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Weekly Market Guide: July 5th Thumbnail

Weekly Market Guide: July 5th

Investment Retirement Funding Insights

MARKETS AND INVESTING

July 05, 2021


Review the latest portfolio strategy commentary from Mike Gibbs, managing director of Equity Portfolio & Technical Strategy.

Short-Term Summary:

The first half of 2021 is in the books with the S&P 500 up 14.4%, and trading at new record highs. This was the fifth consecutive positive quarter since Q1 2020's historic collapse (amidst the COVID shutdown)- with the S&P 500 now up 66% over that timeframe and 27% above its pre-pandemic highs. We would refrain from making too much of it because each period is different and returns can be highly variable, but positive second half returns have followed similar low double-digit first half returns over the past 40 years. That said, we would not be surprised for the rate of market ascent and volatility to normalize in the back half of this year, as is typical in year two of a bull market. 5.7% is the largest pullback witnessed for the S&P 500 year-to-date, and we remind you that 7-12% pullbacks are very normal (and can be healthy) historically within non-bear market years. Although we expect a moderation in returns moving forward and would be cognizant that drawdowns happen, we recommend using those periods as buying opportunities (as they enhance upside to our targets in the outlook).

With the breakout to new highs, market breadth is not overly impressive at the moment. Less than 50% of S&P 500 stocks are trading above their 50-day moving average (despite the index at highs), and 29% of S&P 500 stocks are actually down over 10% from their 52-week highs. Narrowing breadth can indicate some weakness to market momentum, and makes the broader index more susceptible to normal pullbacks. However, this is not overly concerning in our opinion, given the solid intermediate term backdrop (~90% of stocks above their 200 DMA), and also reflects the very rotational market taking place beneath the surface.

Interest rate movements in the first half of 2021 have been a large influence on sector and style rotation. In fact, the 20-day rolling correlation between Growth and Value is negative right now (very abnormal historically, as stocks typically move in the same direction). Growth has sharply recovered over the past month, resulting in fairly even year-to-date returns between the two styles (13.9% for Growth, 15.0% for Value). Our bias remains toward Value in the back half of the year given our positive view on the economic and fundamental trajectory, along with the likelihood of interest rates ultimately moving higher over the coming months. Value is currently testing its relative strength uptrend; and while it is difficult to determine how long the current moderation in interest rates will play out in the short term, we recommend accumulating Value.

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This material is being provided for informational purposes only. Expressions of opinion are provided as of the date above and subject to change. Any information should not be deemed a recommendation to buy, hold or sell any security. Certain information has been obtained from third-party sources we consider reliable, but we do not guarantee that such information is accurate or complete. This report is not a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material and does not include all available data necessary for making an investment decision. Prior to making an investment decision, please consult with your financial advisor about your individual situation. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected. There is no guarantee that the statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct.

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Index Definitions

The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index of 500 widely held stocks that is generally considered representative of the U.S. stock market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the NASDAQ.

The NASDAQ Composite is a stock market index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market.

The MSCI World All Cap Index captures large, mid, small and micro-cap representation across 23 Developed Markets (DM) countries. With 11,732 constituents, the index is comprehensive, covering approximately 99% of the free float-adjusted market capitalization in each country.

MSCI EAFE (Europe, Australasia, and Far East) is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure developed market equity performance, excluding the United States & Canada. The EAFE consists of the country indices of 21 developed nations.

MSCI Emerging Markets Index is designed to measure equity market performance in 23 emerging market countries. The index's three largest industries are materials, energy, and banks.

Keep in mind that individuals cannot invest directly in any index, and index performance does not include transaction costs or other fees, which will affect actual investment performance. Individual investor's results will vary. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Future investment performance cannot be guaranteed, investment yields will fluctuate with market conditions.

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