The U.S. stock market climbed the proverbial wall of worry in May. The month started with fresh rounds of concern about U.S. regional banks (First Republic closed on May 1st), another rate hike by the Federal Reserve in the middle of the month, and intense negotiations around the U.S. debt ceiling towards the end of the month. Here are 3 things you need to know:
- Technology stocks surged amidst growing excitement about the potential of artificial intelligence. The NASDAQ was up +5.9% over the month of May, taking its year-to-date gain up to +24.1%.
- The S&P 500 only managed to post a modest +0.4% gain in May, and in equal-weighted terms the index was actually down by -3.8%, which goes to show how incredibly narrow the May stock rally was.
- Fed officials are signaling a pause in June (they remain “data dependent”), but there is the potential for additional rate hikes later in the summer.
Sources: J.P. Morgan Asset Management – Economic Update; Bureau of Economic Analysis (www.bea.gov); Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov); Federal Open Market Committee (www.federalreserve.gov); Bloomberg; FactSet.
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- The S&P 500 is designed to be a leading indicator of U.S. equities and is commonly used as a proxy for the U.S. stock market. Price return quoted.
- The MSCI ACWI ex-US Index captures large and mid-cap representation across 22 of 23 developed market countries (excluding the U.S.) and 27 emerging market countries. The index covers approximately 85% of the global equity opportunity set outside the U.S. Price return quoted.
- The MSCI Emerging Markets Index captures large and mid-cap segments in 26 emerging markets. Price return quoted (USD).
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