January was Impressive, Now What - February 6, 2019

Stocks were extremely oversold in late December.

  • December’s selloff didn’t reflect the economic fundamentals.

  • The S&P 500 Index1 has advanced 16% from the Dec. 24 low through Feb. 4 (St. Louis Fed data).

Tailwinds – the ingredients that may support going forward

  1. The Fed shifted gears at last week’s meeting. It was more dovish than expected.

  2. Recent data point to continued economic growth, which supports profit growth. Leading indicators and surveys of consumer/business confidence suggest moderation in the second half of the year. 

  3. Trade tensions linger, but an agreement between China and the U.S. is needed, ideally one that better protects U.S. interests. Later in the year, the focus will turn to the new Nafta agreement negotiated with Mexico and Canada, which must be approved by Congress.

  4. Growth has slowed in China and Europe; signs that growth is stabilizing would likely lend support.

  5. Steady inflation increases the odds the Fed won’t hike rates.

Investor’s Corner

There are always unknowns over the short term. Maintain focus on your long-term goals and the financial plan, which incorporates unexpected market detours.