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Stocks gave back a portion of the past several weeks’ solid gains as investors appeared to rotate into sectors that lagged in 2023, including utilities, energy, consumer staples, and health care. Conversely, a slide in Apple shares following analysts downgrade weighed on the Nasdaq Composite Index. Trading volumes were relatively muted over much of the holiday-shortened week. Geopolitical concerns (Chinese president Xi speech on Taiwan, Red Sea tensions) appeared to weigh on sentiment as 2024 trading began. Macro data offered mixed evidence about the economy’s momentum heading into the new year. US labor market data generally surprised on the upside, although underlying trends were more mixed.

Global bond and stock markets added almost $20 trillion in capitalization during 2023 and all of that gain came in the last two months of the year. For the last week of 2023, the major equity indices were mixed. The S&P 500 Index marked its ninth straight weekly gain—its longest stretch since 2004—and briefly moved within 0.5% of its all-time intraday high. The week closed out a strong year for all the major indexes, led by the Nasdaq Composite, which recorded its sixth-biggest annual gain since the index was launched in 1971. As was widely expected, trading volumes and market moves were muted through most of the week, with trading closed Monday and many investors out of the office.

Stocks continued their weekly winning streak—the longest since 2017. The S&P 500 Index briefly moved within 84 basis points of its all-time intraday high while the Nasdaq 100 Index and Dow Jones managed new records. Note that the Russell 2000 has gained 24% over the last 36 trading days, one of the biggest small cap rallies in history. Not all stocks gained; FEDEX stock is down -11% on the week as Q2 profits missed expectations. Nike is down -11% after missing sales estimates and cutting outlook. The global disinflation trend is gaining steam as inflation cools down more than expected in the U.S., UK, and Japan. In the US, the headline PCE index fell 0.1% in November, marking its first decline in 21 months, thanks to a sharp decline in goods prices.

The Resilience of the US economy, a global disinflation trend, China disillusion, the come-back of cryptos, the AI boom and the magnificent 7 while commodities ended in the year in the red. Here are ten stories to remember from an eventful 2023.

Both the Fed and BNS hold interest rates steady, the Dow Jones hits an all-time high and long-term investments remain the fail-safe way to avoid losing money on the equity markets. Each week, the Syz investment team takes you through the last seven days in seven charts.

The S&P 500 Index, Nasdaq Composite, and Dow Jones Industrial Average recorded their 7th consecutive week of gains—the longest streak for the S&P 500 since 2017. The gains lifted the first two benchmarks to 52-week highs and the Dow to an all-time record. Continuing a recent pattern, the week’s gains were also broadly based. The S&P 500 equal-weighted index outpaced its market-weighted counterpart by 131 basis points over the week. Small-caps also outperformed. The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), the “fear gauge,” fell to its lowest level in the post-COVID era.

The Magnificent Seven’s market cap tops the world’s biggest stock markets, earnings growth decorrelated from R&D investments, and analysts prepare for next year’s probable rate cuts. Each week, the Syz investment team takes you through the last seven days in seven charts.

A late rally helped the major US equity indexes end flat to modestly higher for the week. The small-cap Russell 2000 Index outperformed the S&P 500 Index for the third time in the past four weeks, helping narrow its significant underperformance. Within the S&P 500, energy stocks lagged as domestic oil prices fell below USD 70 per barrel for the first time since June. On the Macro side, Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report surprised modestly on the upside, with employers adding 199k jobs in November versus consensus expectations of around 180k. The unemployment rate fell back to 3.7%. The bigger surprise was the University of Michigan’s preliminary gauge of consumer sentiment in December, which jumped to its highest level since August on calming inflation fears.

• Mo'vember marks best month for US bonds in 40 years as investors anticipate rate cuts in 2024 • Global bond and stock markets added over $11 trillion in capitalization in November. That is the second biggest monthly gain in history (Nov 2020 added $12.5 trillion). • Gold and digital (aka Bitcoin) surged while dollar dumped.

While the US secures its long-term energy supply and industrial capacity, The cost of hedging against a market crash hits a 5 year low. China buys massive amounts of gold, and the investment world says goodbye to Charlie Munger. Each week, the Syz investment team takes you through the last seven days in seven charts.

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