Interest Rates, Interest Rates!

Just what we desired, interest rates to move lower!

The 10-year US Treasury yield hit a 2023 high on October 18th @ 4.988%.  This past Friday, the yield fell to 4.577%.  Huge move in a couple weeks.

Why did interest rates move lower?  A couple of reasons.  One, the Fed is suggesting they are now more balanced in their inflation outlook than meetings prior.  Secondly, most investment assets overshoot to both the up and down sides.  Third, many investors believe the economy will slow moving into 2024 as the persistent higher rates are now impacting various parts of our economy. 

Short-term evidence of a slowing economy was last Friday.  Our jobs report suggested we created 150,000 jobs in October.  The estimate was 190,000.  The previous 2 months were also revised downward.  Certainly, the UAW situation could have caused the number to come in lower.  Either way, the number has been slowing.

Markets and Profit Reports

400 of the 500 S&P 500 companies have reported 3rd quarter profits, with 80% beating estimates.  Profit “growth” for the quarter is estimated at 3.7%.  Most expected profits to be flattish this quarter.

The combination of earnings and lower interest rates moved all boats higher last week as the Dow jumped 5.07%, moving the index back into the positive for the year.  The S&P 500 moved higher by 5.85%, the Nasdaq 6.66% and the Russell 2000 led the way, up 7.56%.

International stocks followed the trend rising 5.80% and emerging markets 5.28%.

Oil is now towards the lower end of the current range, closing Friday @ $80.89/barrel.

Nice to see sectors that have not participated in the market rising, finally doing so.  The Real Estate sector rose 8.55%, Financials 7.35%, Utilities 5.22%, Healthcare 3.48% and Consumer Staples 3.25%.


Your Estate Plan

Once per year, we discuss changes that may have happened in our client’s lives.  Many times, these changes require an alteration to their paperwork.

It’s extremely important to make sure your paperwork truly reflects your current desires.

There are several reasons to revisit your estate plan annually.  Perhaps your child got married.  You have a new grandchild. Someone is getting divorced.  You want to do something extra special for someone or a charity that has touched your heart. You purchased a new property. A family members health has turned negative. Someone in your family is going through a situation that is impairing their rationale.

These are just a handful of reasons to revisit your estate plan annually. 

I’ll be reviewing client’s estate plans during our next upcoming reviews.  If you are a non-client and have questions, please feel free to schedule a complimentary consultation.

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