Things were a bit quieter this week which was fine by me! Like the fine Thanksgiving dinner we are about to consume, it was all about digestion and settling. A welcome change from the volatile days and weeks we have experienced lately. With the mid-term elections sitting mostly in the rearview mirror, we can begin to focus on how the balance of this year and how 2023 will take shape. While the “red wave” did not materialize as some had expected, a divided government and a general stand still on major policy changes will likely hold true in the months ahead. This should provide some backstage relief to the overall jittery feelings in our marketplace of uncertainty. I expect the coming weeks to be filled with talks of government funding issues and post-election law discussions as a lame duck session of Congress reconvenes. We still have another Federal Reserve meeting and CPI data to consume in mid-December (12th – 13th) but all other major data points should be mostly quiet before then. The headlines will remain noisy as usual but should be less relevant in the very near-term. We might actually be able to sit down and enjoy our time with family and friends with few outside distractions. Imagine that.
Earnings season is winding down and overall, the numbers were better than expected. Many companies forecasted slower growth ahead with revised forward guidance which had been expected. Companies like Walmart are navigating inflation and inventory issues better than others like Target. The retail industry will always be plagued by fickle consumer spending trends and times like this separate out the competition. Cost cutting and inventory controls are the name of the game right now as consumers moderate their spending on many levels. Technology companies continue to announce job cuts as right sizing and expense measures come into focus. Will we or won’t we move into a recession? This remains a buzz phrase and the best forecasters in the business remain divided on this topic. It all makes for some confusing times, but I do believe we are headed in the right direction.
Looking ahead, we have been doing a lot of work on your investment portfolios and planning for what 2023 may look like. We know that interest rates are still rising, but there is evidence that the pace and size of the increases could be slowing. The financial markets are ever looking forward and based on the data points known today, I believe we are working towards the other side of things. To use a baseball analogy, we are likely in the “middle innings” of the game. The Federal Reserve still has work to do and based on the language used by some of the members recently, they are watching and listening for signs of a “cooling” environment. Reeling in and moderating inflation is the ultimate endgame. In the meantime, we are strategically planning and watching as things unfold.
One of my favorite holidays is quickly approaching. Celebrating time with friends and family without the “commercialism” of it all is near and dear to my heart. The added bonus of a delicious meal with savory leftovers only makes it that much sweeter. With the shortened week, I won’t be writing my weekly update. But rest assured, if anything big goes down I won’t be able to help myself!
Have a wonderful weekend.
Christopher E. Wasson, CFP®
Mosaic Asset Partners, LLC
1122 Kenilworth Drive, Suite 310
Towson, MD 21204
410.821.0089 fax 410.821.5993
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.