Stock Markets cooled off in August
The August decline seems to be not such a bad thing. Not a good thing, per se, but good in the sense that it may be healthy for the market. Staving off the proverbial irrational exuberance and keeping expectations in check.
- The S&P 500 was +20.6% through July 31st. On pace for a calendar year return of +35.4%. That has happened only 5 times since the Great Depression, and the last time was in 1958. So a year like this would be exceptional.
In our opinion, one good thing about the market repricing in August is that it seemed to happen on its own, it was not caused by any surprise headlines or negative reports.
- The August cool-off also happened with a very average amount of volatility, average by historical standards.
- Except for a three-day period right in the middle, the daily moves were mostly in bite sized chunks, which is nice to see. This is also good for the investing mentality, because it keeps the financial media quiet which prevents either our Fear or FOMO reactions from flashing red.
- A market moderating itself on its own isn’t always a bad thing because it keeps expectations in check and mitigates the amount of emotional frenzy we experience.
What this August performance could also be signaling is that the Fed is still in the driver’s seat. Market participants were seemingly watching the data roll out and gauging the potential signaling of if-you-give-a-mouse-a-cookie will it end up with the Fed hiking rates more or pausing for a while.
A big positive right now is:
- Job market has remained strong and the Unemployment rate has remained low.
Employed workers fuels spending which fuels corporate profits.
Corporate profits are the main driver of long term stock prices.
Thank you for your continued trust and partnership.
Joe Gallemore, CIMA®, Partner