Broker Check

Mosaic Asset Partners - The Post Easter Blues

April 05, 2024

Our financial markets kicked off the start of the 2nd quarter with a bit of “thud” as weakness was the prevailing theme over the week. The majority of the drift lower has been attributed to the talking points released by several Federal Reserve members including Chairman Powell. “On inflation, it is too soon to say whether the recent readings represent more than just a bump,” Powell said in remarks ahead of a question-and-answer session at Stanford University. “We do not expect that it will be appropriate to lower our policy rate until we have greater confidence that inflation is moving sustainably down toward 2 percent,” he added. “Given the strength of the economy and progress on inflation so far, we have time to let the incoming data guide our decisions on policy.” Adding fuel to the Chairman’s comments, Minneapolis Fed President, Neel Kashkari, made the following statement during an interview on Thursday with Pensions and Investments: “If we continue to see inflation moving sideways, then that would make me question whether we need to do those rate cuts at all.” The markets did not like those comments as the greater investment community took that conservative stance to mean an even further extended stance on holding rates in place. As of now, the general consensus remains that there will likely be 3 rate cuts in total by the end of 2024. Based on the latest data, however, that number could move lower.

Today brought the ever-important March jobs and unemployment data. Nonfarm payrolls increased 303,000 for the month, well above the Dow Jones estimate for a rise of 200,000. The unemployment rate edged lower to 3.8%, as expected, even though the labor force participation rate moved higher to 62.7%. Wages rose 0.3% for the month and 4.1% from a year ago, both in line with Wall Street estimates. The leading areas for growth in the job market were in the healthcare, government, leisure and hospitality, and the construction segments. A positive takeaway in this latest report is that job growth is broadening, and not so heavily concentrated in just the government and hospitality sectors. The potential negative takeaway is that this will only add further to the speculation that the Federal Reserve will indeed maintain a longer neutral stance on interest rates. A strong job market with low unemployment generally equates to a healthy economic landscape.

For those astronomy buffs out there, a rare total solar eclipse will take place on Monday, April 8th. The new moon occurs on April 8 at 2:21 p.m. EDT (1821 GMT) and will usher in a "Great American Eclipse" — the first total solar eclipse to hit the lower 48 states since August 2017. The main viewing areas to see the full effect of the eclipse in the United States will take place from San Antonio, TX up and through the Midwest in cities like Cleveland, then on to Buffalo, NY. For many of us located in the Mid-Atlantic, we will still have the ability to view a partial eclipse, weather permitting of course, but not quite the full “show.” We actually have a few clients that have planned trips to prime locations for this rare occurrence!

As we head into the spring months, we are continuing to monitor and adjust our portfolios holdings as needed. With tax season winding down for many, it is always important to let us know if anything significant has changed for you. Planning for today and tomorrow remains a key ingredient to future financial success!

Have a wonderful weekend.

https://www.cnbc.com/2024/04/02/feds-mester-still-expects-rate-cuts-this-year-but-rules-out-may.html?__source=iosappshare%7Ccom.apple.UIKit.activity.Mail

https://www.cnbc.com/2024/04/05/job-growth-totaled-303000-in-march-better-than-expected-and-unemployment-was-3point8percent.html

https://www.cnbc.com/2024/04/03/feds-powell-emphasizes-need-for-more-evidence-that-inflation-is-easing-before-cutting-rates.html

https://www.cnbc.com/2024/04/05/top-goldman-economist-downplays-prospect-of-zero-fed-rate-cuts-in-2024.html

https://www.space.com/new-moon-april-2024-observing-guide-solar-eclipse

Christopher E. Wasson, CFP®

President

Mosaic Asset Partners, LLC

1122 Kenilworth Drive, Suite 310

Towson, MD  21204

410.821.0089         fax 410.821.5993

MosaicAssetPartners.com  

Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. Mosaic Asset Partners, LLC is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS.  Investor Disclosures: https://www.kestrafinancial.com/disclosures

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra IS or Kestra AS. The material is for informational purposes only. It represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. It is not guaranteed by Kestra IS or Kestra AS for accuracy, does not purport to be complete and is not intended to be used as a primary basis for investment decisions. It should also not be construed as advice meeting the particular investment needs of any investor. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.