February 2024 Monthly Recap
Market Snapshot
*As of 02/29/2024
By the Numbers
  • The jobs market remains resilient, with unemployment still at 3.7% and 9 million job openings
  • Wages are up 4%+ over the past year
  • The average rate on existing mortgages has risen incrementally to 3.83%, a figure that has remained below 4% for the past decade.
  • Total US credit card debt stands at $1.13T, with almost 10% of balances delinquent 90 days+
  • Personal savings rate has declined to 3.7%, down from a historical average 6.3%

Fed Patience

Predictions that the Federal Reserve’s aggressive inflation-fighting rate increases would strangle the economy have not panned out; at least not yet. In fact, most data points support a rather resilient economy: low unemployment, better-than-expected GDP growth, moderating inflation and manageable gasoline prices have led to all time high market valuations and strong business cycle optimism.

One of the more interesting narratives lately is the growing perception that, rather than being draconian, today’s higher interest rates are more acceptable to the economy than expected. This led to some smelling salts for investors convinced the Federal Reserve would be forced to drop rates an anticipated 6 times in 2024, despite the Fed’s prediction of 3 cuts. We fall into the 3-cut camp, expecting to see the Fed remain patient and reduce rates more slowly. While much hand-wringing occurs over the exact timing and pace, we view this as short-term futility and focus more on the intermediate-term expectation of declining rates which should be supportive of bonds & equities.

To be sure, concerns exist as they always have. Consumer debt is rising and savings rates are declining, and the ever-present risks of geo-political instability remain, but we remain comfortable with the broader economic strength we see today.

Sources: Clearnomics, Standard & Poor’s
© 2024 Clearnomics, Inc.

The views expressed represent the opinions of Tiller Private Wealth as of the date noted and are subject to change. These views are not intended as a forecast, a guarantee of future results, investment recommendation, or an offer to buy or sell any securities. The information provided is of a general nature and should not be construed as investment advice or to provide any investment, tax, financial or legal advice or service to any person. The information contained has been compiled from sources deemed reliable, yet accuracy is not guaranteed. 

Additional information, including management fees and expenses, is provided on our Form ADV Part 2 available upon request or at the SEC’s Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website, https://adviserinfo.sec.gov. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

The market indices discussed are unmanaged. Investors cannot directly invest in unmanaged indices.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The market index is unmanaged.

The NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

Data sources: Clearnomics, YCharts, BankRate, Carlyle, Bureau of Economic Analysis, US Federal Reserve