often obtainable in commodity trading and can work against you as well as for you. The use of leverage can lead to large losses as well as gains.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.
https://www.barrons.com/livecoverage/stock-market-today-063023 (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2023/07-03-23_Barrons_Stock%20Market%20News_2.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/stock-market-debt-ceiling-d1fb238a (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2023/07-03-23_Barrons_Why%20Even%20a%20Debt%20Ceiling%20Deal%20Could%20Be%20Bad_4.pdf)
https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2023-05-08/fed-pivot-hedging-remains-the-best-rates-strategy#xj4y7vzkg (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2023/07-03-23_Bloomberg_Been%20Hedging%20Around%20the%20Pivot_6.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/recession-expansion-economy-yardeni-3683673 (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2023/07-03-23_Barrons_What%20Recession_9.pdf)
https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/stock-market-today-dow-jones-06-29-2023/card/a-majority-of-s-p-500-stocks-are-up-this-year-as-market-breadth-improves-LqLny6hJ9Xreeg0cM8jf (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2023/07-03-23_WSJ_A%20Majority%20of%20S&P%20500%20Stocks%20are%20Up_10.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/market-data?mod=BOL_TOPNAV (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2023/07-03-23_Barrons_Data_11.pdf)