Signature Wealth Market Update

May 2022 Market Update

I’m not one to wish time away, but I’m glad that April is over, from a stock market standpoint (and also because tax season is over!).  The S&P 500 lost 8.8% in April to finish off one of the worst January-April periods ever for that index.  The NASDAQ index, which tends to consist of more aggressively growing companies, lost 13%, while the traditionally more conservative Dow Jones Industrial Average “only” lost about 5%.

Listen to the podcast as Scott delves deeper into his market commentary here:

To make matters worse, an investor couldn’t hide in bonds, either.  The Aggregate Bond index lost nearly 4% in April, which is a remarkable drop for bonds.  The index is now down over 9% in 2022, meaning that you could have lost about as much in bonds as in stocks (the S&P 500 was down almost 13% through April).  Bond prices move in the opposite direction of bond yields (interest rates), so while the yield on the 10-Year US Treasury bond surged from around 1.5% in January to 2.88% by the end of April—nearly doubling—bond prices were headed in the opposite direction.  These are unusual times, in that bonds tend to move in the opposite direction that stocks do.  Plus, investors have gotten accustomed to seeing stock prices go up, so it’s unnerving to see them go down.  It’s a natural part of investing, though, and it’s why stocks have, historically at least, given investors higher returns than most other financial assets have.  

Portfolios have been difficult to manage this year since we haven’t been able to hide from the stock market correction in bonds, so account values may be down.  We could get a bit of a break, though, as investor sentiment is very poor…this is often a contrary indicator for stock prices, meaning that we could get a short-term boost in stock prices.  My recession indicators are not flashing yet, so I don’t think there is an imminent recession.  And I think we could get some relief on the inflation front, as I expect the really high inflation readings to abate.  Corporate earnings reports have generally been good, so I think that the fundamental backdrop for stocks and the economy is still favorable.  

Unfortunately, we’re being beaten over the head with unfavorable headlines, such as the high inflation I mentioned, high gas prices, Russia-Ukraine, and manufacturing pressure due to China’s “zero-Covid” policy.  Also, there finally is an alternative to stocks.  With high-quality bonds yielding around 3%, and considerably more if you’re willing to look at non-government bonds, investors may think about putting money into bonds rather than stocks.  So, money that only a few months ago would not have considered bonds, going into stocks instead, is now finding a home in bonds.  With more money looking to bonds, and less to stocks, it stands to reason that stock prices won’t fare as well.  

I think for investors with a long-term time horizon, say three years and more, you can start putting money to work in stocks and bonds.  If you’re inclined to check your statement frequently, or if you will need some money from your account for a purchase, I’d suggest being patient.  While there will likely be ups and downs, the near-term trend for stocks is downward, and I’d respect that, for now.  Let’s hope it changes soon, but we probably need more clarity on China’s Covid response, the Federal Reserve’s stance on interest rates and inflation, and Ukraine before we get much upside traction.  

In May, our offices will be closed on May 30 in observance of Memorial Day.  In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or your financial advisor with any questions or concerns regarding your portfolio or to check-in to see how your Signature Life Plan is holding up in the midst of the market turbulence.

As always, these opinions are mine, and may or may not be the same as those of Raymond James.  This is not a solicitation to invest, although we do invite you to review your portfolio with us to see if any changes should be made.  
Past performance may not be indicative of future results. There is no assurance any of the trends mentioned will continue or forecasts will occur.  Investing involves risk including the possible loss of capital. Asset allocation and diversification do not guarantee a profit nor protect against loss.  There is an inverse relationship between interest rate movements and bond prices. Generally, when interest rates rise, bond prices fall and when interest rates fall, bond prices generally rise.
The forgoing is not a recommendation to buy or sell any individual security or any combination of securities. 
The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index of 500 widely held stocks that is generally considered representative of the U.S. stock market. Individuals cannot invest directly in any index.   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. U.S. government bonds and Treasury notes are guaranteed by the U.S. government and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and guaranteed principal value. U.S. government bonds are issued and guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by the federal government. Treasury notes are certificates reflecting  intermediate-term (2 – 10 years) obligations of the U.S. government.  Every investor’s situation is unique, and you should consider your investment goals, risk tolerance and time horizon before making any investment. 
The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete, it is not a statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision, and it does not constitute a recommendation. Any opinions are those of Scott Mitchell and not necessarily those of Raymond James.  Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice.  Raymond James does not provide tax or legal services.  Please discuss these matters with the appropriate professional.

About Scott Mitchell

AAMS ®, Chief Investment Officer SWG, Senior Wealth Advisor RJFS, Scott is a cum laude graduate of Wake Forest University School of Business. He received additional training from the College of Financial Planning and earned the accreditation of Accredited Asset Management Specialist℠ as well as earning the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® designation.  Scott began his career at Southern National Bank. He then joined his father, Bob Mitchell, at First Union Securities for six years. At Signature, Scott directs investment strategy for the team and oversees the research and management of individual stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Scott lives in Florence with his wife and two children. He is a member and past President of St. Luke Lutheran Church, member and past President of the Florence Rotary Club, and on the board of directors of the Pee Dee Area Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Follow Scott on LinkedIn. Raymond James is not affiliated with any of the above-mentioned organizations.