Where to Retire ~ Market Direction?

Best and Worst States to Retire

Over the week, there was an article that listed the best and worst states to retire, in 2024. 

“WalletHub” used 3 main categories to rank “retirement friendliness” of all 50 states. (Affordability, Quality of life and Health care).

The top 5 states in order are Florida, Colorado, Virginia, Delaware, and Wyoming.  The bottom 5 are Kentucky, New Jersey, Mississippi, Rhode Island, and Oklahoma. 

For our PA readers, Pennsylvania finished 10th best, and New York finished in the bottom 10 @ #44.

Perhaps the most difficult decision retirees make is the housing decision.  Family, friends, weather, activities, health, doctors, and continuing work, all contribute to making the housing decision challenging.

Big Week – Market Direction

Corporate Profits and the cost or money are major contributors to stock and bond performance.

This is a big week for information on both fronts. 

Investors are banking on the Fed cutting rates 6 times and corporate profits increasing by approximately 11% this year.

This Wednesday we’ll hear Fed Chair Powell’s January interest rate decision.  The Fed is expected to stand pat, however investors want to know about the next meeting in March and clues about 2024 rate cuts.

Last week, the Fed’s favorite inflation gauge, the Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) index reported core inflation annualized at 2.9% and 2.6% without food and energy.  Both have come down significantly from their highs however is it enough for the Fed to cut 6 times?

I remain in the camp hoping for 2 to 3 cuts later this year.  6 cuts to me, means the economy has slowed more than most anticipate and may not be a positive reality.  Of course, time will tell!!

Technology Earnings This Week

It’s no secret the technology sector was the main contributor to stocks moving higher in 2023.  This week we’ll hear profit reports from Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon, Meta and Apple.  Are these reports important?  Definitely!

In addition, to major technology reports, we’ll hear from UPS, General Motors, Pfizer, Mastercard, Boeing and Exxon Mobil.  These reports may shed additional light on consumer spending.


Stocks moved mostly higher last week, as the Dow increased .65%, the S&P 500 1.06% the Nasdaq .94% and the Russell 2000 1.75%. 

Over the pond, foreign stocks rose 1.51% and emerging markets 1.30%

The yield on the US 10-Year US Treasury finished the week @ 4.139%.  This is up from 3.866% on January 1st, which explains why most bond index funds are slightly down so far in 2024. 

Out of the 11 S&P 500 sectors, 5 are higher for the year and 6 are down.  The sectors in the positive are Communication Services, Information Technology, Healthcare, Financials and Consumer Staples. 

Sectors in the red are Real Estate, Industrials, Materials, Utilities, Consumer Discretionary and Energy. 

It’s far too early to conclude leaders and laggards for 2024.  Last year, however, it was rather obvious early in January, Technology was going to lead. 

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