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  • Writer's pictureDerek Sauerwine

April 2024 Market Review & Commentary

          We hope you are doing well!  During the month of April, our family was able to sneak away for a spring break cruise, only to be welcomed home with all the “spring cleaning” chores laid out in front of us. If you have already conquered all your spring-cleaning projects around your house, I simply say “kudos”!  As I debated on dragging my feet on all the spring cleaning ahead of us, the Markets did not hesitate to dive in headfirst to its own “spring cleaning”.

          The Markets began April with a strong spike in Treasury yields which put downward pressure on both stocks & bonds. The S&P 500 traded lower for the first time in six months as investors tried to read the tea leaves for the Federal Reserve’s next move regarding interest rates. We began 2024 with markets expecting interest rate cuts to begin in March, which was one of six expected rate cuts for the year. It’s now mid-May and we just received a verbal confirmation from the Federal Reserve that they, “don't expect to raise rates further?” This type of seesaw affirmation only cements our long-running expectations that this journey back to some sort of normality was going to be a bumpy uphill climb.  

          With rising commodity prices and the upward velocity of Treasury rates, the S&P 500 completed the month down -4.0% and the DOW Jones limped across the finish line down -4.9%. However, the S&P500 is still holding onto a +5.9% year to date return, which looks rather impressive compared to the DOW Jones which continues to tread water at +0.9% year to date. In the areas that are more sensitive to rising rates like the Russell 2000 Index, it finished April down -6.8%. Much of the pressure in the month was contributed to the undefined data presented. We saw commodity prices move higher, which hinted at solid underlying demand while we saw Oil prices continue their upward path to +14.3% this year.  Unemployment remained under the 4% mark and new home sales reached a 6-month high in Q1. As I outlined in last month’s blog, I am happy to leave the navigation of the economy up to the professionals as we continue to monitor all directions of data as they arrive.


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