October 2023 – Market Update

September proved challenging for global stocks and bonds…

It marked the worst month for stocks in a year, with the S&P 500 down 5%, and the weakest performance for bonds since February. This was spurred by news that the Federal Reserve plans to keep monetary conditions tight for an extended period.1 In the first week of October, yields on 30-year US Treasuries reached 4.97%, the highest since 2010, while 10-year Treasuries hit 4.80%, the highest since 2007.x

Unfortunately, September inflation did not subside as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed prices rose 0.4% in September, primarily due to energy costs.2 Core inflation, which excludes food and energy, increased by 0.3%.2 While annual headline inflation remained at 3.7%, core inflation increased to 4.1%, compared to 4.3% in August.2 Shelter costs, comprising roughly a third of the total CPI, were responsible for over half of the monthly rise, spurred by a surge in hotel stay rates.2 For core inflation to decrease, consistent moderation in the housing sector is crucial.3 Prices paid by businesses rose by 0.5% in September due to increased energy and food costs, making it the third consecutive rise.4 Rising oil prices are causing concerns about inflation impacting both the consumer as well as businesses, especially with the ongoing conflict in Israel potentially maintaining high prices.5

The labor market continued to outpace expectations, with September’s nonfarm payrolls surging by 336K, exceeding estimates by over 90%.6 This was further bolstered by revisions adding 119K jobs for July and August.6 However, the household employment survey painted a weaker picture, with an increase of only 86K, versus 222K in August.6 Average hourly earnings also showed a subdued growth of 0.2% in September.6 The unemployment rate held firm at 3.8%; if it rises to 4.0% in upcoming months, it could indicate the onset of a recession based on the Sahm Rule, an approach used to determine when the economy has entered a recession based on unemployment data.7 The report also warned of financial tightening and predicted a weaker October payroll report.6

The bottom line: The global economic landscape seems to be teetering on the precipice of a slowdown. Central banks have continued to emphasize the need to maintain elevated interest rates, and given the consistent inflation and labor market data, the likelihood of another Fed rate hike by year’s end has risen.8 Rising oil prices may impede the progress made in reducing inflation this year, but U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reiterated her belief that the economy is likely to experience a soft landing despite the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.9

1 Source: Bloomberg Economics
2 Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
3 Source: Bloomberg Economics
4 Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
5 Source: Bloomberg Economics
6 Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
7 Source: Bloomberg Economics
8 Source: Reuters
9 Source: Reuters

Advisory services offered through NewEdge Advisors, LLC doing business as Tempus Advisory Group, as a registered Investment Adviser. NewEdge Advisors, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of NewEdge Capital Group, LLC. This information should not be duplicated or distributed unless an express written consent is obtained from Tempus Advisory Group in advance. The views expressed here reflect the views of the Tempus Advisory Group Investment Committee as of 10-15-2023. These views may change as market or other conditions change. This information is not intended to provide investment advice and does not account for individual investor circumstances. Investment decisions should always be made based on an investor’s specific financial needs, objectives, goals, time horizon and risk tolerance. Past performance does not guarantee future results and no forecast should be considered a guarantee either.

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