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Investment Strategy

Giving thanks: 5 things we (and markets) are grateful for

Nov 22, 2023

Despite a bumpy road for investors in 2023, there are a bounty of reasons to be optimistic leading up to the new year.

It’s been another year of market swirl, and still a 60/40 allocation of global stocks and bonds has generated a +10% return year-to-date. While we’d be reticent to say volatility is behind us at the Thanksgiving dinner table, this year has given us much to be thankful for. So before we get to the celebrations with friends, family and food, here are five things we (and markets) are grateful for this holiday season.

1. The recession that still hasn’t happened.

Coming into the year, investors feared that the U.S. economy would crack under the weight of all the Federal Reserve’s rate hikes. That didn’t happen, and growth (while on a cooling trend) is still decidedly on the “nice list.”

Gifts in 2023 have included: still-remaining consumer savings from pandemic-era stimulus; fiscal support from industrial policy bills such as the Inflation Reduction Act; a rapid private and public sector response to the regional banking crisis; a steady return of women to the labor force; limited housing stock, which kept home prices from tumbling; the fastest productivity growth since 2003 (outside a recession); and an unexpected progression of artificial intelligence that could still boost capital expenditures over the next decade if it mirrors past tech cycles (just see Nvidia’s earnings report from last night). 

Taken together, this is good news for those on team “soft landing.” 

In the 1990s, a surge in tech investment led to a productivity boom

Sources: Bureau of Economic Analysis, Haver Analytics. Time period covered: 1975 - 1999.
This chart shows private investment in intellectual property as a percentage of U.S. GDP from 1975 to 1999. Starting in 1992, there is an upward arrow showing the trajectory of private investment growth until 1999. In 1975, the percentage contribution to real U.S. GDP from private investment in intellectual property was 0.01%. In 1976, the percentage contribution to real U.S. GDP from private investment in intellectual property was 0.18%. In 1977, the percentage contribution to real U.S. GDP from private investment in intellectual property was 0.11%. In 1978, the percentage contribution to real U.S. GDP from private investment in intellectual property was 0.12%. In 1979, the percentage contribution to real U.S. GDP from private investment in intellectual property was 0.2%. In 1980, the percentage contribution to real U.S. GDP from private investment in intellectual property was 0.09%. In 1981, the percentage contribution to real U.S. GDP from private investment in intellectual property was 0.21%. In 1982, the percentage contribution to real U.S. GDP from private investment in intellectual property was 0.12%. In 1983, the percentage contribution to real U.S. GDP from private investment in intellectual property was 0.17%. In 1984, the percentage contribution to real U.S. GDP from private investment in intellectual property was 0.3%. In 1985, the percentage contribution to real U.S. GDP from private investment in intellectual property was 0.21%. In 1986, the percentage contribution to real U.S. GDP from private investment in intellectual property was 0.17%. In 1987, the percentage contribution to real U.S. GDP from private investment in intellectual property was 0.1%. In 1988, the percentage contribution to real U.S. GDP from private investment in intellectual property was 0.18%. In 1989, the percentage contribution to real U.S. GDP from private investment in intellectual property was 0.29%. In 1990, the percentage contribution to real U.S. GDP from private investment in intellectual property was 0.22%. In 1991, the percentage contribution to real U.S. GDP from private investment in intellectual property was 0.18%. In 1992, the percentage contribution to real U.S. GDP from private investment in intellectual property was 0.17%. In 1993, the percentage contribution to real U.S. GDP from private investment in intellectual property was 0.12%. In 1994, the percentage contribution to real U.S. GDP from private investment in intellectual property was 0.11%. In 1995, the percentage contribution to real U.S. GDP from private investment in intellectual property was 0.2%. In 1996, the percentage contribution to real U.S. GDP from private investment in intellectual property was 0.33%. In 1997, the percentage contribution to real U.S. GDP from private investment in intellectual property was 0.41%. In 1998, the percentage contribution to real U.S. GDP from private investment in intellectual property was 0.37%. In 1999, the percentage contribution to real U.S. GDP from private investment in intellectual property was 0.45%.

2. A less-expensive holiday season.

One of the biggest surprises this year has been how much inflation has cooled alongside that economic resilience. While inflation isn’t back to the Fed’s 2% sweet spot, 40% of the Consumer Price Index’s components are now at or below that coveted level. You may feel it in your Thanksgiving feast this year, too. Out-of-town guests are looking at lower prices for car rentals, airfares and gasoline prices; yet, you’re still looking at a steeper bill when you pick up the turkey and pies.

Holiday headache or sweet relief?

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Haver Analytics. Data as of October 31, 2023. Components are represented by the following CPI subcategories: "Airfares" by airline fares, "car rentals" by car & truck rentals, "gasoline" by gasoline, "potatoes" by potatoes, "pie" by frozen & refrigerated bakery products, "cranberries" by canned fruits, "turkey" by other uncooked poultry including turkey, and "gravy" by sauces & gravies.
This is a bar chart of the year-over-year percentage change in the price of common goods related to Thanksgiving dinner and travel. The components are represented by the following U.S. Consumer Price Index subcategories: “airfares” by airline fares, “car rentals” by car and truck rentals, “gasoline” by gasoline, “potatoes” by potatoes, “pie” by frozen and refrigerated bakery products, “cranberries” by canned fruits, “turkey” by uncooked poultry, and “gravy” by sauces and gravies. The year-over-year calculation is as of October 2023 compared to the prior period ending October 2022. Gravy or the subcategory for sauces and gravies within the U.S. Consumer Price Index is up 8% from the prior year. Turkey or the subcategory for uncooked poultry within the U.S. Consumer Price Index is up 7% from the prior year. Cranberries or the subcategory for canned fruits within the U.S. Consumer Price Index is up 3% from the prior year. Pie or the subcategory for frozen and refrigerated bakery products within the U.S. Consumer Price Index is up 3% from the prior year. Potatoes, which is its own subcategory within the U.S. Consumer Price Index, is down -3% from the prior year. Gasoline, which is its own subcategory within the U.S. Consumer Price Index, is down -5% from the prior year. Car rentals or the subcategory for car and truck rentals within the U.S. Consumer Price Index is down -10% from the prior year. Airlines or the subcategory for airline fares within the U.S. Consumer Price Index is down -13% from the prior year.

The last mile of progress may still take some time, but the stickiest drivers of inflation—namely the still-hot clip of wage growth and rent prices—have ample room to continue cooling. This gives us the confidence that central banks are probably finished hiking and seem to be in their “higher for longer” era.

3. An end to rate hikes.

Since the three major developed market central banks (the Fed, ECB, BoE) started hiking to tame inflation, they’ve increased policy rates a cumulative 1,490 basis points. With all three now seemingly on hold, the prevailing debate is shifting to when the first rate cuts might come. Markets are currently pricing in a 70% chance of a Fed cut by its May meeting.

To be sure, the impacts of the rate hikes we’ve already seen will continue to work their way through the economy (which is what the Fed wants to see), but it’s also worth noting that sectors that were the first hit by hikes are in a more festive mood and starting to stabilize. Manufacturing activity is showing signs of improving, and home buyers could get some relief from moderating mortgage rates. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate has fallen almost -50 basis points from its highs less than a month ago, to 7.41%.

4. All the tools back in the investing toolkit.

There has been no shortage of market volatility in 2023. But this has also opened up pockets of opportunity and given long-term, multi-asset investors what we think is a solid entry point (and the luxury of choice).

Today, historically high bond yields offer an opportunity to lock in higher income potential for longer, especially in municipal and corporate bonds. But with central banks at the end of their hiking cycles, and growth and inflation on a slowing trend, the still-elevated yields we see today may not last much longer.

For those looking to put more risk on the table, stocks look compelling. Following a period of reckoning in corporate earnings, U.S. stocks, especially the big tech names (as AI stands to generate real revenue growth), look poised to continue their rally in the year ahead.

Coupling this near-term opportunity with J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s 2024 Long-Term Capital Market Assumptions (which scrutinize over 200 asset and strategy classes to provide return outlooks over a 10-to-15-year investment horizon), today appears to offer a strong starting point for investors. Every major asset class stands to outperform cash over that time period.

Now looks like a good time to be a multi-asset investor

Sources: J.P. Morgan Asset Management - Long Term Capital Market Assumptions 2024. Data as of September 30, 2023.  
This chart shows the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Long-Term Capital Market Assumptions across the categories of cash, fixed income, equity and alternatives. U.S. Cash is 2.9%, U.S. Inflation is 2.5%, U.S. High Yield Bonds are 6.5%, U.S. Investment Grade Bonds are 5.8%, U.S. Aggregate Bonds are 5.1%, Global Government Bonds are 4.8%, U.S. Municipal Bonds are 4.0%, Emerging Markets Equity is 8.8%, Global Equity is 7.8%, U.S. Large Cap Equity is 7.0%, Private Equity is 9.7%, U.S. Core Real Estate is 7.5%, and Diversified Hedge Funds are 5.0%.

5. The opportunity to help you achieve your financial goals.

Above all, we’re thankful for the trust you place in all of us at J.P. Morgan, and for following markets along with us throughout the year.

This year has underscored the value of having a well-thought-out financial plan—and sticking to it. Why are you investing in the first place? Is it to get your money to grow for eternity, over multiple generations? Is it to pay for your child’s future education costs? Or is it simply to protect your money from losing value? With a goals-based approach to investing, we’re focused on helping our clients invest through cycles and challenges, in both good times and bad.

Here’s to another year of sharing our Top Market Takeaways. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

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All market and economic data as of November 2023 and sourced from Bloomberg Finance L.P. and FactSet unless otherwise stated.

We believe the information contained in this material to be reliable but do not warrant its accuracy or completeness. Opinions, estimates, and investment strategies and views expressed in this document constitute our judgment based on current market conditions and are subject to change without notice.

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This material has not been prepared specifically for Australian investors. It:

  • May contain references to dollar amounts which are not Australian dollars;
  • May contain financial information which is not prepared in accordance with Australian law or practices;
  • May not address risks associated with investment in foreign currency denominated investments; and
  • Does not address Australian tax issues.

References to “J.P. Morgan” are to JPM, its subsidiaries and affiliates worldwide. “J.P. Morgan Private Bank” is the brand name for the private banking business conducted by JPM. This material is intended for your personal use and should not be circulated to or used by any other person, or duplicated for non-personal use, without our permission. If you have any questions or no longer wish to receive these communications, please contact your J.P. Morgan team.

© $$YEAR JPMorgan Chase & Co. All rights reserved.

LEARN MORE About Our Firm and Investment Professionals Through FINRA Brokercheck

To learn more about J.P. Morgan’s investment business, including our accounts, products and services, as well as our relationship with you, please review our J.P. Morgan Securities LLC Form CRS and Guide to Investment Services and Brokerage Products

 

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. and its affiliates (collectively "JPMCB") offer investment products, which may include bank-managed accounts and custody, as part of its trust and fiduciary services. Other investment products and services, such as brokerage and advisory accounts, are offered through J.P. Morgan Securities LLC ("JPMS"), a member of FINRA and SIPC. Insurance products are made available through Chase Insurance Agency, Inc. (CIA), a licensed insurance agency, doing business as Chase Insurance Agency Services, Inc. in Florida. JPMCB, JPMS and CIA are affiliated companies under the common control of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Products not available in all states. Please read the Legal Disclaimer in conjunction with these pages.

INVESTMENT AND INSURANCE PRODUCTS ARE: • NOT FDIC INSURED • NOT INSURED BY ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY • NOT A DEPOSIT OR OTHER OBLIGATION OF, OR GUARANTEED BY, JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A. OR ANY OF ITS AFFILIATES • SUBJECT TO INVESTMENT RISKS, INCLUDING POSSIBLE LOSS OF THE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT INVESTED

Bank deposit products, such as checking, savings and bank lending and related services are offered by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. Not a commitment to lend. All extensions of credit are subject to credit approval.