On Your Mark, Get Set…
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The clocks fell back this week, but there was little time to focus on reorienting ourselves with lots of news about inflation and the midterm elections pouring in.
The final makeup of the next US Congress is still TBD (and it may be a while until there is real clarity), but the stock market is usually happiest when Congress is gridlocked because it means no big policy surprises and maintaining the status quo. Past performances are no guarantee of future results, and we truly live in unprecedented times, but midterm elections have historically signaled the start of strong rallies. The S&P 500 has risen an average of 14.4% and has always been higher in the year following midterm elections going back to World War II, according to data cited by Barron’s. Yahoo Finance has a nifty chart that shows how the index has outperformed in the 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month periods post midterms. Keep your fingers (and arms and legs and toes) crossed!
This morning inflation numbers for October came in lower than expected at 7.7%, and the market’s initial reaction was positive. Many take this as a sign that underlying inflation has peaked and hope it means the Fed will dial back its rate hiking campaign. Yet another thing that is TBD… You can read more about interest rates and inflation here.
As you plan your Thanksgiving meals, Wells Fargo has some advice for the budget conscious — buy your turkey early, swap regular potatoes for sweet potatoes, and choose canned cranberries. Their most prominent note is that eating out is better value than usual these days, but the traditionalists may think that is a step too far!
Asking for a friend….
We know there is a lot to think about these days and it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. To help with those nagging questions and so you have useful resources at your fingertips, here are few links to resources and past stories relevant in these turbulent times:
- Some of our favorite inflation-fighting strategies (...and a few more here)
- FWIW’s Guide to Long-Term Investing
- Unpacking the ESG Alphabet Soup (including a link to our ever-growing glossary of common terms)
- FWIW Guide to Cleantech Investing: Sectors to Watch (covering a dozen innovative sectors to anchor your research on sustainable investing options)
- How to Practice Faith-Based Investing
- “Siri, What is a Recession”
- Largest ESG or Sustainable Funds (a great list of ETFs and Mutual Funds)
News you can use
- Tomorrow is Veterans Day, a federal holiday to honor and recognize those who have served in the US military. If you’re looking to invest in companies that do the most to support, hire and retain veterans, research is key. A few places to start: VETS Indexes Employer Awards, the G.I. Jobs Military Friendly Employers list, and other rankings from Monster and Military.com and MilitaryTimes.
- Aiming to be on Santa’s nice list, Amazon has expanded its fleet of electric delivery vans to more than 1,000 ahead of the holiday season. The company plans to put 100,000 of the Rivian vehicles on the road by 2030. Online buyers are also thinking of their carbon footprint, with close to 30% of consumers surveyed by IBM saying they will bundle multiple orders to help reduce emissions. The push to electrify last-mile delivery has led to major deals between giants like Walmart and FedEx, and EV manufacturers like Canoo and GM’s BrightDrop.
- The 27th annual summit of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) is heating up in Egypt. The two-week event sees country leaders make decisions that affect the future of the planet and is closely watched by investors. You can keep up with the latest headlines here. One noteworthy development is an anti-greenwashing report by UN experts that could raise the bar for corporate net zero pledges.