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Weekly Market Recap | May 22, 2023

What happened last week

  • The market saw year-to-date highs in stocks despite a lack of progress on the debt ceiling negotiations in Washington.
  • Hawkish Fed commentary and a lack of further banking stress drove bond yields to post-Silicon Valley Bank collapse highs.
  • US economic data continues to point to underlying resilience.

What we’re watching this week

  • Daily debt ceiling negotiations will be the headline grabber this week.
  • Core PCE (personal consumption expenditures), the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, will be released Friday. Last week’s FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting notes will be released Wednesday.
  • While we are past the bulk of first quarter company earnings, some consumer-facing retail companies and one many investors are watching, NVIDIA Corporation, report earnings this week.

Horizon’s Investment Management Views

As the Federal Government’s checking account rapidly approaches a zero balance, investors pushed the S&P 500 Index to year-to-date highs last week, led by both the market’s top (mega-caps) and bottom (small-caps). Our sense is that Wall Street just wants what is considered a man-made crisis to go away. The expected 11th-hour government resolution, which might arrive by the end of this week, may spark a brief rally with troubled cyclical stocks.

The back-and-forth negotiations in Washington are distracting from another major market development of the past few weeks – the rise in Treasury yields across the yield curve. Both the 2-year and 10-year Treasury yields ended last week at post-Silicon Valley Bank collapse highs amid hawkish talk from Fed members. Recent Fed messaging indicates that there is a substitution between regional bank instability and the level of yields – no further bank failures could mean higher interest rates. We doubt this story is completely over, but we aren’t yet at levels where interest rates threaten equity valuations. We expect the market to focus on this after the debt ceiling drama has passed.

Economic data continues to point to a resilient U.S. consumer, evidenced by stronger retail sales last week. Jobless claims, one of our key indicators of consumer strength, are also moving in a positive direction, pushing back the arguably most anticipated recession ever. However, data overseas has been weakening as the China reopening process hits some bumps and there are signs of a slowdown in Europe. In a change from recent trends, the dollar rose last week on these developments. We are monitoring the situation, as this could be a headwind to international equities, and may impact portfolio positioning in these markets.



The commentary in this report is not a complete analysis of every material fact in respect to any company, industry or security. The opinions expressed here are not investment recommendations, but rather opinions that reflect the judgment of Horizon as of the date of the report and are subject to change without notice. Forward looking statements cannot be guaranteed. We do not intend and will not endeavor to provide notice if and when our opinions or actions change. This document does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security or product and may not be relied upon in connection with the purchase or sale of any security or device. Before investing, an investor should consider his or her investment goals and risk comfort levels and consult with his or her investment adviser and tax professional. References to indices, or other measures of relative market performance over a specified period of time are provided for informational purposes only. The S&P 500 Index represents the largest US companies. Reference to an index does not imply that any account will achieve returns, volatility or other results similar to that index. The composition of an index may not reflect the manner in which a portfolio is constructed in relation to expected or achieved returns, portfolio guidelines, restrictions, sectors, correlations, concentrations, volatility or tracking error targets, all of which are subject to change. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. This commentary is based on public information that we consider reliable, but we do not represent that it is accurate or complete, and it should not be relied on as such. Horizon Investments and the Horizon H are registered trademarks of Horizon Investments, LLC. 

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