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“A minute’s success pays the failure of years.” – Robert Browning

Morning stock market summary

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It’s been a relatively quiet morning in the markets today, but the bias had been negative as stocks in Europe are down about half of a percent.  Economic data just released here in the US, though, showed that jobless claims came in above expectations with initial claims topping 200K and continuing claims topping 1.7 million.  Both of these readings are the highest since December.  In response to the weaker employment readings, futures have been rallying.  Investors and the Fed may like this data, but you can bet that Senator Warren won’t be very happy. There’s no other data on the calendar today, so now the focus will shift to tomorrow’s February Non-Farm Payrolls.

It’s hard to believe it was 14 years ago when the S&P 500 finally made its financial crisis low setting the stage for a new bull market.  Things weren’t looking good for the market or the global economy back then, but from the close on March 9, 2009, through yesterday (3/8/23), the S&P 500 rallied 490% which works out to an annualized return of 13.5%- without even including dividends!

Obviously, returns will look remarkable when you measure them from the absolute low, but what may be even more notable is to look at how an investor would have fared had they gone ‘all-in’ at the highs in October 2007 right before all hell broke loose.

The chart below shows the performance of the S&P 500 from its high on 10/9/07 through yesterday (3/8/23).  Just over a year after that investment, you would have been down 50% on your way to a total decline of 57% but had you held on through those lows, your total gain since 10/9/07 would have been 155% which works out to 6.3% annualized and again, not including dividends.  That’s obviously a lot less than the 13.5% annualized return you would have had from the lows in March 2009, but 6.3% still beats the level of yield you can currently get from any point on the US Treasury yield curve.  The key word here is currently.

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