November 2023 Monthly Recap

Investment Team

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Monthly Observations

Santa Claus Rally in November?

Markets rebounded with a vengeance in November after Fed comments indicated less potential for future monetary tightening which spurred a decline in yields.  Then, a cooler inflation print hit mid-month which took yields down further and reinforced the market’s expectation for no additional rate hikes. Yield sensitive areas, such as real estate, utilities, and traditional fixed income, benefitted strongly. Overall, November was the strongest month so far this year for most major indexes, which experienced several consecutive weeks of gains for both equity and fixed income.

Soft Landing Narrative Back in Focus

The Federal Reserve took the spotlight in November, beginning with a well telegraphed “hold” in rates to start the month. While Fed Chair Jerome Powell left the door open for further hikes, he added that they were looking for data to show inflation coming down to Fed targets. As if on cue, the incoming data seemed tailor-made to fit the hold narrative, as the job reports showed continued softening and both oil prices and inflation fell. Despite the Fed’s continued stance that rates could move higher, markets assigned a mere 4% probability of a hike at the Fed’s December meeting and have priced in a rate cut as early as March or May next year.

Oil Prices Fall

In defiance of an ongoing war in the Middle East and voluntary supply cuts planned by OPEC+ (note: more than half of the cuts are simply an extension of previous cuts by Saudi Arabia and Russia), oil prices declined over the month with the Brent Crude Oil benchmark falling more than 5% in November. While seemingly counterintuitive, the downward price movement reflected trader’s lack of faith in the OPEC+ members to cooperate amid lower demand expectations due to slowing global growth.

Commentary From Asset Managers

US Small Cap Growth Manager

Small cap stocks are capital market dependent, making them more susceptible to higher interest rates. A soft-landing scenario would likely be a tailwind for small cap growth while a strong GDP growth (+3%) would likely be good for small cap value.

Emerging Market Manager

India has been a very fertile ground to find investments, benefitting from a long runway for growth and strong governance. While the country’s growth has been a developing story in the past few years, its status as “not China” has put it in the limelight and the extended valuations reflect that attention.

Global Bond Manager

The market’s view on rate cuts for next year is reasonable. If inflation continues to trend down and employment weakens, the Fed will likely be willing to cut rates next year. If the Fed strongly believes they will cut rates next year, which will be data-dependent, they will likely want to communicate this early enough so that it doesn’t look like rate cuts are being timed to influence the election. Look to the Fed Chairman to use speeches and press conferences to jawbone the market lower and put downward pressure on inflation.

Chart of the Month

 

 

DISCLOSURES

© 2023 Advisory services offered by Moneta Group Investment Advisors, LLC, (“MGIA”) an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). MGIA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Moneta Group, LLC. Registration as an investment adviser does not imply a certain level of skill or training. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only, is not intended to be comprehensive or exclusive, and is based on materials deemed reliable, but the accuracy of which has not been verified.

Trademarks and copyrights of materials referenced herein are the property of their respective owners. Index returns reflect total return, assuming reinvestment of dividends and interest. The returns do not reflect the effect of taxes and/or fees that an investor would incur. Examples  contained herein are for illustrative purposes only based on generic assumptions. Given the dynamic nature of the subject matter and the environment in which this communication was written, the information contained herein is subject to change. This is not an offer to sell or buy securities, nor does it represent any specific recommendation. You should consult with an appropriately credentialed professional before making any financial, investment, tax or legal decision. An index is an unmanaged portfolio of specified securities and does not reflect any initial or ongoing expenses nor can it be invested in directly. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. All investments are subject to a risk of loss. Diversification and strategic asset allocation do not assure profit or protect against loss in declining markets. These materials do not take into consideration your personal circumstances, financial or otherwise

SOURCES

Morningstar Direct as of 11.30.2023

Bloomberg as of 11.30.2023

Manager comments come from discussions with various asset managers and are broad commentary on sectors and not be considered recommendations by any asset manager. These comments do not necessarily reflect strategy allocations or the view or opinion of MGIA or Moneta Group .

DEFINITIONS

The S&P 500 Index is a free-float capitalization-weighted index of the prices of approximately 500 large-cap common stocks actively traded in the United States.

The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market capitalization weighted index with more than 3000 common equities listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market.

The Russell 1000® Index is an index of 1000 issues representative of the U.S. large capitalization securities market.

The Russell 1000® Growth Index measures the performance of the large-cap growth segment of the U.S. equity universe. It includes those Russell 1000 companies with higher price-to-book ratios and higher forecasted growth values.

The Russell 1000® Value Index measures the performance of those Russell 1000 Index securities with lower price-to-book ratios and lower forecasted growth values, representative of U.S. Securities exhibiting value characteristics.

The Russell 2000® Index is an index of 2000 issues representative of the U.S. small capitalization securities market.

The MSCI EAFE Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index designed to measure the equity market performance of developed markets, excluding the U.S. and Canada.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is a float-adjusted market capitalization index that consists of indices in 21 emerging economies.

Bloomberg U.S. Treasury Bond Index includes public obligations of the US Treasury, i.e. US government bonds. Certain Treasury bills are excluded by a maturity constraint. In addition, certain special issues, such as state and local government series bonds (SLGs), as well as U.S. Treasury TIPS, are excluded.

The Bloomberg U.S. Municipal Index covers the USD-denominated long-term tax exempt bond market. It includes general obligation and revenue bonds, which both can be pre-refunded years later and get reclassified as such.

The Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is an index, with income reinvested, generally representative of intermediate-term government bonds, investment grade corporate debt securities and mortgage-backed securities.

The Bloomberg US Corporate Bond Index measures the investment grade, fixed-rate, taxable corporate bond market. It includes USD-denominated securities publicly issued by US and non-US industrial, utility and financial issuers.

The Bloomberg US Corporate High Yield Bond Index measures the USD-denominated, high yield, fixed-rate corporate bond market. Securities are classified as high yield if the middle rating of Moody’s, Fitch and S&P is Ba1/BB+/BB+ or below. Bonds from issuers with an emerging markets country of risk, based on the indices’ EM country definition, are excluded.

The US Dollar Index measures the US dollar against six global currencies: the euro, Swiss franc, Japanese yen, Canadian dollar, British pound, and Swedish krona.

The FTSE Nareit All Equity REITs Index is a free-float adjusted, market capitalization-weighted index of U.S. equity REITs. Constituents of the index include all tax-qualified REITs with more than 50 percent of total assets in qualifying real estate assets other than mortgages secured by real property.

The S&P Global Listed Infrastructure index measures the performance of global companies that are engaged in infrastructure and related operations. It provides liquid and tradable exposure to 75 companies from around the world that represent the listed infrastructure universe. To create diversified exposure, the index includes three distinct infrastructure clusters: utilities, transportation and energy.

Brent crude is the most traded of all of the oil benchmarks, and is defined as crude mostly drilled from the North Sea oilfields: Brent, Forties, Oseberg and Ekofisk (collectively known as BFOE).

The Dow Jones Commodity Index Gold is designed to track the gold market through futures contracts.

The ICE BofA Option-Adjusted Spreads (OASs) are the calculated spreads between a computed OAS index of all bonds in a given rating category and a spot Treasury curve. An OAS index is constructed using each constituent bond’s OAS, weighted by market capitalization. The Corporate Master OAS uses an index of bonds that are considered investment grade (those rated BBB or better). When the last calendar day of the month takes place on the weekend, weekend observations will occur as a result of month ending accrued interest adjustments.

The ICE BofA Option-Adjusted Spreads (OASs) are the calculated spreads between a computed OAS index of all bonds in a given rating category and a spot Treasury curve. An OAS index is constructed using each constituent bond’s OAS, weighted by market capitalization. The ICE BofA High Yield Master II OAS uses an index of bonds that are below investment grade (those rated BB or below).

Asset class valuations are a percentile ranking based on monthly data going back to common inception of 9/1/2006. The US Large Cap percentile is the average percentile ranking of the trailing P/E, P/B, P/S, and P/C ratio of the S&P 500 Index. The US Small Cap percentile is the average percentile ranking of the trailing P/E, P/B, P/S, and P/C ratio of the Russell 2000 Index. The International Developed percentile is the average percentile ranking of the trailing P/E, P/B, P/S, and P/C ratio of the MSCI EAFE NR Index. The Emerging Market percentile is the average percentile ranking of the trailing P/E, P/B, P/S, and P/C ratio of the MSCI Emerging Markets NR Index. The 10-Year US Treasury percentile is the percentile ranking of the 10-Year US Treasury yield. The Investment Grade percentile is the percentile ranking of the ICE BofA US Corporate option adjusted spread. The High Yield Corporate percentile is the percentile ranking of the ICE BofA US High Yield corporate option adjusted spread. The Municipal/Treasury percentile is the percentile ranking of the Bloomberg Municipal Index yield divided by the 10-Year US Treasury Yield.

The Russell 3000® Value Index measures the performance of the broad value segment of the US equity value universe. It includes those Russell 3000 companies with relatively lower price-to-book ratios, lower I/B/E/S forecast medium term (2 year) growth and lower sales per share historical growth (5 years). The Russell 3000® Value Index is constructed to provide a comprehensive, unbiased and stable barometer of the broad value market. The index is completely reconstituted annually to ensure new and growing equities are included and that the represented companies continue to reflect value characteristics.

The Russell 3000® Growth Index measures the performance of the broad growth segment of the US equity universe. It includes those Russell 3000 companies with relatively higher price-to-book ratios, higher I/B/E/S forecast medium term (2 year) growth and higher sales per share historical growth (5 years). The Russell 3000® Growth Index is constructed to provide a comprehensive, unbiased and stable barometer of the broad growth market. The index is completely reconstituted annually to ensure new and growing equities are included and that the represented companies continue to reflect growth characteristics.

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