I said no camels. That’s five camels…Can’t you count?
Before we get to the elephant, well, camel, in the room, which is a historically bad April for equities, let us look at one of the root causes: The Federal Reserve. More specifically, investors tend to view rate increases like camels: fewer is better. Going into the meeting, we were expecting over ten…by December. The Fed made good on two (2) at the May meeting, bringing the count to three (3) hikes so far, with eight (8) more anticipated.
Our family drives…a lot. Unfortunately, the driver (usually me) does not control the music. That falls to the children, and recently the music has been almost exclusively the soundtrack to Encanto. As a Hamilton fan, I will grudgingly admit some of the songs are catchy. Having said that, the charm wanes after listening to the same song a dozen times on a three-hour tour. Just the same, given the fantastical and magical rally we saw in March, we will look at these charmed markets and see if they might last.
What a difference a month makes. Last month, we used the potential for a Bengals Super Bowl win as our backdrop; sadly, the orange and black fell just short. This month, we are writing as the world and, less importantly, markets, are focused on the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag. This region is not new to conflict, having inspired one of history’s most famous martial poems, Tennyson’s The Charge of the Light Brigade.
There are two things we cannot ignore in this month’s recap. One, the historically dreadful January we have seen in stocks. Second, though, is the tremendous run the Cincinnati Bengals have made. Given that today (February 1) marks the beginning of the Lunar New Year and begins the Year of the Tiger, perhaps a fortuitous portent for the orange and black.
We are done with memes as a theme. The market, however, seemingly is not. Look no further than December 23, when a giant ape was delivered to oppose the famous Wall Street bull. A little too on the nose, as far as symbols go.
For those unfamiliar, this is Gene Wilder playing the title character in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Over Thanksgiving, we watched the movie again, and it seems appropriate to use it as inspiration for our newsletter this month, given the market’s current state is as confusing as any we have seen, leaving us to pure imagination to try to decipher what might be next.