Q1 2024 Market Update
Market Snapshot
*As of 3/28/2024
By the Numbers
  • •S&P 500 index, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq gaining 10.2%, 5.6%, and 9.1% year-to-date, respectively
  • The Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, the Personal Consumption Expenditures index, rose 2.5% on a year-over-year basis for all prices and 2.8% when excluding food and energy, both significant improvements from their peaks only a year and a half ago.
  • The S&P 500 has achieved 20 new all-time highs so far this year
  • The median Projected Federal Funds rate by YE 2024 = 4.6% and YE 2025 = 3.6%. For reference, as of 4/5/24 it is listed as 5.33%

Sustainable? 

2024 began with debates over the sustainability of 2023’s late-year market rally. Only three months later, those concerns have given way to a calmer environment centered around fading inflation and the Fed’s plans for reducing interest rates. This has resulted in a strong stock market rally, although bond returns remain muted while awaiting clarity from the Fed.

The economic environment has surprised many investors as inflation continues to fade. While some areas of inflation such as shelter and energy costs remain problematic, inflation is steadily moving back to the Fed’s long-term 2% target.

Meanwhile, unemployment is still under 4% (despite layoffs in the tech sector), interest rates have been more stable, and stock market returns have broadened beyond artificial intelligence stocks. Despite these positive trends, some investors remain wary of the upcoming presidential election (see below) and the next phase of Fed policy. These worries can feel amplified by the fact that the market is hovering near all-time highs.

2024 has so far provided 20 new all-time highs for the S&P 500. While price swings are an unavoidable part of investing, and the market does experience pullbacks from time to time, history shows that markets also tend to rise over long periods. During a bull market cycle, major stock market indices will naturally spend a significant amount of time near record levels. For instance, 2021 experienced 70 days with the market closing at new all-time highs, adding to the hundreds that were achieved since 2013.

Markets have rallied through both Democratic and Republican presidencies

Sources: Clearnomics, Standards & Poors
© 2024 Clearnomics, Inc

While elections are an important way for Americans to help shape the direction of the country as citizens and taxpayers, it’s important to vote at the ballot box and not with investment portfolios.

History shows that markets typically perform well regardless of political leadership. What mattered more across presidencies were the ups and downs of the business cycle. The Clinton years, for instance, happened to benefit greatly from the long expansion of the 1990s. The George W. Bush years, on the other hand, coincidentally overlapped with both the dot-com crash and the 2008 global financial crisis. In these cases business and market cycles defined their presidencies, and not the other way around.

Of course, politics can impact taxes, trade, industrial activity, regulations, and more. However, not only do these policy changes tend to be incremental, but also the exact timing and effects are often overestimated. Thus, it’s important to focus less on day-to-day election poll results and more on the long-term economic and market trends.

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. 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, Treasury Department, & US Federal Reserve.