Broker Check

September Market Insights


I hope all is well!

September marked the worst month for the S&P 500 index since March of 2020.  Ongoing inflation challenges, supply chain bottlenecks, talk of the Fed unwinding stimulus and bond buying, interest rate volatility and the continued trade conflict with China all played a role in September market performance. Ten of the eleven S&P 500 sectors suffered losses and the Dow and Nasdaq also finished Q3 in the negative. [1] As of September 28th, half of the S&P 500 stocks were down 10% or more from their 52-week highs with 60 of those companies having dropped over 20%. [2] Similarly the Nasdaq, which navigated a 14% correction earlier this year, declined by nearly 6% in September. As of September 30th, more than a quarter of the stocks in the Nasdaq are down at least 20% from their 52-week highs with well known companies such as Qualcomm and Intel being down 22.7% and 21.7% respectively. [3] Traditional stock alternatives such as bonds have remained under pressure throughout 2021 with the U.S. Aggregate Bond Index down 1.56% year to date as of September 30th, 2021. [4]

As I shared in my previous commentary, by most technical measures, broad market valuations have been high and as we have discussed, corrections have been a normal part of the market construct for decades. As a reminder, a stock market correction is defined as a decline of at least 10% from the 52-week high. [5] All of this being said, when considering the number of stocks within the S&P 500 and Nasdaq that are down over 10% and 20% from their highs, this reinforces my belief that when considering individual companies, there are opportunities out there. Another metric that I believe should be viewed positively longer term is that the Fed is signaling their gradual exit from providing stimulus. This is a good thing! It tells us the economy is healing and can sustain itself without government assistance! This is evidenced by wage growth which has accelerated at the fastest rate in 35 years! [6] Job growth has been so strong that we currently have an astounding 10.9 million job openings. This is 2 million more job openings than we have unemployed in the country. [7] Another positive takeaway in recent weeks is that President Biden has discussed use of the Defense Production Act to help rectify the semiconductor chip shortage. Semiconductors or “chips” are broadly used in electronics, automobiles, and basic appliances like ovens and washing machines. An improvement in the production and distribution of semiconductors could go a long way to restore confidence in the markets and the overall supply chain.

I expect volatility will remain high in the coming months as the Fed unwinds their easy money policy and the stock market recalibrates to valuations that are more reasonably in line with growth expectations. I remain unequivocally steadfast in my belief in robust and well thought out diversification across asset classes. It remains imperative to have exposure to growth and value, large and small companies, domestic and international, as well as bonds of different styles and durations, along with hedged strategies where appropriate. In the coming weeks, earnings reports, inflation and the supply chain challenges we have faced will all continue to be important factors as we navigate the fourth quarter and going into 2022. I know market volatility and corrections are unsettling. I am here for you, always, to discuss any questions you have or to review your portfolio allocation, goals or anything else I can help with.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you. My priority remains and always will be to ensure that you continue to receive high quality guidance and a client service experience second to none. While I continue to reach out via phone and e-mail, please know that I am available via Zoom, Facetime, any other digital technology you prefer and in person if you would like to meet. I am happy to meet with you at any one of my offices or at your home or near your home, whatever you prefer and whatever you are most comfortable with.

Wishing you, your family, friends, colleagues and community continued hope, health and positivity in the coming weeks, months and beyond!


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