Financial markets have experienced quite a bit of change this year in just two short months. We started the year hopeful that stocks would benefit from a better economic and monetary policy environment by the spring, but recent developments suggest that may be further out than we initially thought. We remain confident that a new bull market will come—it just may require a bit more patience before we get there.
When 2023 began, we had hoped for a new bull market to bloom in the spring, prompted by the end of the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) interest rate hiking campaign. Following recent data pointing to stronger growth and higher inflation, rate hikes may extend into the summer and potentially delay the start of a new bull market. Against that backdrop, even though stocks pulled back in February, this year’s modest two-month gain for the S&P 500 Index feels like a victory.
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