Charles-Henry Monchau

Chief Investment Officer



WEEKLY SUMMARY: Global Markets Suffer Worst Start In Over 20 Years

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. The closely watched monthly nonfarm payroll report showed that employers added 216,000 jobs in December, well above consensus forecasts. The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note ended higher for the week and moved above the 4% threshold for the first time since mid-December. Investment grade and High yield bonds were also weaker as they retraced some of the positive performance during the last two weeks of December. The pan-European STOXX Europe 600 Index ended the week 0.6% lower and snapped seven consecutive weekly gains, as optimism for an early cut in interest rates waned. Stocks in China retreated amid persistent concerns about its economy. Oil prices were volatile but ended the week higher. Gold fell slightly as the dollar rallied to start the year.


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