2023’s Stock Market Winners & Losers (Weekly Cheat Sheet)

2023 was a year of dramatic swings in the stock market, ending with a strong rally that brought the S&P 500 tantalizingly close to its all-time high. Let’s delve into the specifics and understand what this means for investors.

Market Overview: A Nine-Week Winning Streak

The year concluded with the major indices – the S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite, and Dow Jones Industrial Average – completing a remarkable nine-week winning streak. However, trading volumes were subdued, likely due to the holiday season and the market’s significant recovery since October.

  • S&P 500: Almost reached its all-time high, peaking at 4,793.30, just shy of the record 4,796.56.
  • Russell 2000: Slightly underperformed, closing down 0.3% for the week.
  • Nasdaq Composite: Ended the year with a stellar 43.4% gain.

Sector Performance: A Tale of Contrasts

2023 saw a diverse performance across sectors:

  • Top Gainers: Information Technology (+56.4%), Communication Services (+54.4%), and Consumer Discretionary (+41.0%) sectors led the charge.
  • Underperformers: Utilities (-10.2%), Energy (-4.8%), and Consumer Staples (-2.2%) lagged behind.
  • ETF Highlights: The Vanguard Mega Cap Growth ETF surged by 50.8%, and the Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight ETF gained 11.7%.

Bonds and Interest Rates: A Year of Fluctuations

The bond market experienced notable movements:

  • 10-year Note Yield: Remained unchanged at year-end at 3.88%, after hitting a high of 5.02% in mid-October.
  • 2-year Note Yield: Decreased by 17 basis points, ending at 4.25%.

Economic Data: A Mixed Picture

The economic indicators from 2023 presented a varied landscape:

  • Housing Market: The October FHFA Housing Price Index rose by a modest 0.3%.
  • Labor Market: Weekly Initial Claims were at 218K, suggesting a still-healthy job market.
  • Manufacturing Activity: The Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index for December indicated a contraction, dropping to -11.

Stock News and Market Movers

  • Biotech M&A Activity: Bristol-Myers acquired RayzeBio for $62.50 per share, a 104% premium, and AstraZeneca acquired Gracell Biotechnologies at a 62% premium.
  • Mega Cap Influence: Large-cap stocks, especially in tech, continued to drive market performance.

Implications for Investors

For investors, these developments suggest several key takeaways:

  • Diversification Benefits: The varied sector performance underscores the importance of diversifying investments.
  • Interest Rate Sensitivity: The bond market’s fluctuations highlight the need to monitor interest rates closely.
  • Sector Opportunities: Technology and communication sectors may continue to offer attractive investment opportunities.

In summary, 2023 was a year marked by resilience and unexpected turns in the stock market. As we move into 2024, staying informed and adaptable will be crucial for navigating the investment landscape. Remember, the market is always evolving, offering both challenges and opportunities.

Commodities

OIl & Energy

Last week, the oil market experienced notable fluctuations influenced by various factors. A key development was the rise in U.S. crude oil inventories, which increased by 1.84 million barrels. This data, cited from the American Petroleum Institute figures, suggests a shift in the supply dynamics within the U.S. oil market.

In terms of pricing, oil prices initially dropped by almost 2%. This decline was observed as investors closely monitored the situation in the Red Sea, where major shipping firms were returning. The movement in this strategic maritime route often has a significant impact on global oil supply lines, thus affecting prices.

However, the market rebounded in the first session of the New Year, with oil prices rising more than 2%. This increase was attributed to potential disruptions in the Middle East supply following a recent attack. Such geopolitical tensions typically lead to concerns about supply shortages, thereby driving up oil prices.

Gold & Metals

Last week in the gold and precious metals market, there were some notable movements and trends:

  • Gold Prices: Gold closed out 2023 above $2,063, showing a slight increase of +0.13% in its price. Over the past year, gold has seen a significant rise of +13.17%, indicating strong performance amidst various market conditions.
  • Silver, Platinum, and Palladium Prices: Silver remained steady at $23.78, while platinum and palladium experienced decreases. Platinum dropped by $8.00 to $980.00, and palladium saw a more substantial decrease of $19.00, settling at $1,067.00.
  • Rhodium: Rhodium’s price remained unchanged at $4,150.00.

These trends in the precious metals market reflect a dynamic interplay of economic factors and investor sentiment. Gold’s consistent rise over the year suggests its continued appeal as a safe-haven asset, especially in times of uncertainty. The fluctuations in platinum and palladium prices could be attributed to specific industrial demands and market speculations.

Crypto

Last week in the cryptocurrency market, several significant developments and price movements were observed:

  • Bitcoin’s Price Surge: Bitcoin (BTC) experienced a notable increase, reaching nearly $46,000. This surge was partly fueled by speculation that a U.S.-based spot bitcoin ETF might receive regulatory approval soon.
  • Ethereum and Other Cryptocurrencies: Ethereum (ETH) also saw a positive trend, increasing by 3.98%. Other major cryptocurrencies like Binance Coin, Solana, and XRP showed gains ranging from 1.89% to 8.31%.
  • Bitcoin Funding Rates: The global average perpetual funding rates for Bitcoin rose to a record 66% annualized, indicating a costly environment for bullish bets.
  • Crypto Market Favorites: The Sei Network emerged as a new favorite in the crypto space, with its meme coin SEIYAN gaining 400% in the past week.
  • Security Concerns: The Orbit Chain experienced an $81 million loss due to a cross-chain bridge exploit, highlighting ongoing security challenges in the crypto industry.
  • Market Volatility: Tellor’s TRB token witnessed a dramatic trading session, with its price fluctuating significantly from $720 to $180 within hours.

CALENDAR & MOVERS

  • Wednesday: ISM Manufacturing PMI (December)
  • Friday: Unemployment Rate (December)

The first week of January is anything but slow in the financial world. Investors, still in the holiday spirit, will be greeted with a slew of economic data:

  • Construction Spending and Manufacturing PMI: These numbers will give us a glimpse into the health of the construction and manufacturing sectors.
  • Fed Meeting Minutes: Always a market-mover, these minutes will shed light on the Federal Reserve’s latest thoughts.
  • December Jobs Report: All eyes are on this one. Analysts expect the U.S. economy to have added 155,000 jobs in December. But hold on, there’s a twist – the unemployment rate might tick up to 3.8%. And what about wages? They’re expected to grow but at a slower pace of 0.3% month-over-month.

Earnings Season Kickoff: Who’s Up First?

As we roll into 2024, some big players are stepping up to the earnings plate:

  • January 3: UniFirst (UNF), Cal-Maine Foods (CALM), and Simulations Plus (SLP) are on deck.
  • January 4: Watch out for Conagra Brands (CAG), Lamb Weston (LW), Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), Simply Good Foods (SMPL), and Lindsay (LNN).
  • January 5: Constellation Brands (STZ) and Greenbrier (GBX) round out the week.

And hey, let’s not forget about Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), Constellation Brands (STZ), and Cal-Maine Foods (NASDAQ: CALM). They’re among the first to report in 2024, setting the tone for the earnings season.

Tesla: A Jolt in the EV Sector

Speaking of excitement, Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) is gearing up to release its Q4 delivery numbers. This report could send ripples (or should we say, electric shocks?) through the entire electric vehicle sector. Keep your eyes peeled for this one!

Data Deluge: Reports Galore

The first few days of January are not just about earnings. We’ve got a buffet of data reports coming our way:

  • Macau’s Gaming Revenue: A vital indicator for the leisure and hospitality sector.
  • Chinese Automakers’ Monthly Deliveries: These figures will provide insights into one of the world’s largest auto markets.
  • Quarterly Sales/Deliveries from the Big Auto Players: General Motors (GM), Ford Motor (F), Toyota (TM), Honda (HMC), and yes, Tesla (TSLA) again, are all reporting. These numbers will give us a sense of the automotive industry’s health.
  • Costco’s December Sales: Always a good measure of consumer spending trends.

What Does This Mean for You?

Alright, so we’ve got a lot on our plate. But what does all this mean for the average investor or the curious bystander?

  • Market Volatility: With so much data dropping, expect some swings in the market. It’s a good time to keep a close eye on your investments.
  • Sector-Specific Trends: The earnings and data reports will highlight which sectors are hot and which are not. This could be a great opportunity to reassess your portfolio.
  • The Big Picture: These reports, especially the jobs data and Fed minutes, will offer clues about the overall economic direction in 2024.
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